Why Hire an IEC?

We’ve been enjoying many of your responses and the inquiries that you have been making. But, now that you know a little bit about us and what an IEC is, the next question that many of you are asking is–Why should we hire an Independent Educational Consultant (IEC)? IECs are able to provide personal and individualized services in your search for the right college fit. Sure there are high school guidance couselors who can also assist in the process; however, their main purpose is to make sure that the student is focused on passing their classes (9th-12th grade) and fulfillng their requirements for graduation. Some assistance will also be given with general college information, such as: testing dates, letters of recommendations, and possible college fairs. Truth be told, an IEC can and will provide the same information as that of a guidance counselor; however, with an IEC, more detail and attention will be given to each of the clients. It’s a personalized experience. IECs can clarify the quite confusing and frustrating process of searching, applying, and choosing the right college for the student. Assistance with applying for financial aid, writing personal statements, and researching and writing scholarships are just some of the individualized attention an IEC can and will provide. One of the most beneficial attributes of an IEC is that they have the “time” to research, visit, and inquire about the colleges that your child is most likely interested in attending. Time is so crucial (and many say that “time is money”) and sometimes there just seems to not be enough of it. An IEC is able to assist in making college a realistic option, all with the intentions of making sure that the college the student chooses is the right “fit” for them.WordItOut-word-cloud-1532311

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What Does “The Right Fit” Mean?

The Right Fit

In our last post the final statement we wrote was…”In the end, IECs work for the student and family to make sure that the process is seamless and that the right FIT occurs.” Well, what does that mean, “The Right Fit”?

Finding the right college and checking to see if it “fits” right is a lot like clothes shopping: the clothes might look great when you are looking at them through the window, but when you go in to try something on, it doesn’t quite fit. Sometimes, that piece of clothing just looks better on the hanger than it does on you. Making sure that the school you attend provides you with sound academic and social opportunities is imperative. In regards to these two areas, factors such as the availability of majors, internships, study abroad programs, and research opportunities may affect your academic satisfaction. In addition, there are other areas that might be of concern to you as well, such as: athletics, size of campus and class sizes, distance from home, Greek life, urban versus rural setting, etc. Granted that there is no such thing as the “perfect” fit, but it doesn’t hurt to see if you can get close. It’s better to find those imperfections now rather than $15,000-$60,000 later.

There are way too many stories out there where kids have gone off to college (whether it be in state or out) and are immediately wanting to go back home because of their discontent with the school. A lot of students come back saying, “I didn’t know that the school didn’t offer the program that I wanted,” or some even come back saying, “The campus just felt too big and impersonal. I didn’t like that I only saw my professor in lecture in a group of three hundred.” Some of these realizations could have been avoided if a little bit of research had been done.

Here are some things to think about when looking at colleges and figuring out if the school is the “right fit” or not. (This was taken from Judith Christie, a college planning consultant from Oregon.)

First, before you start your college search have a heart to heart talk with yourself along the following lines:
1. Think of why you want to go to college in the first place.
2. Think about what you expect from your college experience, socially and academically.
3. Think about your strengths and weaknesses. Now is the time for honesty – not the way you wish you were, but how you really are.
4. Think about what interests you and what you enjoy. Not what will make you a lot of money or what your parents want, but what gives you satisfaction.
5. Give some thought to what you don’t know and want to learn.

Second, look at the different colleges in a realistic way:
1. Arrange your priorities in a list of importance. What has to be right about the school and what can you, in your own mind, negotiate.
2. Keep focused on what is important to and for you.
3. Remember what is great about a school for one student may not be the same for another.
4. Look at colleges that meet your most important priorities and ones that offer the best chance that these priorities will be met – most of the time.
5. Look at the overall quality of the college or university. Don’t look at a college through a telescope but rather through binoculars.
6. If you are an athlete be sure that the college fits your needs beyond your sport.

Third, have a range of schools to pick from:
1. You may have a “first choice” because to you it is the “right fit”, but the truth is that there can be, and should be more than one “first choice”.
2. Your final list should contain colleges – be they reach schools, probable admits or safety schools in which you would be happy academically and socially.
3. The proof that there is not just one school for you is that statistics show that for most students the school they end up attending usually turns out to provide them with a very happy and successful college experience.

What is an Independent Educational Consultant?

