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Why become a Certified Educational Planner?

The creation of the American Institute for Certified Educational Planners was the first national effort designed to increase the recognition of and establish standards for both college advising and for private educational consulting.

There is a body of knowledge that counselors and consultants need to maintain that includes information about a wider and wider variety of options, the application process and its many choices, adolescent behavior, and family dynamics, to name only a few. More people, both within and outside of education, need to know about the depth of professionalism that educational planners and college counselors possess.

Preparing for the CEP exam deepened my educational expertise, and going through this process enriched my professional connections to a community that is dedicated to excellence.  I am grateful to have invested in the next level of my credentialing, and encourage other IECs to make the commitment to become certified! 

- - Sandra, educational consultant (NY)

Certification starts by completing an application covering one’s experience, education, and professional activities. CEPs must be full or part time college counselors (school-based or independent) or educational consultants, hold a Master’s degree or higher in a relevant field (or demonstrate extensive comparable experience including relevant certificate programs), and demonstrate, through references, high ethical standards. After the application is complete, counselors sit for an assessment. The goal of both the application and the assessment is not to exclude; rather, it is to include those who have made and will continue to make a difference in the lives of young people. CEPs are recertified every five years on the basis of college, school, and/or program visits, continuing education hours, and other professional activities.

In an increasingly specialized society, educational advising has earned a separate place in the world of education. For example, college counseling is no longer a tag-along to other school counseling functions; it is a separate, specialized area of professional expertise. As such, AICEP can improve the delivery of good advice by encouraging strong, value-oriented, and knowledgeable counselors to become Certified.

The Certified Educational Planner (CEP) designation is a mark of distinction demonstrating expanded knowledge and commitment to the profession. It gives families the assurance they need that they are working with a qualified professional who is committed to maintaining the highest quality of service to students.

Please join us in the quest to give increased professionalism to the field of educational consulting and counseling. Including the letters CEP after one’s name is recognition of the commitment to the very best in educational advising.


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