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Considering a college counseling credential

carolyncarolyn Registered User Posts: 7,435 Senior Member
edited November 2013 in Parent Cafe
I am considering getting my college counseling credential through UCLA's online credential program. It is a six course program with a 65 hour practicum at the end. The courses look wonderful and are taught (online) by some true experts in the field. It will cost about $3,000 to complete. My only concern is whether this will be "enough" to actually do consulting and build a business. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
Post edited by carolyn on

Replies to: Considering a college counseling credential

  • astrixastrix Registered User Posts: 2,439 Senior Member
    Only a thumbs up from me. You'll rock as a college counselor, all the best!
  • DrDrewsmomDrDrewsmom Registered User Posts: 679 Junior Member
    I am pretty ignorant about what the entire job description would be, but I would think you would be very good at it and it would be something you enjoy.

    What is/are the downside/s?
  • tsdadtsdad Registered User Posts: 4,035 Senior Member
    If you provide good advice no one will care about the degree.
  • msteemstee Registered User Posts: 3,132 Senior Member
    Carolyn, you have enough knowledge to start a business right now!
  • dstarkdstark Registered User Posts: 34,241 Senior Member
    Carolyn, I am sure you will be great if you go into this field. Follow your passion.

    Go for it.
  • sacsac Registered User Posts: 1,547 Senior Member
    Carolyn -- you'd be wonderful!

    Just helping you think out loud, these are some questions that would occur to me:

    Have you talked to anyone in the field about what the credential might or might not be worth in terms of getting established? Do most people just set out a shingle, so to speak? Start out a teachers and move into this?

    Often in fields that are just emerging, there is not a need for credentials while later, you can't get in without one. I don't know at which stage this one is. But you might also look at whether it would be worthwhile to get a credential that's broader -- for example in guidance counseling, or even a masters in counseling -- so you could take your interests in other directions at some point. I mean, this college admissions crunch isn't going to last forever? Well, it probably will last long enough to get you through a career, come to think of it...

    Beyond the credentialing issues, are the courses ones that you think would be worthwhile and would enjoy? Cause you know so much already.

    Seems like a perfect field for you!
  • AlumotherAlumother Registered User Posts: 6,233 Senior Member
    When I first went back to work, I was changing fields. I remember I was able to change at a reasonable level because my brand name college and business school allowed people to feel like the risk in hiring me was mitigated. I really don't know the college counseling field at all, but I imagine a lot of people will meet you, like you, be impressed with your knowledge, and then be finally made comfortable by the UCLA stamp. I do know UCLA grad school in education is top-ranked. My youngest sister got her PhD there - if the college counseling program is in the school of education let me know and I can see if she has any insight.
  • achatachat Registered User Posts: 2,146 Senior Member
    Carolyn, would the college counselling also include graduate school? Then I would send my son to you....

    As everyone else said, you would rock at it!
  • jmmomjmmom Registered User Posts: 9,084 Senior Member
    Carolyn - no doubt you would be great at it.

    Do you already know about the business-development aspects? IE, how you would find your clients? Or would you look to be hired at a school? For some personalities, the development of a client base is tougher than the actual work, as it has that "sales" element. If you've got that figured out, and like that part of it (at least a little) as well as the actual counseling, I don't see what can stop you.
  • demingydemingy Registered User Posts: 65 Junior Member

    I can't really offer advice about the credential benefit, but I can tell you that I would definitely be willing to be a client even without the credentials. I'm absolutely not kidding!
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 20,803 Super Moderator
    I also believe that you will be an excellent college counselor. I have the following questions. Is the credential program enough for you to do counseling in CA. Does it prepare you for the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) or whatever licensing that you would need?
    Do you think that a master's in school guidance would serve you better?
  • carolyncarolyn Registered User Posts: 7,435 Senior Member
    Thanks all. I have looked at the school counselor Master's at SDSU. It is a two year, full time program. Not really do-able at this point in my life, expensive, and the focus is on preparing to be a high school guidance counselor, not on college admissions counseling (you actually only take one or two classes in college admissions). I don't want to be a high school G.C. (at least not in California!)

    The reason I liked the UCLA program is that the focus is specifically on college admissions. Classes are online but it includes an actual required practicum. UCSD has a similiar program but it is not online and does not include the practicum. Since I haven't even gotten my own kids into college, I do not consider myself an expert on any of this stuff so this would be a good way to build that knowlege level up.

    Sac, thanks for your input in particular, especially the suggestion to talk to others in the field. I have a few contacts that would probably be able to answer some questions or at least point me in the right direction. The UCLA program was developed by the UCLA school of education but run through the UCLA extension. The certificate is from the UCLA extension. Obviously, however, you can say "Certificate in college admissions counseling from UCLA" :)

    One of the other things I like about this program is that it does include a course on how to establish a consulting practice specifically for college admissions consulting. I have started two decently successful businesses in my life and have years of marketing experience (not to mention an MBA in marketing) so I feel pretty comfortable I could work out the marketing aspects if I decided to do actual consulting down the road.

    However, The other goal I have set for myself is publishing a book on college admissions --- but, my initial inquiries into my contacts in the publishing world suggest that selling such a book would be easier with some sort of recognized credential. This would probably allow me to get the certificate in a short period of time while I keep working on the book.

    I am fascinated by this stuff and, to be honest, would probably enjoy the program even if I never actually do anything more than post here on College Confidential. But is it worth $3,000? I will have to chew on that a bit more.
  • zagatzagat - Posts: 2,360 Senior Member
    Carolyn, two thoughts. First, I would really check out what's being taught because I suspect you may already know as much as the teachers.

    Second, the best credential for writing a book or even being a private college counselor is having been an adcom at a good college. Some of these people do the job for a couple of years and then make huge dollars counseling. Would you maybe consider doing that?
  • momofthreemomofthree Registered User Posts: 1,486 Senior Member

    I imagine you have heard about the Lifetime Learning Tax credit, which would allow you to get back 20% of the outlay for the credential .. . might make it a little more palatable. I have been reading your post with my sons' school's college counselor in mind. S1 and S2 are attending an independent school, and the college counselor has, I think, a business degree. She is not a licensed school counselor, is largely self-taught, and is very good at what she does. Are there any such schools in your area which you might become affiliated with?

    In any case, I think your natural interest in all things college make this a wonderful course of action, and the case of one following her calling in life. I'd say anyone who could get you would be blessed indeed.
  • fireflyscoutfireflyscout Registered User Posts: 5,424 Senior Member
    Aha! You mentioned this once before, and I remember thinking how great that would be for you. Two thoughts:

    1. What could this course teach you that you don't already know? (Although you will need the certification)

    2. Is this an interest that will remain or pass after your children no longer need/require your assistance in the college search?

    I think you would make an outstanding college admissions counselor and I hope you go for it! (Besides, having a certificate in college admissions means that you're not a crazed mother)
This discussion has been closed.