Most parents recognize that quality schools and programs have independent oversight from either licensing or accrediting organizations (depending on state), and that provides some measure of confidence that the school is adhering to established standards of professional best practice and ethics. But many parents are not aware that similar to licensed or credentialed clinicians, there are ethical and professional standards for admissions offices and admissions professionals. Parents should inquire and know about the professional training, credentialing and professional organizational standards that their admissions professional ascribes to as it provides a second layer of assurance that he or she is also operating within the bounds of professional boundaries and standards.
My own personal pursuit of these standards, in addition to my educational credentials, have brought me to three important organizations.
1. AISAP – Association of Independent School Admission Professionals. This selective member organization not only provides intensive training, but also establishes the “Standards and Competencies for Admission and Enrollment Management Professionals”. These are available for review at http://www.aisap.org/page.cfm?p=4129.
2. AICEP – American Institute of Certified Education Planners. This organization certifies admission professionals and other professionals who are guiding parents such as educational consultants through a rigorous testing process to ensure knowledge and competency in matching students to the appropriate level of care. (www.aicep.org)
3. Organizational membership in NATSAP – The National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs. This professional organization sets guidelines not only for member organizations, but also for the marketing, advertising and admissions practices. (http://natsap.org/principles-of-good-practice ).