About Us

aboutus
aboutus

HECA: Advancing Excellence in Higher Education Consulting

History of the Higher Education Consultants Association

HECA was founded by a group of higher education consultants who recognized the need for standards and professional development for those in the growing field of higher education consulting. The new organization received support and assistance from college admissions officials, who welcomed HECA’s commitment to advancing high ethical standards for the profession.

As the organization grew, HECA increased the depth and variety of the professional development programs offered to both experienced and newer consultants. HECA now hosts a membership conference each year to provide our members with opportunities to stay current on trends in college admissions and educational consulting. The conference also gives members a chance to network with colleagues across the country.

Today, HECA has grown from its initial membership of 38 to more than 1,000 professional college admissions consultants from every region of the United States. Our members serve the college planning needs of more than 40,000 high school seniors each year. Many of our members also actively assist low-income students through pro-bono advice and volunteer service to non-profit organizations and local schools.

Our Mission

To foster a culture of support for the HECA community to develop personally, professionally, and ethically.

Our Vision

In our actions, we strive to be a welcoming, collaborative, professional association that promotes volunteerism and integrity among our members.

Strategic Goals

Our organization aims to continue:

  • enhancing our organization’s credibility and recognition both internally and externally
  • fostering a culture of support for the HECA community to develop personally, professionally, and ethically
  • expanding our efforts in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion
Advocacy
Advocacy

HECA Government Relations Committee (HGRC)

For Equity and Access Resources, click HERE (members-only resource).

June 2021: Your HECA E&A and GRAC Committees want to keep you informed about some important topics happening at the federal level. The US Department of Education announced actions to increase equity in education this week.  If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please feel free to contact Scott Garbini at equity-access@hecaonline.org.

Recent HGRC Activities: Six HECA members participated in the first PNACAC Oregon Virtual Advocacy Day April 7, 2021. With support from NACAC, 21 legislators in Oregon met with constituents to discuss and learn about issues in higher education.

Other HGRC Activities: HECA Government Relations Committee in partnership with the American Council on Education, has signed a number of letters recently. Topics include: support for international students, support for The Dream Act, and support for the American Rescue Plan Act.. Click HERE to see other initiatives the HGRC has been following.

What can you do? Write to your federal legislators thanking them for their hard work! Pick the topic you are the most passionate about. We will have a template available soon. In the meantime, please direct any questions to Marie Morris, hgrc@hecaonline.org, or Scott S. Garbini, equity-access@hecaonline.org.

Also, a message went out on the listserv regarding the recent and ongoing violence targeted at Asian Americans.

In keeping with HECA’s mission statement to “promote equity and access to higher education for all students”, HECA condemns the growing incidence of violence and discrimination against Asian American students, as well as students from Asian countries, occurring in US schools and postsecondary institutions. We stand by our students and colleagues who are Asian, Asian American, or Pacific Islanders, and against all acts of violence and hate, and we urge our fellow citizens to do the same.

Here are some resources to educate and act:

Mission

To Establish a national presence for HECA by educating legislators on the work IECs do, HECA’s code of ethics, and our membership guidelines and vetting process. Committee members work to raise the profile of IECs, especially HECA, within NACAC and its affiliates.

What We Do & Why

Stay appraised of legislation being discussed in different states and nationally, which could impact HECA’s members and/or mission, and work with NACAC and its affiliates and other organizations where appropriate.

Goals

To educate legislators locally and nationally on the work HECA members do, our mission, our standards and ethics principles, our vetting process for members, and our professional development opportunities supporting an organization of credentialed professionals.

Educate HECA members regarding pending legislation where appropriate and enlist support.

To work with NACAC and its affiliates where appropriate.

Snapshot of HECA members who belong to ACAC affiliations

(approximate numbers)

WACAC 385
PNACAC – 110
NEACAC – 115
SACAC – 108
RMACAC – 67
TXACAC – 70
NYACAC – 65
PCACAC – 50
NJACAC – 49
PennACAC – 34

For more information or questions, please contact Marie Morris at hgrc@hecaonlne.org

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becomingiec

Becoming an IEC

BECIEC

Are you considering the field of Independent Education Consulting?

Independent education consultants (IEC’s) assist students and their families in the college search and application process. Finding the right school and match between the college/university offerings and the student’s academic, social and personal needs enriches a student’s life and plays a major role in their future. The process of finding the right fit or ‘match school’ is of vital importance to the IEC.

