I was a high school teacher
for fifteen years...
Thirteen years ago, a student of mine wanted to visit Indiana University. The school where I taught at the time didn’t have a college tours program, and the parents of the student didn’t have the resources to get her there. I took it upon myself to take this student and another interested student to visit. The convent associated with the school said we could use their Ford Taurus and off we went. It was on this trip that I realized the need to expose Chicago students to the myriad of possibilities available to them when it comes to college.
My desire to expose Chicago students to schools that are the best match for them hasn’t stopped. As a teacher at a selective Chicago public high school, I was proudly the coordinator and lead chaperone for multi-day trips to visit schools all over the Midwest -- in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota as well as schools in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia. Trips to large cities have included visits to prestigious schools in Boston, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Los Angeles.
Working with high school juniors and seniors on the college process every day and being on the campuses with students when they have the “Ah ha” moment, has been rewarding. I have, in turn, gained a wealth of first-hand knowledge and experience from these trips. Having attended countless admissions meetings, I know what particular schools are looking for in an applicant, the intricacies of each school’s financial aid options and the state of college admissions in general. I have toured all of the campuses – rain or shine, and even snow on occasion. I have listened to student guides talk about what brought them to the school. I have eaten with enrolled students in the dining halls, read the school newspapers, and seen the dorms. After every campus visit, I have walked away with new knowledge – whether it be that private schools are often more affordable than public institutions, the importance of the content of the college essay, the role of extracurricular activities, or the significance of what is now being called “demonstrated interest”. And now I want to share my knowledge and guide students and their families through what should be an exciting process, not an overly complex one. In the fall of 2015, I accepted a job as the sole college counselor at an arts high school in the city. I now have more time for my private practice but at the same time have gained a new perspective on the visual and performing arts programs at various colleges.
When I decided I wanted to be an Independent Educational Consultant, I took additional steps to learn all I could about the profession and the college application and selection process. I completed the University of California-Irvine’s Independent Educational Consultant Certificate Program. I also attended the highly regarded Independent Educational Consulting Association’s Summer Training Institute at Claremont McKenna College. I am now an associate member of the Independent Educational Consultant Association, and a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling, Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling and Higher Education Consultants Association.
I want to make the college process easier for you and your child. I will be a neutral voice and do my best to find the best fit for your student. You want your child to be happy with this life-changing decision. You want your child to thrive. You want your child’s transition to be an easy one.
I’m here to help.
Sarah E. Langford, M.Ed.
email@example.com | 773-307-6309