It is now the month of March and those of you who have gone through the college application process are now patiently (or impatiently) waiting for acceptances and dreading those “other” letters. We are keeping our fingers crossed for each and every one of you. With that said…

We wanted to spend a little time here to re-familiarize you with who and what an independent educational consultant (IEC) is and does. An IEC is a professional individual who is contracted by a student and their family to advise in the area of college planning and/or college counseling to find the right fit for the student. In other words, IECs provide individualized services to aid the family in educational planning. Whether it be looking for a vocational/tech school, a community college, or a four-year university, IECs are there to listen to the family and their desires for “what’s next” after high school. They provide extensive experience and thorough knowledge of the schools and colleges. This relationship can provide assistance in deciding factors such as cost, location, social life, and most importantly–curriculum.  In addition, IECs supply an objectivity to help families understand all of their options when making a decision during a time that is extremely confusing and stressful. The IECs’ main purpose in working with students is to make sure that the decision the student and family makes is one that will nurture and foster the student’s academic AND social growth; there needs to be a balance. IECs are well aware of the important criteria within the application process and common mistakes to avoid when making recommendations for placement. IECs follow the “Principles of Good Practice” of the IECA, and there is a rule of thumb that families must understand–it is that “IECs [members] neither guarantee placement nor outcomes.” IECs are not affiliated nor work under contract with a given institution, providing complete objectivity when searching for a program/school. With an IEC, the student and family have the opportunity to explore a wider variety of options and discuss possibilities with a knowledgeable professional who can provide insight to help ensure that the best decision is made. In the end, IECs work for the student and family to make sure that the process is seamless and that the right FIT occurs.

Introducing….

On our most recent college trip, visiting beautiful Pepperdine University!

On a college trip in 2013, visiting beautiful Pepperdine University!

Hello Everyone!

We would like to re-introduce ourselves and our business to you. It has been about a few years since we’ve done this and there has been plenty of changes.

We are now known as KaMi College Consulting, Inc. Educational Consultants, and would like to help you find the best match as far as selecting a college is concerned. We work one-on-one with students [and their families], helping to identify colleges and universities that offer the best opportunities for connecting student learning and student needs, while keeping the student on track through every phase of the college search and application process. We are not employed by any school; we work for you!

KaMi College Consulting is co-owned by Kate Spear and Michelle Choi, both residents of Eastvale, CA. Kate spent over 16 years in the classroom teaching 2nd and 6th grades where she excelled at motivating and working with her students.  Michelle brings over 21 years of experience as a Language Arts teacher both at the intermediate and high school level; however, the last 15 years have been working with high school juniors and seniors. She brings a level of expertise preparing students for collegiate level writing and assisting their clients through the college essay process. Together we offer personalized, professional services to address the unique needs of the student on their college search and throughout the college admissions process.

5 Things You Might Know About TCU…and 5 Things You Might Not!

College Visits are a great way to check out a college for yourself, and see how you feel on the campus. Summer visits don’t give you the usual hustle and bustle feel, but there will usually be some students there, and a quiet, subdued visit is better than no visit at all!

If you are a sophomore or junior in high school right now, it’s definitely time to start thinking about your college visits – a perfect time to see what a school you might be considering is really like without solely relying on their website or brochure.  Seniors might choose to make a visit before they send off their applications, or wait until they have been accepted instead.  With all of the colleges out there, how do you begin to narrow your college search?  Check back with our blog frequently (or better yet-sign up to get our blog sent straight to your email), as we will be posting things we have observed on our most recent college visits.

Today, the KaMi Spotlight is on Texas Christian University, located in Fort Worth, TX.    The pictures are from our visit there in June of 2015.

5 Things You Might Know:

• A campus filled with an infinite amount of school spirit. Their mascot, the Horned Frog, can be found everywhere on campus.

• Division I, and part of the Big 12 Conference.

• Enrollment for 2014 was approximately 10,033 students.

• Cost to attend (2015-2016) is  $53,480 a year.

• The student to faculty ratio is 13:1, with an average class size of 27.

5 Things You Might Not Know About TCU:

• TCU has active and involved students…there are over 200 clubs and organizations and 35 fraternities and sororities to choose from.

• There is a two year on-campus living requirement.

• Besides the many places to eat on campus, a student’s Frog Bucks are accepted at 30 locations around town.

