A Student of Colleges: Fundamentals of Independent Educational Consulting, First Edition
By Steven R. Antonoff, Ph.D.
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From the preface to A Student of Colleges:
My life has been defined by my profession. It’s taken me to colleges around the globe and into the lives of thousands of students and thousands of parents. Through decades of private practice, I’ve learned the right and wrong ways to deliver services. Interacting with hundreds of colleagues—both novices and veterans—informed me about practices I could analyze and synthesize in order to come up with the paradigms presented in this book. As the author of two college planning books designed for students and parents, I’ve studied and shared what works and what doesn’t work as one goes through the hunt for a great fit college. I gained further knowledge and perspective through teaching and training independent educational consultants and through giving presentations to student and parent groups. I’ve taught, and I’ve learned.
This book reflects these learnings. Much of what you will read was originally developed for classes I taught at UCLA and University of California, Irvine (UCI). I developed the syllabus for the first class on educational consulting offered through the UCLA college counseling certificate program. When the UCI certificate program in independent educational consulting began, I created the syllabus for the Principles in Educational Consulting course. I also taught the final course, the Practicum, for UCI. The original outlines of several chapters in this book were conceived from those courses and from materials that I designed in teaching at the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) Summer Training Institute (formerly called Practices and Principles Institute).
This book is a lifetime in the making. When I was dean of students at the University of Denver, I learned how institutions affect students. I realized that colleges have a “feel.” That is to say, colleges are unique and serve different student needs. I then moved over to admissions and financial aid and gained a host of new perspectives. I learned how colleges market themselves, how college admission officials work with school-based counselors, and how important affordability and financial aid are in student and family decision-making. The university gave me insight into the minds of young people and the influence that adults can have on students who are transitioning and changing. I learned about how students choose a college and the factors affecting enrollment and retention. I also learned that I wanted to work directly with students.
Having a point of reference for professional success is essential. It is my intent to standardize the basic and best practices in the field.
And now I offer this textbook as a basic introduction to the field of independent educational consulting. It explores, analyzes, and explains many dimensions of the field. This book highlights the practices, principles, and tenets that define who we are, how we operate, and how we grow. I hope this foundational piece of writing serves as the basis for ongoing professional dialogue and sharing. I want to encourage leaders in the field to have a point of discussion for critical issues and perspectives. This book provides that beginning.
This book is designed to inform, and to keep it a reasonable length, I had to limit the information I wished to share. As with my prior books, the second edition will be more complete. Beyond informing, this book is intended to inspire. I wish to inspire readers to share my love of the profession of independent educational consulting. And I wish to use these pages to address what it means to be a student of colleges. It means to be an insatiable learner of college knowledge. It means to be a generous sharer of such rich knowledge. This book is my tribute to the world of higher education and its many students. We, as independent educational consultants, are lifelong students.
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298 pages ISBN 978-1-7335784-0-0