Working with Educational Consultants FAQs

Many parents seek the services of "Educational Consultants" when selecting a school or college for their child. They also use the services of Educational Consultants when selecting a program for a struggling teen and at-risk youth. SafePassage Adolescent Services works with qualified Educational Consultants located throughout the country. The following are just a few of the commonly asked questions associated with educational consultants:

How can an independent educational consultant help my family?


Selecting the right wilderness program, boarding school or rehab center is an important and often difficult decision you must make for your child. Many parents benefit from the assistance provided by qualified educational consultants, which generally have a master’s degree in their field and three or more years of admissions counseling experience. The right educational consultant can help you avoid common mistakes frequently made while under the stress associated with a troubled teen.

Seek assistance from those with personal knowledge of several programs - programs the consultants themselves have visited, reviewed or worked with in the past. SafePassage does not provide educational consulting services; however, we are familiar with numerous programs and we work with several educational consultants. If you would like a referral, please feel free to contact us.

Are there professional associations for Educational Consultants?

Yes. Full-time, professional educational consultants generally belong to a recognized association.

The Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), headquartered in the Washington, DC area, is widely recognized. It is a not-for-profit, international professional association representing full-time independent educational advisors. IECA was chartered in 1976 and they sponsor professional training institutes, workshops and conferences.


IECA National Office
3251 Old Lee Highway, Suite 510, Fairfax, Virginia 22030
Phone: 703-591-4850 | Fax: 703-591-4860

The National Association of Therapeutic Wilderness Camping (NATWC) represents over 50 therapeutic wilderness programs for young people across the country. Holly Hunter, the owner of SafePassage Adolescent Services, is a volunteer member of the NATWC board. More information is provided on our website here.


264 Brown Hill Road
Markleysburg, Pa. 15459
Phone: 724-329-1098

The National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) was created in January of 1999 to serve as a national resource for programs and professionals assisting young people beleaguered by emotional and behavioral difficulties. The Association is governed by an elected, volunteer Board of Directors comprised of representatives from the NATSAP membership.

NATSP members include therapeutic schools, residential treatment programs, wilderness programs, outdoor therapeutic programs, young adult programs and home-based residential programs.


126 North Marina, Prescott, Arizona 86301
Phone: 928-443-9505

What questions should I ask an Educational Consultant?

Ask consultants about their experience placing struggling teens. Some consultants have considerable experience placing troubled teens while others mainly focus on placing students in college-preparatory schools. Still others have extensive experience in both areas.

How many programs and schools does the educational consultant visit annually? What other sources of information do they rely on in order to keep up in the industry? Definitely ask about the relationship the educational consultant has with any of the programs or schools that are being considered – any financial arrangements (referral compensation), the number of students they have referred to those schools and how well the programs are working for their clients (i.e., testimonials).

How much does it cost to hire an educational consultant?

Given special purpose schools such as wilderness programs and rehab centers are very expensive, hiring a professional to help you make the right selection the first time can be well worth the cost. Educational Consultants frequently negotiate set fees based on an annual contract while others charge for his or her services based on hourly rates. Although the rates vary significantly, you can expect to pay at least two thousand dollars for an annual contract.

Hourly rates vary based on the experience level of the educational consultant. The number of hours required can vary significantly based on your situation and the level of assistance you are seeking. SafePassage recommends obtaining referrals whenever possible. Also, we recommend contacting at least three educational consultants; compare their backgrounds, testimonials and experience as well as their fees.

Lane Taylor