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10 Education Consultant Certifications You Should Check Out

Education Consultant Certifications are specialized credentials designed for professionals who advise educational institutions, educators, and students. These certifications typically cover areas such as curriculum development, educational technology, school administration, and student counseling. Obtaining a certification involves undergoing a structured program that includes coursework, practical training, and often a certification exam. Pursuing these certifications is beneficial because it can lead to increased trust from clients and a higher likelihood of securing consulting engagements. 


Location: Online

Costs: $5410

Dates: 12-21 months (dates vary)

Eligibility: Everyone is eligible


The University of California, Irvine (UCI) Division of Continuing Education offers a comprehensive Independent Educational Consultant Certificate Program. This program is particularly suited for educational consulting professionals planning to launch an independent practice. It delves into the intricacies of the college admissions process, providing essential insights that are critical for effective guidance. You will learn about legal considerations, insurance, marketing strategies, ethical issues, and general business practices, which are key to running a private educational consultancy. The program's curriculum is geared towards a diverse array of participants, including individuals transitioning into college admissions consulting, those aspiring to set up their own private educational consulting practice, and already established consultants seeking further professional development. The program's recognition and partnership with the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) and the Independent Educational Consultants Association add to its credibility.


Location: Online

Costs: $400

Dates: Varies

Eligibility: Everyone is eligible


The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) offers the Professional Certificate: College Admission for Emerging Leaders, a comprehensive course designed to equip new and aspiring college admission professionals with essential skills and knowledge. You will learn about college selectivity and decoding the high school profile, which are fundamental in assessing student applications. The basics of student engagement and data analytics are also covered, providing insights into how to interact effectively with prospective students and utilize data in decision-making. The course includes an introduction to ethics in college admission and addresses unconscious bias, ensuring a fair and equitable admissions process.


The course also offers an introduction to financial aid, which is a critical component of college admissions counseling. Participants will also learn about event management and budgeting, skills necessary for organizing successful admissions events. Additionally, the course covers presenting to office leadership, a key skill for those in or aspiring to leadership roles in admissions. This certificate program is ideal for new or newly hired admission professionals at higher education institutions, graduate students aiming for a career in college admission, and college counseling professionals seeking to transition into a college admission role.


Location: Online

Costs: $49

Dates: Varies

Eligibility: Everyone is eligible


The Scoir College Counseling Grades 9–12 Certification helps high school counselors and college advisors in assisting underserved and Title 1 students navigate the complexities of the college search and discovery process. Developed in collaboration with Julie Kampschroeder, a renowned Title 1 counselor with over three decades of experience, this certification offers a comprehensive overview of the process. The program is structured across four grades, each with 3-5 lessons delivered through on-demand video format, allowing participants to integrate the training conveniently into their schedules.


For Grade 9, the program focuses on 'Building the Foundation', which includes understanding the courses needed for college, earning college credit during high school, and building the student résumé & activity sheet. Grade 10 addresses the 'College Search and Discovery' phase, shedding light on the differences between educational institutions and their processes, and preparing students for testing. In Grade 11, the content gets more intensive with topics like 'Getting Serious About College', the importance of finding the right fit, four-year college degree planning, narrowing down college lists, and preparing to apply. Finally, for Grade 12 students, the program covers crucial areas such as 'Demonstrated Interest', steps to take 'Before You Apply', the application process itself, and important topics to discuss with students


Location: Online

Costs: $249

Dates: Varies

Eligibility: Everyone is eligible


The ASCA College Admissions Specialist certification is designed for school counselors to enhance their skills in preparing students for postsecondary success. Recognizing that the realm of college admissions can be complex and that many school counselors may lack formal training in this area, this certification aims to equip them with the necessary tools and knowledge. The course focuses on how school counselors can implement a comprehensive counseling program that bridges the gap between K-12 education and college, facilitating a smooth transition to postsecondary education. 


Moreover, the certification delves into how school counseling standards can support the development of these academic habits and readiness for higher education. It provides strategies for incorporating academic habits curriculum into classroom lessons and small groups, aligning with K-12 learning objectives. An important aspect of the course is discussing the significance of collaboration across K-12 grades to bolster students' postsecondary success. Finally, it equips counselors with strategies to collaborate effectively with school counseling, teaching, and administrative staff, fostering a culture of college and career readiness within the school environment. 


Location: Online

Costs: $11,200

Dates: 6-12 months

Eligibility: Everyone is eligible


The Northeastern University Graduate Certificate in Experiential Teaching and Learning dives into the theoretical foundations and practical applications of learning through experience. This certificate is particularly beneficial for K-12 classroom teachers looking to shift from traditional instructional methods to more experiential pedagogies, which are tailored to meet the diverse needs of learners. The program emphasizes the importance of educational equity, encouraging reflection, analysis, and action in teaching practices


Educators aspiring to take up leadership roles within schools will find this certificate especially valuable, as it covers essential content and skills for leading experiential learning initiatives among both students and adults. The program is also designed to align with the current needs of the Global Network of Experiential Learning Educators (NExT). Unique features of this certificate include its delivery in an online, experiential format, encompassing four 4-credit courses. Additionally, it offers the flexibility of being stackable into the Master of Education in Learning & Instruction


Location: Online

Costs: $499

Dates: Varies

Eligibility: Everyone is eligible


The Harvard Graduate School of Education offers a Certificate in School Management and Leadership (CSML), a program that spans four weeks and requires approximately three to four hours of weekly engagement. This course is structured to be both rigorous and flexible, catering to the diverse schedules of participants. The learning format is designed for cohort members to work through the course elements together, enhancing peer-to-peer learning and collaboration. Each week, participants have the autonomy to choose when to complete assignments within designated timeframes, engaging with specific content and projects


The CSML is specifically tailored for school leaders seeking to expand their expertise in educational leadership and management. It is ideal for a wide range of educational professionals, including early-career and experienced school leaders, teacher-leaders responsible for managing teams, and leaders from district, charter, faith-based, and independent schools. Additionally, it caters to school, district, or educational management leadership teams. 


