Are You Eligible for HECA Membership?
The Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) is a professional association for college admissions consultants. Our members come from a variety of backgrounds, but all share a dedication to providing professional and ethical assistance to the families they serve.
To be eligible to join HECA as a Member, you must:
- Hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited, not-for-profit college or university.
- Demonstrate experience:
- As an educational consultant for 2 years, or
- As a high school counselor or college admissions officer for at least 2 years and has practiced as an independent educational consultant for at least 1 year and served a minimum of 10 students in that practice, or
- By providing proof of completion of a practicum based college counseling program that includes working directly with students under the supervision of an experienced professional. At this time these are the ONLY recognized programs we accept: UCLA College Counseling Certificate, UC Irvine Independent Educational Consultant Certificate, UC Riverside College Admissions Counseling Certificate, and UC Berkeley Certificate in College Admissions and Career Planning.
- Have attended one or more professional college admissions conference/s within the last 18 months and have completed a minimum of 20 college visits within the first two years. Virtual visits are accepted at a 3:1 ratio.
- Provide ONE professional reference who can attest to your professional work ethic and pathway. The recommendation MUST be provided by one of the following: Active HECA Member, High School Counselor, or a College Representative. A recommendation from one of the Certification Program Instructors WILL NOT be accepted. This recommendation must come from someone who you have worked with, has known you for more than one year, and can attest to your work with students and families. This document may be requested from within the application.
- Provide documentation of evidence of completion of the highest degree and, if appropriate, a copy of an approved certificate program (UCLA, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, and UC Berkeley). Documents may be uploaded in the application.
- Commit to ongoing professional development through attendance at conferences, workshops, and thorough visits to college and university campuses.
- Agree to abide by HECA’s member Standards and Ethics Statement. (Note: you will be asked to agree to these when you apply for membership).
- Attend HECA’s New Member Orientation (this is available virtually) within a year of joining.
- Attend the annual HECA conference within the first two years.
If you believe you are eligible for membership in HECA, the next step in applying for membership is to review HECA’s expectations for members.
If you do not meet the full Member eligibility requirements, you may be eligible to join HECA as a Provisional Member. Check here to learn more about HECA Provisional Member requirements.
HECA is an organization comprised of individual members. In a multi-person practice, each IEC is eligible for membership in HECA, and their membership application will be reviewed individually. HECA membership benefits are extended to an individual, not a practice.
If you are interested in becoming an IEC but don’t have any experience yet, click here for some ideas on how to get started.
*HECA’s membership cycle is March 1 through February 28. Membership for new members joining HECA from March 1 through November 30 will expire on February 28 of the following year. Those who join between December 1 and February 28 will receive membership through the rest of the current membership cycle plus the next membership cycle (up to 15 months).