HECA: Advancing Professionalism In College Admissions Consulting
The Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) is a professional organization focused exclusively on the practice of independent college admissions consulting. Since 1997, HECA has been dedicated to advancing professional standards for the higher educational consulting field while supporting our members as they expertly guide students through the transition from high school to college.
The Higher Education Consultants Association has a two-fold mission:
Support students and parents during the transition from high school to college, with a commitment to equity and access to higher education for all students.
Advance professional, ethical conduct, and standards for the profession of college admissions consulting.
To fulfill both parts of our organizational mission, all members agree to abide by HECA’s Standards and Ethics Statement for members. The Statement is based on four core values: ethical counsel, integrity, respect, and confidentiality.
In our actions, we strive to be a welcoming, collaborative, professional association that promotes volunteerism and integrity among our members.
Additionally, HECA members are expected to demonstrate a commitment to their own professional development by staying current with ever-evolving trends in college admissions, visiting and researching individual colleges and educational programs, and expanding their professional counseling and consulting skills in order to provide quality service to adolescents and parents. Learn more about HECA’s membership expectations.
Our members come from many different backgrounds, but all members must meet membership eligibility requirements that focus on demonstrating the demonstrate the training and experience necessary to effectively assist families during the college admissions process. Additionally, HECA members are expected to demonstrate commitment to ongoing professional development by participating in training and educational programs, visiting college campuses, and being actively involved in HECA and other professional organizations related to college admissions counseling.
Because the college admissions landscape is constantly evolving, HECA is committed to the professional development of our members. Our members have the opportunity to share information and knowledge with each other through member online groups and events, website resources, and our member newsletter. Additionally, HECA’s annual conference provides exceptional professional development opportunities, with guest speakers, educational sessions, college tours, leadership development, and networking opportunities.
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 do we do, and 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.
- 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)
- 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 [email protected]
Director, Standards & Ethics Chair
American College Admissions Consultants
Director, Professional Development Chair
Exploring College Choices, LLC
Standards / Ethics
HECA Standards And Ethics Statement
The mission of the Higher Education Consultants Association is to support independent education consultants as they work with students and parents during the transition into higher education by providing professional development, advancing ethical standards of conduct and promoting equity and access to higher education for all students.
In light of this mission, the HECA Board of Directors has approved a Statement of Standards of Ethics for HECA members.
Guided by the core values of sound advice, integrity, respect and confidentiality, HECA members pledge to act in accordance with the following Principles and Standards:
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 an ethical concerns report online*.
Organization / Contacts
Higher Education Consultants Association
P.O. Box 9636
Spokane, WA 99209
Standards & Ethics Chair
Equity & Access Committee Chair
Affiliate Relations Manager
Special Projects & Events Assistant
Director at Large
Professional Development Chair
Jill Athenour and Teo Salgado
2020 Conference Chairs
Becoming an IEC
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.