Location: Online

Costs: The Google Certified Educator Level 1 exam is $10, the Google Certified Educator Level 2 exam is $25, and the Trainer Skills Assessment is $15.

Dates: Varies

Eligibility: Everyone is eligible


The Google for Education: Certified Trainer program allows educators and trainers aiming to enhance their skills in utilizing Google for Education products effectively in educational settings. To become a Certified Trainer, one must follow a series of steps. The first step involves completing the Trainer Course, which focuses on developing and enhancing the abilities to create and deliver training plans. This foundational step is critical in growing as a trainer. The second step is to complete the Trainer Skills Assessment, a crucial evaluation that assesses the readiness for training others. 


While not a mandatory requirement, obtaining the Educator Level 1 & 2 Certificates is highly recommended. These certificates, achieved by completing the Fundamentals and Advanced Training courses, help in building proficiency and prepare candidates for the certification exams. The final step in the process is to create a video that showcases training skills and submit the trainer application. The purpose of the Certified Trainer program is to empower educators not only to learn and use Google for Education products efficiently but also to improve student outcomes and foster leadership skills in the classroom. 


Location: Online

Costs: $4362

Dates: Self-paced ~1.5 years

Eligibility: Must have at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent at an accredited institution


The Certificate Program in College Admissions and Career Planning at UC Berkeley is a great resource for education consultants. Participants delve into a broad range of topics including admissions requirements for various educational institutions (public, private, local, national, and international), financial aid options and planning, techniques for advising special populations, counseling skills, self-appraisal instruments and their interpretation, as well as the uses of technology in college and career planning. The curriculum, which is overseen by an advisory board of professionals in the field and approved by the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Education, not only emphasizes theoretical knowledge but also practical application through field site observations and a comprehensive practicum. Furthermore, the program draws upon insights from leading professional organizations in the field such as the California Association of School Counselors (CASC), Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA), Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), and the Western Association for College Admissions Counseling (WACAC).



Bonus certifications that you can check out to boost your portfolio - 

Location: Online

Costs: $200 application fee and $250 recertification fee

Dates: The exam dates vary

Eligibility: Master’s degree is required


The American Institute of Certified Educational Planners (AICEP) offers a distinctive certification for education consultants, particularly in college advising and private educational consulting. This initiative acknowledges the comprehensive body of knowledge that counselors and consultants must possess, which spans the intricacies of the application process, understanding adolescent behavior, and navigating family dynamics. The certification process begins with an application that assesses an applicant's experience, education, and professional activities


Candidates for the Certified Educational Planner (CEP) designation must be engaged in college counseling or educational consulting on a full or part-time basis, possess at least a Master’s degree in a relevant field or have extensive experience that includes relevant certificate programs, and demonstrate high ethical standards through references. Following the application, counselors undergo an assessment. CEPs undergo recertification every five years, which evaluates their ongoing engagement with educational institutions, continuing education, and professional activities. 


Location: Online

Costs: $675

Dates: May 6 - June 14

Eligibility: Everyone is eligible


If you are an independent educational consultant, the American Institute of Certified Educational Planners (AICEP) offers a comprehensive web-based course designed to navigate the intricacies of launching and managing a consulting practice. This course is ideal for professionals with a background in college counseling and the admissions process. It covers a wide array of topics including the foundational aspects of starting a consulting business, practical steps for launching the practice, strategies for working with clients, navigating legal issues, pursuing professional development, and addressing general business concerns specific to independent educational consulting. The course is delivered entirely online and can be completed asynchronously within the set start and end dates, providing flexibility for participants. Enrollment grants immediate access to the course materials on the published start date or one business day after enrollment is confirmed for those signing up on or after the start date. Led by Steven L. Mercer, a seasoned independent educational consultant and a former admission officer at USC, these courses will prepare you to be an effective educational consultant.



If you’d like to recommend a rigorous research program open to high schoolers, you may want to consider the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students founded by researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 4000 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here. You can also reach out to us at contact@lumiere.education to know more, or to have a chat about possible collaborations!


Also check out the Lumiere Research Inclusion Foundation, a non-profit research program for talented, low-income students. Last year, we had 150 students on full need-based financial aid!


Jessica attends Harvard University where she studies Neuroscience and Computer Science as a Coca-Cola, Elks, and Albert Shankar Scholar. She is passionate about educational equity and hopes to one day combine this with her academic interests via social entrepreneurship. Outside of academics, she enjoys taking walks, listening to music, and running her jewelry business! 


Image Source: UCI Division of Continuing Education logo


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