For the IECA Membership Application

The IECA Membership Committee welcomes all qualified independent educational consultants, and we look forward to helping you find your place in the association. Professional references are an important piece of the holistic application review process. The following may be helpful to those seeking further guidance about the reference requirement.

What the committee would like to see from a reference is information giving a sense of your professionalism, knowledge, and commitment to the profession and ethics of independent educational consulting. Provide the contact information on your application form and the IECA office will request references on your behalf.

Associate Membership

One reference is required for Associate membership. For those who are newer to the field of counseling or admissions, we understand it can be challenging to begin making professional contacts. As you connect with colleagues in the field, visit campuses, or perhaps volunteer your IEC services in your community, consider who among these colleagues may be able to attest to your experience, and talk with them about your current practice.

Professional Membership

Three references are required for Professional membership. The best collection of references comes from a diverse group of professionals.

Having at least one reference from an admission officer with whom you have worked is always a plus. That is easier in a school or therapeutic placement, but most applicants for professional membership have established a professional relationship with a college rep who is their regional representative. Other educational professionals are also valuable: those who specialize in LD placements may find the director of a learning center on campus to be a more knowledgeable source.

Coworkers, especially those with whom you have worked in a school setting, are often great references, able to communicate information about your work ethic, knowledge, thoroughness, and more. For applicants who have worked in a large firm, having the principal IEC or managing partner serve as a reference can be valuable. The best reference in this regard would include an explanation of the work of the applicant, their specific responsibilities, and how the reference assisted the applicant in advising client families.

Those who have had a mentor—whether an IECA member or not—should include them as one of their references. The mentor has a great deal of information about the evolution of the applicant’s practice, the nature of the questions raised, and the way the applicant approaches clients and placements. All this can be part of a great reference.

References from a client family are valuable as well. The best references from clients explain the capacity in which they worked with the applicant, the role the IEC played with the students and the family, and provides some insight into the working relationship. Some references have come from community members with whom the applicant has worked, but are strongest when the writer has seen the IEC work with students and can attest to the nature of this work.

In addition, of value is a reference from an IECA member. Although never required, a testimonial from someone who is an IECA Professional member, who can speak to the applicants’ professional development, types of questions, ethics, and the like, often makes for a strong statement.

The best advice is to let your references know that a form will be emailed to them from IECA, and to ask them to respond in a timely fashion so your application does not get delayed.