According to the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), those who want to become an educational consultant use their talents to work within their education system to help children. Below outlines four steps of becoming a successful educational consultant.
Almost all consultants in any industry will have a master’s degree related to their field. A Master of Arts in Education is a liberal-based degree that provides graduates with the integrated views needed to excel as independent consultants. The mission of most of these graduate programs is to actively engage and support modern educators so that they can develop the reflective and collaborative capabilities that are needed to become highly effective educators. These programs teach students about qualitative research, so students learn how to design studies and gather information through their work environments. Advanced educational strategies will touch on contemporary teaching theories and practices, so students will be ready to provide customized academic advice for their clients.
Select a Specialization
Educational consultants help their clients with a variety of academic challenges. Some prepare students to make the transition between education programs, such as going from high school to college, but others only provide advice to prospective students regarding the college selection and admissions processes. Some educational consultants only deal with filling out financial aid applications or preparing students for college admissions tests. Others work exclusively with special populations, such as athletes or international students. Clearly, there are numerous specialties within the discipline, so those who want to become educational consultants must choose their specialization ahead of time. Educational consultants usually work as independent contractors that are directly hired by parents, but some work within certain school districts or colleges.
Those who want to become an educational consultant must first ask themselves a series of serious, self-probing questions. For example, they should consider how their deepest beliefs will both enrich and compromise their ability to serve their clients. They must know if they are willing to ask teachers and parents hard questions that may cause discomfort. When it comes to struggling students who need help, educational consultants must know how much they are willing to risk in order to validate and assist those whose voices aren’t being heard. Finally, they must consider if they will be able to maintain a huge online network of resources, supporters and acquaintances who will help them help their students.
Future Job Duties
Understanding the job duties of an educational consultant will help individuals prepare now for their future career. Most educational consultants work within K-12 programs. Here, they serve as advisors in developing, implementing and assessing various programs. These include instructional, academic and behavioral programs for children. For instance, this may involve projects designed for children with special education needs, or training professional teachers how to incorporate new technology solutions into their classrooms. Educational consultants must know how to plan, prepare and conduct meetings, activities and assessments. They must know how to work with community service providers, develop appropriate goals and develop content for programs.
Related Resource: Curriculum Development Careers
Although it’s not a requirement, maintaining membership in a professional organization, such as the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) or Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), is another way to indirectly become an educational consultant.