I was renewing my Professional Membership and came to the question on the form which asks how many schools I have visited since last year, and I decided to go into my excel sheet for the “Colleges Visited” List so that I was being accurate. When I came up with 38 schools, I sat back and thought to myself “Wow, did I really visit that many schools this year?’ I did because that is what good IEC’s do –it is the hallmark of what we offer our students and families, the guidance that is built on having spent time personally at the schools that we recommend to the students that we work with. I then thought back to the fly-in to Stetson in late February which was wonderful because the school has been rejuvenated by Rebecca Eckstein, formerly of Hollins College for 17 years, and Beth Paul, coming from the College of New Jersey where she also was for 17 years as she engineered the transformation from Trenton State! Now having seen Stetson first-hand, it is a school I am happy to put on my students’ lists, and I can talk intelligently to other IECs about the school as well. And yes, I was fortunate to be on the first LD South Carolina Schools Tour with a great group of colleagues to see Wofford, Furman, the University of South Carolina, Limestone College, the College of Charleston. Clemson, and the Citadel. – another terrific group of schools. And we met with the Learning Disability Providers on all those campuses – another layer of knowledge to share with our students. I can’t forget spending two days on the fantastic campus of Penn State University, home of the Nittany Lions, at the “Spend-A-Summer-Day” Counselor Tour, experiencing many of their different colleges….a special way to gather information to help students find the right program. These Counselor Tours actually parallel programs that potential students can attend in the summer so it is especially helpful. What a warm and wonderful place University Park is despite the fact that it is a little city! Something I never would have known had I not experienced it first-hand. The trip out to San Francisco with a colleague in late January was the best and we set up tours at 8 schools ranging from Stanford and Berkeley to Santa Clara, the San Francisco Art Institute and the University of San Francisco. It was fantastic…learning about schools from coast to coast!!!!!!! So you see, visiting campuses is something that IECs do a lot of, and love doing, and it is actually required of us, no matter how many years we have been “in the business.” It is also something that we know is essential to doing the best job we can for our students and families. I am looking forward to my upcoming “California Dreamin” Tour from July 24th-29th, organized by WACAC, the Western Association of College Admissions Counseling, as we will be touring 15 schools in the Los Angeles area. I will report on those schools when I return from that incredible tour at the end of the summer!