As seen on a Facebook group devoted to the work of independent education counselors (IECs):
Intimidated by college deadlines? #EducationUSA advisers and U.S. university alumni are here to help! Type your questions down below or shoot us an e-mail at manila[AT]educationusa.org or cebu[AT]educationusa.org for any questions and concerns regarding your college applications. Our services are completely free! (Source: EducationUSA, The Philippines)
This spot-on observation came from an IEC based in the Philippines: They said EducationUSA advisers and US university alumni will answer their questions. I said:
‘Be very careful about where you get your advice from regarding your college applications. It isn’t enough to be an alumnus of a US university or an EducationUSA adviser. Ask if they are professional college counselors…most US alumni are not.’ Good advice!
This is akin to native speakers being hired to teach English as a foreign language. Because they speak the language doesn’t mean they can teach it properly. Same for US higher education alumni; they definitely have a lot to offer in terms of sharing information and experiences from a former student’s perspective but most are not trained educational advisers.
Shalom (שלום), MAA