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An educational consultant helps parents and students with their educational planning. They are independent educational consultants, who are self-employed or part of a consulting firm, and are not compensated by schools. Educational consultants are similar to school counselors, although they are typically employed by one school.

Some educational consultants are generalists; however the norm is for the education consultant to specialize with a particular type of student, or students with a specific need, such as college placement or planning, students looking for a private education for high school, or even students with a learning disability or behavioral or emotional challenges. Some educational consultants specialize in graduate school admission. Although for the most part, educational consulting generally focuses on helping students select and gain admission to a specific private school for their high school education or college. Sometimes educational consulting will also help families develop a plan to meet certain objectives or resolve specific problems pertaining to their child’s education without including a school search. Educational consultants typically work on a fee-for-service basis, paid by their clients, or the families they are assisting. Educational consulting is still a very small industry, although it continues to grow each year. Most educational consultants hold a Ph.D., although it is usually not a requirement.

What Do Educational Consultants Do?

Educational consultants work with colleges, universities, public and private schools, other educational providers, corporate universities and for-profit educational providers. In the academic setting, they may provide educational consulting services to the provost or a vice president, assisting with strategic planning, positioning in the market place, student and teacher recruiting and retention, fund-raising, alumni relations, and even performance management. Parents and students working to get into graduate school or college also work with educational consultant services. In this aspect, the educational consultant will meet with the student and/or their family to determine their needs and goals, and will then assist them in meeting those goals, by outlining the various steps they will need to take to obtain their goals. These goals may range from getting into an exclusive private school to better prepare their child for their college education, or determining which college will better position them in the future for their bachelor’s degree and beyond. Educational consultant services also work with students who may have a learning disability to make recommendations on their educational plan, such as schools that are better equipped to meet their individual needs, or methods to improving their educational experience.

Who Regulates Educational Consultants?

Most educational management consultants and independent educational consultants are not bound by a specific statutory rule. Some may belong to organizations such as the Independent Educational Consultants Association. Members of that organization are bound to not accept monetary compensation from any school, to ensure that their clients receive objective, impartial advice. Many unaffiliated educational consultants keep these standards as well. Educational consultants are also expected to have a commitment to continuing their own education to keep up with changes in trends and other market place factors, such as new educational programs and how that might affect their clients. Independent educational consultants are not bound to any particular institution. The consultants who work specifically with schools and college and universities, typically do not have clients who are students looking for a place to continue their education.