• Students are required to take one class of Religious Traditions, but there isn’t a chapel requirement.

• TCU offers 8 colleges and schools with over 100 majors from Actuarial Science to Writing. Students take a core curriculum that stays with them if they change their major.

TCU offers big-time athletics, opportunities, and experiences in Ft. Worth, the 17th largest city in the U.S. (and where “cowboy meets culture”). If you get to visit here, you will have lots to do and see!

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King Hall- one of twenty residence halls.

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Frog Fountain

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We peeked into one of the classrooms, notice the purple here?

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A common area in one of the dorms.

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Student Rec. Center.

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Head football coach Gary Patterson                                                                           (who used to coach Kate’s husband, John, at Sonoma State).

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A trophy case dedicated to a former San Diego Chargers’ player and former alum LaDainian Tomlinson.

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It’s not everyday that you get to check out the head coach’s office and trophies!

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The view from Coach Patterson’s office…amazing!

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Coach Patterson’s secretary was too kind- she let us take a picture of a championship ring AND her own pendant!

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TCU students get to sit right behind the bench (of the opposing team!).

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The Horned Frog.

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5 Things You Might Know About The University of Hawaii at Manoa… and 5 Things You Might Not!

If you are a junior in high school right now, it’s definitely time to start thinking about your college visits – a perfect time to see what a school you might be considering is really like without solely relying on their website or brochure.  With all of the colleges out there, how do you begin to narrow your college search?  Check back with our blog frequently (or better yet-sign up to get our blog sent straight to your email), as we will be posting things we have observed on our most recent college visits.

Today, the KaMi Spotlight is on The University of Hawaii at Manoa, located on the beautiful island of Oahu.

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5 Things You Might Know:

• A 320 acre tropical campus located in Honolulu, HI.

• Division 1, Rainbow Warriors, and part of the Western Athletic Conference.

• Enrollment for 2013-2014 is approximately 20,000 students, which includes close to 6,000 graduate students.

• Cost of tuition (2014-2015) for a Non-Resident is $28,632 a year.  However, U of H at Manoa participates in the WUE Program which could bring down the tuition costs to $14,760.

• The student to faculty ratio is 14:1.

5 Things You Might Not Know About U of H at Manoa:

• All students take an Intro to Hawaii Pacific class to learn cultural information.

• Currently finishing construction of a new student recreation center, to open in Spring of 2014.

• Known for their Biology and Marine Biology programs.

• About 70% of the students are residents of Hawaii.

• Class sizes can range from 6- 250, but average 25-35.  Honors classes are capped at 30 students.

This school is very diverse, and while on the larger size, has a very friendly feel!

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Welcome!

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The odds of a freshman getting a parking pass are very slim…good thing these buses take you wherever you need to go on the island!

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The Queen Lili’uokalani Center for Student Services- and where you will begin your tour of the campus.

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The view out the window of the main dining area.

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Murakami Stadium, on the lower end of campus.

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Tennis courts, parking structure, and Stan Sheriff Center.

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These round buildings are the freshman dorms.

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These towers are upper division housing.

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5-story Hamilton Library.

5 Things You Might Know About Azusa Pacific University…and 5 Things You Might Not!

If you are a junior in high school right now, it’s definitely time to start thinking about your college visits – a perfect time to see what a school you might be considering is really like without solely relying on their website or brochure.  With all of the colleges out there, how do you begin to narrow your college search?  Check back with our blog frequently (or better yet-sign up below to get our blog sent straight to your email), as we will be posting things we have observed on our most recent college visits.

Today, the KaMi Spotlight is on Azusa Pacific University (APU).   IMG_1840

5 Things You Might Know:

• APU is a small, private Christian college divided into a West and East  campus in Azusa, CA. The average class size is 19 students.

• Cost to attend with room and board is approximately $40,000 a year.

• Enrollment for 2012-2013 was around 5,500 undergrad students and approximately 10,000 total students.

• Will be in its 3rd year of transitioning to NCAA Div.2, with full membership anticipated for 2014-2015. (7 men’s sports and 10 women’s.)

• The second largest Christian University in the U.S., 1st largest on the West Coast.

5 Things You Might Not Know About APU:

•Approximately 2,300 students have an on-campus job, working 10-15 hours a week, around their class schedule.

