In January 2014, the Executive Board of the Western Association for College Admission Counseling (WACAC) convened a special Taskforce on Independent Educational Consultants (IECs). We invited all 1700+ members and had a 30% response rate on number questions on how the Association could best serve IECs, who now make up a significant portion of WACAC members.

One of the major questions we asked was how WACAC membership is considered for IECs. As a result of our research the Task Force on Independent Educational Consultants recommended that the Executive Board and the Membership Committee consider new, more transparent membership requirements for IECs.

If you are a current IEC WACAC member, and you do not allow your membership to lapse, then you do not need to meet these new requirements. You will be “grandfathered” in and your membership will not change.

If you are a new WACAC member (or you are reinstating a lapsed membership) below are the new membership requirements:

Must Have:
-A bachelor’s degree from a U.S. regionally accredited, not-for-profit college/university

-One year experience working as an Independent Counselor


Current membership (beyond student level) with one of the following: Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA), Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), or National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC).


Full-Time college admission counseling experience in an U.S. regionally accredited not-for-profit postsecondary college/university or secondary school or not-for-profit organization.

Must Complete:
A WACAC New Independent Counselor Orientation within 3 months of joining.

A significant result of the survey was 93% of respondents agree that WACAC should   be the organization that brings college consultants in private practice, school-based counselors, and college admission professionals together to collaborate in helping students reach their higher education goals.

For more information please review the Executive Summary of 2014 WACAC Survey on Independent Educational Consultants.

Thank you to members of the 2014 WACAC Taskforce on Independent Educational Consultants:

Robynne Royster- WACAC Past-President; California College of the Arts
Esther Lopez-WACAC Membership Committee Chair; De La Salle High School
Deren Finks- Former WACAC Executive Board Member; Independent Educational Consultant
Jenny Umhofer- Independent Educational Consultant
Stephanie Meade- Independent Educational Consultant
Jeana Kawamura- Independent Educational Consultant

Steven Mercer, Ed.D.
Chair – WACAC Taskforce on Independent Educational Consultants
Mercer Educational Consulting