By Nate Bargar
College and Career Counselor
Carmel Catholic High School
The following article is the first in a series introducing you to the new NACAC Code of Ethics and Professional Practice (CEPP). The Delegate Directors will be providing insights on each of the new sections.
Section I of NACAC’s Code of Ethics and Professional Practice (CEPP) focuses on articulating the practice and ethics of our profession. Section I is broken into three sub-sections: A. Truthfulness and Transparency: Guiding Principles and Rationale, B. Professional Conduct: Guiding Principles and Rationale, and C. Respect for Confidentiality: Guiding Principles and Rationale.
Clearly, by the name, sub-section A of Section I directly addresses the necessity for truth and transparency in the profession. Sub-section A comes with the following description:
Counseling professionals must provide their students and colleges with complete, truthful, and factual information that will allow them to make informed decisions.
Colleges are equally obligated to provide complete, factual, and readily accessible information that will allow students and their counselors to make informed college comparisons and choices.
The implementation outlines that all members will be as transparent and truthful as possible in all parts of the college search, application, financial aid, and selection process. Included under this umbrella are data that appear on profiles, websites, and promotional materials and data that are reported to the government, private agencies, and the media. Any information shared about applicants will be relevant to the college admission process and will be accurate, up-to-date, complete, and free from misrepresentations of fact or material omissions. Other pieces include translations of any and all materials and, of course, complying with all laws, no matter the level.
Items 2 and 3 under sub-section A provide the exact framework that both college and secondary school members will adhere to as members of NACAC.
Sub-section B guides the professional conduct necessary to be a member of NACAC and in compliance with the CEPP.
Advocating for the best interests of students in the admission process is the primary ethical concern of our profession.This requires that students receive college admission counseling that they can trust. Members will therefore adhere to high standards of individual and institutional professional conduct. Conflicts of interest, whether real or perceived, and unprofessional conduct undermine that trust. Similarly, secondary schools, colleges, individuals, and NACAC member organizations and agencies should work together in an environment that fosters that trust. Public discourse that is based on false or incomplete information, hearsay, or malice is detrimental to that environment and to the fair and ethical practices necessary for the equitable recruitment of students.
This sub-section is pretty self-explanatory, in all aspects and interactions that we have as members of NACAC, we must uphold the highest professional conduct.
Finally, sub-section C addresses the utmost importance to protect confidentiality.
The college admission and counseling community depends on trust. An important component in building that trust is a respect for confidentiality.
This one is sort of a no-brainer, confidentiality should be and is the backbone of our profession as it is in any other counseling profession.
So, there it is, Section I of the new CEPP. Happy interpreting and getting to know our national organization’s new framework. Feel free to reach out to the Delegate Directors with your questions.