If you are considering a future in Independent Education Consulting, there are many programs available to prospective IEC’s.
College Counseling programs recognized by HECA are the online UC Irvine, UCLA and UC Berkeley programs through their extension offerings.

Numerous articles are available at our HECA website, such as the benefits of membership.

BECIEC

If you are seriously considering a career as an IEC, you might consider attending HECA’s annual conference (membership not mandatory), usually held in June. More than 350 HECA members, college representatives and exhibitors from all over the globe are in attendance. At the conference, you can network with education consultants who are established in the field, as well as provisional members who are starting their practice or in the process of receiving their certificate training. Of particular interest would be the pre-conference Professional Development Institute.  You can access all conference information on the HECA website, including this year’s conference dates and locations.

If you have specific questions, please contact the Membership Chairperson at membership@hecaonline.org.

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leadership
leadership

Leadership

Executive Board

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Marie Morris

President

Beyond 18 College Consulting
president@hecaonline.org

2020LeadershipHeadshot_0008_Scott_pic

Scott S. Garbini

President Elect

Garbini Education and Career Consulting, LLC
presidentelect@hecaonline.org

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Cheri Barad

Past President

Cheri Barad Education Consulting
pastpresident@hecaonline.org

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Todd Weaver

Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair

Strategies for College, Inc.
treasurer@hecaonline.org

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Chris Holzwarth

Director, Professional Development Committee Chair

Beyond the Applause, LLC
profdevelop@hecaonline.org

HECA_sandy_lawrence

Sandy Lawrence

Director, Membership Committee Chair

Sandra Lawrence Independant Educational Consultant
membership@hecaonline.org

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Maureen Chang

Director, Standards & Ethics

Alma Mater College Admission Consultants
ethics@hecaonline.org

2020LeadershipHeadshot_0008_Teo_pic

Teo Salgado

Secretary

Verve Smith
secretary@hecaonline.org

HECA_dr_jerry

Dr. Jerry Daniels

Director, Communications Committee Chair

Daniels Educational Consulting
communications@hecaonline.org

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Brenda Gerhardt

Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee Chair

DEI@hecaonline.org

HECA_virginiab

Virginia Buege

Operations Manager

operations@hecaonline.org

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organizationcontacts
organizationcontacts
orgcontacts

Organization / Contacts

orgcontacts

Marie Morris

President
president@hecaonline.org

Maureen Chang

Standards & Ethics Chair
ethics@hecaonline.org

Toni Marie Teeter

Business Partners Manager
businesspartners@hecaonline.org

Toni Marie Teeter

Exhibits Manager
exhibitors@hecaonline.org

Virginia Buege

Operations Manager
operations@hecaonline.org

Scott S. Garbini

President-Elect
presidentelect@hecaonline.org

Dr. Jerry Daniels

Communications Chair
communications@hecaonline.org

Lisa Hatch

Webinar Manager
webinars@hecaonline.org

Jodi Glou & Melissa Mieyr

2023 Conference Chairs
2023conference@hecaonline.org

Aralyse Johnson

Special Projects & Events Assistant
assistant@hecaonline.org

Cheri Barad

Past President
pastpresident@hecaonline.org

Teo Salgado

Secretary
secretary@hecaonline.org

Sandy Lawrence

Membership Chair
membership@hecaonline.org

Ellen Kuppersmith & Audrey Slaughter

College Fair Co-Chairs
collegefair@hecaonline.org

Stephanie Davis

Social Media
hecamedia@hecaonline.org

Todd Weaver

Treasurer
treasurer@hecaonline.org

Chris Holzwarth

Professional Development Chair
profdevelop@hecaonline.org

Brenda Gerhardt

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Chair
DEI@hecaonline.org

Colleen Reed & Dianne Keilholtz

Regional Coordinators
communityreps@hecaonline.org

standardsethics
standardsethics
standardsethics

HECA Standards & Ethics Statement

The mission of the Higher Education Consultants Association is to foster a culture of support for the HECA community to develop personally, professionally, and ethically.

In light of this mission, the HECA Board of Directors has approved a Statement of Standards and Ethics for HECA members.

If you feel that an educational consultant has violated the HECA Standards and Ethics policy,
please review our suggested steps for resolving ethical matters or *submit ethical concerns report online*.

Printable version of HECA Standards and Ethics Statement

standardsethics

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800.662.6775
hecalive.org

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