Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Evolving Role of Independent Educational Consultants, Part 2

Times change.

Recent events, both large and small, have hammered this point home for me these last few months.  On the positive side, it cost me a few less bucks to fill my gas tank yesterday than it did a few weeks ago; but that joy was quickly squelched when my eldest daughter’s college tuition bill came due. 

For those of you who are followers of Loeta and consistent readers of this blog, you know that we pride ourselves on our ability to change with the times.  Our last blog was all about the changing demographics of our clients, and before that we have spoken about changes in programming and schools as well.  Throughout all of this change one thing remains consistent; the product that we are delivering, however if one were to look at the delivery method today versus 5 years ago one would see a marked difference.

Whether it be more flexible contract lengths, more a-la-carte services being offered, an emphasis on case management, or more effective use of video conferencing and social media; more so than ever the overall trend is that educational consultants must look at each case individually, work with the clients and meet the clients where they are (both literally and metaphorically) as opposed to the older model of generating lists and doing straight placement.

When speaking with families I tell them that with 25 years experience, and literally hundreds of site visits and clients during that time, when it comes to the schools and programs - I am indeed the expert.  Conversely they have raised their child, changed diapers, mended skinned knees, and been there through the good times and bad; therefore they are the experts when it comes to their child.  I let families know I depend upon their expertise, and that as a team we will find the best possible academic and/or emotional environment for their at-risk loved one.

So yes, times have changed.  While many lament at the fact that we can’t buy a new car for $5,000 or home for $50,000, I prefer to embrace the fact that we now have so many more options; newer and better ways to communicate and deliver information, a wealth of research and education when it comes to new modalities of treatment and a society which is finally embracing the fact that different doesn’t necessarily mean bad.

Now If I could just do something about that college tuition bill…