July 29, 2015

Several years ago when I first investigated the process of earning the Certified Educational Planner credential, I thought I would never gain the experience or have the sheer willpower to fulfill all the requirements necessary for certification. After eleven years in business as and Independent Educational Consultant, attending many conferences and seminars, leading academic presentations at conferences, writing and publishing a book, but most of all helping families find the right educational placement for their son or daughter, I was able to demonstrate expertise in the world of education specifically as a Certified Educational Planner. I am honored to be a part of the AICEP organization.

Local Professional Earns Prestigious Credential

Betsy Donnelly, M.S., CEP in Atlanta, Georgia is part of a growing group of educational consultants and school counselors in the nation to earn the designation of Certified Educational Planner (CEP).

“We are proud to have Betsy receive this certification,” said William S. Dingledine, Jr., Chair of the American Institute of Certified Educational Planners (AICEP). “We believe this certification sets the standard for professional educational advisors not only in knowledge and experience, but in ongoing professional development. There is no higher mark of distinction in the profession,” Dingledine noted.

Betsy Donnelly is the Founder and President of Atlanta Educational Consultants, a comprehensive educational consulting firm offering counseling, school placement, and coaching services for students and families. Our Services include college planning, day and boarding school recommendations, residential therapeutic placement, including therapeutic boarding schools and wilderness therapy programs and public school advocacy. Betsy focuses her particular services on adolescents and young adults with learning differences or who have therapeutic needs.

An increasing number of families are seeking experienced professionals to help them navigate the complex array of choices of programs and schools for children, adolescents, and young adults with low grades, defiance, lack of motivation, depression, difficulties with family or peer relationships, rule breaking, and low self-esteem. Certified Educational Planners are sought for students with emotional-behavioral problems, substance abuse, autistic spectrum disorders, ADHD and learning disabilities. Options for these students include specialized schools, therapeutic boarding schools, residential treatments schools, wilderness and outdoor therapeutic programs, gap year programs and young adult programs.

Certification is granted to those consultants who meet stringent application requirements including a Master’s degree, specialized training, significant professional experience, and involvement in professional activities and organizations. Betsy had to pass a board certified examination, covering both institutional and professional knowledge; submit a list of professional references; and sign a pledge to adhere to stringent ethical practices.

CEP’s are recertified every five years on the basis of visits to programs and schools and continuing professional development. All applicants are reviewed by their peers.

“The group of Certified Educational Planners is a remarkable one,” noted Dingledine. “Never before in the profession of educational consulting have persons been asked to demonstrate such a high level of professional knowledge and experience,” he concluded.

The CEP Program began in 1994 under the sponsorship of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), an association representing full-time experienced professionals in private practice in the field of college guidance and school/educational program placements. “The CEP designation assures families that they are working with a qualified professional who is committed to maintaining the highest quality of service to their students,” said Mark Sklarow, Executive Director of IECA.

Information on the CEP program is available through the American Institute of Certified Educational Planners, 617 W. Montecito Ave, Sierra Madre, CA 91024, www.aicep.org.

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