• A trolley runs every 7 minutes, taking you back and forth between the East Campus and the West.

•Chapel is required 3x a week, along with 18 units of Biblical Studies.

• When you arrive at APU you will be given a Strengths Assessment that will help you in choosing a major (or help in confirming your choice- based on your results.)

• There is a greenhouse on the roof of the Segerstrom Science building.  A BBQ is held monthly on the patio for the Science professors and students.

Azusa Pacific focuses on its 4 cornerstones of Christ, Scholarship, Service, and Community.  It offers many opportunities to develop oneself in these ways.  APU also is very clear on its beliefs: make sure to do your research at http://www.apu.edu/about/believe/ to decide if APU might be the right fit for you!

Walking through the Felix Event Center

A classroom at APU.

Turtles can be found in the courtyard of the Segerstrom Science Center.

One of the 4 dorms on campus.

This is an inside, hangout area in one of the dorms.

An example of a dorm room on campus.

A sneak peek of a class in session!

The Rose Garden is located in the only original building remaining on campus.

5 Things You Might Know About Chapman University…….and 5 Things You Might Not!

If you are a junior in high school right now, it’s definitely time to start thinking about your college visits – a perfect time to see what a school you might be considering is really like without solely relying on their website or brochure.  With all of the colleges out there, how do you begin to narrow your college search?  Check back with our blog frequently (or better yet-sign up below to get our blog sent straight to your email), as we will be posting things we have observed on our most recent college visits.

Today, the KaMi Spotlight is on Chapman University, located in Orange, CA.

5 Things You Might Know:

• Chapman is a small, private college nestled right in the middle of a quaint residential area.  Many of the houses surrounding the campus are owned by the University, and are home to Professors and their families.

• Cost to attend with room and board is approximately $60,000 a year.

• Enrollment for 2012-2013 was around 5,000 undergrad students and approximately 7,000 total students.

• A NCAA Division 3 school in the SCIA Conference consisting of 12 Southern California private schools.

• The average class size is 20-25 students, and the most popular programs are Business, Communications, Psychology, and Film Production.

5 Things You Might Not Know About Chapman:

•The 4-story Library is actually 9 libraries in one, with 50 study rooms, and a Holocaust Memorial Library on the top floor.

• About 33% of the students participate in Greek Life, with 16 different Greek organizations, but there are no Greek houses on campus.

•Chapman displays the 2nd largest piece of the Berlin Wall (owned by an American university) in Liberty Plaza.

• Included in the cost of tuition is Interterm, an opportunity to take a course or study abroad during the month of January (between semesters).  If you participate in Interterm all 4 years this equals a “free”, extra semester of college, and gives you a chance to experiment with classes outside of your major.

• 92% of freshmen live on campus, usually 3 to a room, and there is a gym and an outdoor pool just for students living in the dorms.

Chapman is a beautiful school filled with opportunities for advancement, education, and real world experience.  We enjoyed our tour (AND the free lunch they provided at the end!)

Leatherby Libraries

Leatherby Libraries

Global Citizens Plaza, where each flag represents a student's country, or a country where a Chapman student can go to study abroad.

Global Citizens Plaza, where each flag represents a student’s country, or a country where a Chapman student can go to study abroad.

We thought this was clever...a station to fix your bike!

We thought this was clever…a station to fix your bike!

Sand volleyball court right near the dorms!

Sand volleyball court right near the dorms!

The 4 pillars of Chapman – Spiritual, Social, Physical and Intellectual.

Attallah Piazza Center- a student hangout spot!

A piece of the Berlin Wall

Chapman’s Athletic Field

The Importance of College Visits

As a kid growing up, going to college was never discussed because it was an expectation, a requirement, and a mandate. Which college was I going to go to? Well, that was easy as well. I was going to apply and attend wherever I was accepted. That was it. The schools I applied to were the ones where everyone else was applying to–all the in-state schools and where it was most popular to attend. Looking at it in hindsight, it was not the best way of picking a school. The main and probably one of the most practical things that I did not do was go on some college/campus tours to see whether I would like the school or not. More so, was that school going to be the right “fit” for me?

