What is a CEP, and Why Does it Matter to My Clients?

I am happy to announce that after a months-long process, I have been awarded the highest credential in my profession. I am now a Certified Educational Planner (CEP) awarded by the American Institute of Certified Educational Planners (AICEP).

“We are proud to have Jennifer Martin receive this certification,” said Rachel Sobel, Chair of the AICEP. “This certification sets the standard for professional educational planners in knowledge, experience, and ongoing professional development. There is no higher mark of distinction in the profession,” she noted.

Certification is granted to those college admissions consultants who meet rigorous application requirements including specialized training, significant professional experience, and involvement in professional activities and organizations.  I have passed a board-certified examination, have received professional references, and have pledged to adhere to stringent ethical practices in order to achieve this important credential.  

As a CEP, I will be recertified every five years to maintain the standard of excellence to the profession. The recertification process includes college visits, continuing education hours, and other professional endeavors. I will also submit to a stringent peer review.

“Certified educational consultants are remarkable,” noted Sobel.  “This group of professionals have demonstrated a high level of commitment to ongoing professional learning,” she concluded.

What all of this means to my clients is that I have made the commitment to continue to seek the latest and best information about admissions through college visits and ongoing professional training. The college admissions landscape changes quickly and each admissions cycle brings new hurdles for students and their families to overcome. Through my professional memberships and regular college visits, I am well prepared to help families navigate this sometimes byzantine process.

College visits are a very important part of staying current in the field as a college admissions consultant. I have participated in over 100 college visits in the past two years, and, to maintain my credential as a CEP, I agree to visit at least 70 campuses in the next 5 years. During college visits, I have the opportunity to meet with college admission officers to hear directly from them about the current and upcoming admissions cycles. I also can talk with college students about their experiences on campus. This allows me to help my own students build strong college lists and identify colleges that are great fits for their vision of their college experience.

The CEP Program began in 1994 under the sponsorship of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), an association representing experienced professionals in the field of college/educational/school/therapeutic program placements where I am also a member. “The CEP designation assures families that they are working with a qualified professional who is committed to maintaining the highest quality of service to their students,” said Mark Sklarow, Executive Director of IECA.

I believe that each one of my clients deserves the very best from me. By going through the process to become a CEP, I know that I am well-prepared to guide my students on their individual journeys from high school to the college experience of their dreams.

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