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Independent Counselors, Working With

Page history last edited by Traci Flowers 7 years, 8 months ago

(These results were initially compiled by Amy Baumgartel Singer at the Wheeler School.)


If looking for a counselor, consider accessing the resources at the Higher Education Consultants Association (http://www.hecaonline.org/) and/or the Independent Educational Consultants Association (http://www.educationalconsulting.org/)


It certainly appears like everyone wants to be in communication with each other to best help the student.


Most responses were "share your responses" from the high school side. It seems that many high school counselors have had/are having issues with poor communication between all parties. A few folks pointed me toward the NACAC document titled "What Parents and Students Should Know About Independent Counselors, Educational Consultants, and Commercial Counseling Centers" which can be downloaded here. A few independent counselors responded that they make their clients sign a waiver stating that the independent counselor is allowed to contact the high school counselor at will. Many are eager to be in communication with the high school counselors.


NACAC:  A Note About Independent College Counselors: http://www.nacacnet.org/events/2012/sessions/Documents/B6. Effective Practices for Collaboration Between School and Independent Counselors - Handout 2.doc


A few responses from high schools contained actual language that they are using and I include those anonymously below. In addition, one school (whose identity has been hidden) sent along the copy of the letter they send to an independent counselor once they find out that they are working with one of their students. I have included it after the individual responses with full permission. Thanks to all who took the time to respond!


Response A


I simply say to parents who ask,"There are things that individual counselors can do for students that time does not allow us to do within our school hours. Be sure that you are not paying for something that you can get for free within our college counseling program." Individual tutoring for subject areas on the college entrance exams is an area that I see independent counselors being of much help to students. We have had two students benefit from this type of help. I do not promote this or have any documentation on it, but if asked I feel very comfortable giving this information. I am all for working together. 


Response B


We tell the students "if you decide to hire an independent counselor, we invite the opportunity to consult with him or her. In fact, the better

independent counselors contact us late in the junior year to learn more about their client's overall record in the context of our school. Your best interest is our first priority, and to further that interest everyone in the process should be talking openly and honestly. We will need a written waiver from your parents to allow us to speak with the independent counselor."


Response C


Yes, we tell and have in print that we are willing to work with your ndependent counselor to better coordinate services for your child, however we need such permission in writing from the parent AND child and the (independent) counselor must contact us. We further tell parents that we will be writing honest letters as advocates and that the independent counselor cannot, so if you chose not to share information, please be sure you child works with us as well.



Letter to a counselor from a responding high school



Dear Ms. _:


Mr. & Mrs. Xandsuch have informed us that you have been working as an independent college counselor with their daughter, Edith. We are glad to cooperate with you and the Xandsuch family in the search for a college that will be a good fit for Edith.


Experience has shown that our efforts will be most successful if we all have a clear understanding of the college search/ application process at Q High School and the policies and guidelines which we use.

Specifics, which you need to know as you work with Edith and her family:


Recommended Test Dates:



Oct. junior year


Nov. junior year



Oct. junior year


Q High School does not offer commercial SAT Prep Courses. We do provide prep sessions in verbal and math sections of the SAT a few weeks prior to the test date. These sessions are recommended, but not required.


All questions from the colleges will be answered honestly and completely.

All recommendations and counselor reports are considered confidential and are communicated directly with the colleges.


We do not report standardized test scores to the colleges; the scores are not reported on the transcript.


We expect the students will write their own essays. We are glad to discuss and suggest edits, and to proof read.


We will send all requested information to the colleges prior to the application deadline, if we have at least a week's notice.


Q High School operates on a trimester system. First trimester grades are usually included in the first requested transcript. Mid-year report grades are not available until the second week of March.


Please note that Q High School does not rank students, nor does it weight GPAs.


Students who meet the CEEB criteria for extended time or other testing accommodations will need to have copies of the justifying documentation sent to Ms. Dingleheimer, director of our Academic Support Program and SSD Coordinator.


We will send a copy of the updated school profile and the current college-counseling handbook as soon as we receive them from the printer. If we receive a release form from the Xandsuches, we will be glad to send you copies of all our communications with Edith and the Xandsuch family. We hope that you will keep us informed of your progress.




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