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  • Writer's pictureSawyer Earwood, CEP

Virtual College Counselors Co-Founder Receives Prestigious CEP Credential

Updated: Mar 22, 2023

Virtual College Counselors is excited to announce that Jessica Chermak, one of our co-founders, has formally received her Certified Educational Planner certification. For those interested in learning more or sharing the exciting news, there will be an image, attachment, and text of the announcement included in this blog post.


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Local Professional Earns Prestigious Credential

Jessica Chermak of Virtual College Counselors in Colorado 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 Jessica receive this certification,” said Katelyn Klapper, Chair of the American Institute of Certified Educational Planners (AICEP). “We believe this certification sets the standard for professional college counselors not only in knowledge and experience, but in ongoing professional development. There is no higher mark of distinction in the profession,” she noted.

Virtual College Counselors provides stress-free, personalized, and professional one-on-one college guidance with innovative and passionate experts from the comfort of a student’s own home. While college might be the goal, we emphasize the holistic development of a student including academic, professional, and personal growth. At our core, we believe that every student deserves an opportunity for success and happiness. Supporting and advocating for our students requires honesty, transparency, and authentic relationships with students to guide them in cultivating a sense of agency and empowering them on a journey of holistic development. As we work with students, we emphasize six major Growth Goals: Fostering Independence & Cultivating a Sense of Agency, Aligning Personal Values With Academic & Professional Goals, Promoting Critical Thinking & Creativity, Encouraging Self-Reflection, Improving Communication Skills, and Embracing Uncertainty.

The profession of college counseling is growing in importance and recognition, as the need for a post-secondary education increases in today’s society.

Certification is granted to those consultants and counselors who meet stringent application requirements including a Master’s degree, specialized training, significant professional experience, and involvement in professional activities and organizations. Jessica had to pass a board certified examination, covering both institutional and professional knowledge; provide 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 college visits, continuing education hours and other professional endeavors. All applicants are reviewed by their peers.

“The group of certified educational consultants and counselors is a remarkable one,” noted Klapper. “Never before in the profession of educational consulting have persons been asked to demonstrate such a high level of professional knowledge and experience,” she 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, 1538 Adams Street, Denver, CO 80206,

Virtual College Counselors-JC-CEP-PR
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With all my support,

Sawyer Earwood

Independent College Counselor

Co-Founder of Virtual College Counselors

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