The Process

An Educational Consultant is part Counselor, part Match Maker, part Navigator, and part Case Manager. A good educational consultant will never think that admission to a desired school or program is the end of the story. Christie Woodfin strives to direct students to places that fit them individually. Places where they will thrive.

Guiding families to make wise choices about their child is a process which involves understanding the family and student well, and knowing educational institutions intimately. By knowing both child and school in detail, she can create the best match.

Christie knows that there are variations between the child in the file, the child seen through parents’ and teachers’ eyes, and the child in the chair in her office. She garners all information possible, assimilating the parent’s account of the child’s life history, directly observing the student’s maturity level, personality, stated interests, and degree of engagement in her individual meetings with the adolescent as well as the parents. She also collects impressions from teachers and therapists, and studies transcripts and previous testing.

If additional testing is necessary, Christie will provide the family with names of respected clinicians or refers them back to their own psychologist.

When Christie has completed her information gathering, she writes a brief summary of the student and shares it with the schools or programs that she considers appropriate for her client. If she has drawn a little sketch of the client during their interview, she’ll often attach it, too. She speaks with each school to advocate for the student’s admission. And when she meets back with parents, she presents viable and available options for their consideration.

If a student is in a short-term placement prior to attending a longer-term program, Christie confers weekly with the counselor who is working with the student. In this manner she can refine recommendations and pinpoint even more precisely which next-step will be most appropriate.

Families typically visit individual institutions, asks any questions that they may have, and submit applications. As the family narrows their choices, Christie is available to help the parents and student as they edit applications, examine options, and arrive at a final selection. Because many emotions are involved in this important decision, Christie provides nurturing support as well as wise answers. After enrollment she will maintain contact with the institution to monitor the child’s progress, to serve as an advocate for the student, and to prepare, if appropriate, for the next placement.

Conferences and school and program visits provide updates on educational, emotional, and developmental issues. There are also opportunities to know our counterparts well.

Christie Woodfin spends 25% to 30% of her professional time updating her knowledge. To know schools well, one must see them in operation. She continually visits boarding and therapeutic schools as well as programs for young adults past the age of 18. She also attends national conferences of Small Boarding Schools Association, National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs, The Autism Symposium, GEMS Conference and other specialized meetings dealing with specific developmental topics to stay current on issues affecting students and their success in school.  Christie is especially talented in considering the child’s abilities and personality when recommending the best fit schools.

Woodfin & Associates’ only client is the student and the student’s family.  Educational consultants neither solicit nor accept compensation from any school for placement of a client.

Woodfin & Associates makes every effort, utilizing knowledge and expertise, to effect a suitable school placement. However, it does not exert undue pressure on admissions officers and the schools’ decisions cannot be guaranteed.

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For twenty five years it has been my honor and pleasure to work with families seeking wise educational or therapeutic options for their children. I sought to provide a service that was compassionate, clinically sophisticated, and current in its knowledge of schools and programs. It has been gratifying work and my respect for “my families” is boundless.
I have now retired and commend potential clients to the fine consultants who are members of the Independent Educational Consultants Association and the Therapeutic Consultants Association. Atlanta has a particularly strong cohort of these professionals, and they will serve you well.
For my clients, I wish you well as you and your children continue on life’s journey. Thank you for entrusting me with being a fellow-traveler along part of this road.
Warm regards,