There really is no other feeling like that of walking onto a campus and experiencing first hand what it is like to be a college student there. Whether you’re walking onto the quad or into the student union or bookstore, there is an initial sense of excitement that you can’t help feel and just smile. Most colleges provide a campus tour throughout the calendar year. You just need to schedule one and go! They can last anywhere from one hour to  two and a half hours, depending on the size of the group. The way to make the most of the time that you are on a tour is to have questions ready to ask that you could not find the answers to online. Study a little bit about the campus so that way you are a little informed about the school. For the tours, they are usually given by student ambassadors-those students who are currently enrolled there and can tell you first hand what their experience has been like for their first year and on. Because these tours will show you the highlights of the school and campus, it is best advised to spend some time either before or after the tour just meandering around the campus to see what else there is. Take a camera and record your tour, or use some of the wonderful apps out there to journal your trip, such as Vine. Opportunities are also available to attend a class or two for the intended major. In addition, some schools even invite prospective students to stay overnight to experience what it would be like to be a student there: dorm life, social activities, cafeteria, athletics, etc. Be sure to ask and research for these availabilities.

When should you start taking college tours? NOW. Honestly, if college is an option, you should start taking tours after the start of your freshman year. Once one year of high school has been experienced, a student’s level of maturity grows and begins to understand the seriousness and importance of what it takes to go to college. The preparation that is involved in researching and learning about the different kinds of schools that are available to them are somewhat overwhelming. However, by taking some tours in small increments, you’re able to see what the possibilities are.

There is so much more to offer about the importance of college visits that this post can go on and on. Check out the following link at collegboard.com (one of our favorites) and read up on what you can do to help prepare for your first trip out.

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5 Things You Might Know About Cal Baptist University……..and 5 Things You Might Not!

If you are a junior in high school right now, it’s definitely time to start thinking about your college visits – a perfect time to see what a school you might be considering is really like without solely relying on their website or brochure.  With all of the colleges out there, how do you begin to narrow your college search?  Check back with our blog frequently (or better yet-sign up below to get our blog sent straight to your email), as we will be posting things we have observed on our most recent college visits.

Today, the KaMi Spotlight is on California Baptist University (CBU)

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CBU Seal

CBU Seal

5 Things You Might Know:

• Cost to attend ranges from around $28,432 for the commuter student and $36,172 for tuition with room and board.

• Besides offering financial assistance based on need, CBU offers grants and scholarships for academics, art, music, journalism, athletics, drama, and engineering.  The academic scholarships start at $4,500 for a GPA of 3.3-3.74 and go up to $8,000 for a 4.0 and above.  These scholarships are per year, as long as the minimum GPA is maintained.

• Enrollment for 2012-2013 is just around 4,000 undergrads but the school is envisioning an expansion to 8,080 by 2020.

• A Division 2 school currently transitioning from NAIA to NCAA in the Pac West.

• Over 100 majors with some of the most popular being Business, Education, Nursing, and Engineering.

5 Things You Might Not Know About CBU:

•70% of the students live on campus in Male or Female dorms, cottages, or on-campus apartments.

• Most general ed classes have around 28 students, but the average is 21 students per class, with the largest classrooms holding 70 students.

•The recreation center is brand new (just opened in January of 2013) and 3-stories. It offers rock-climbing, cardio equipment, racquetball courts, and workout rooms for classes.  The basketball flooring is Grade 1 (NBA quality).  On the roof of the building is a futsal field and turf track.

• There are no Greek organizations at CBU, but there is a big focus on community life.  Clubs, recreational sports, and weekend excursions are available, and many participate.  Specialty workshops are offered through the career center with topics such as “Business Dinner Etiquette (Which fork do you use??)”.

• 100% of the faculty are Christian and Chapel is required 15 times each semester for students who are encouraged to “live their purpose”.

Even though we visited CBU during the summer season, with very few students on campus, we really got a feel for the opportunities that students are given to connect to each other and their school.

Time to start our tour at CBU!

This is the view coming out of the cafeteria.

The cafeteria  (which is All-You-Can-Eat Buffet style).

The cafeteria (which is All-You-Can-Eat Buffet style).

Our tour guide, Mikayla, took us all around the campus on a golf cart!

A very clean and state-of-the-art classroom.

A dorm room in the Women’s dorms.

A peek at the baseball field.

Athletic Complex

Futsal and an outdoor turf track on the roof of the Rec Center.