Developed with the input of an international advisory board of educational bodies, agents and US government representatives, the course is similar in structure to the ICEF Agent Training Course but focuses on issues related to the US market.
“Agents will look at this as something that will open doors to different insitutions and give them a bit more credibility”
The free, online course addresses visa information, how academic credits and applications are assessed and how to best prepare for living and studying in the US as well as educational pathways.
“We created the USATC in the context of our organisational commitment to ensuring that students and education institutions have access to qualified agents who have proven their knowledge of a market, its legal framework, and the educational opportunities it offers students,” commented Markus Badde, CEO of ICEF.
Agents who complete the course and pass the optional exam will be listed as US Course Graduates on the ICEF website, enabling institutions to see if they are qualified.
“Most of the industry is aware of how agent quality is really a sensitive issue in the US,” Korinne Algie, ICEF’s director of marketing and communications, told The PIE News.
“I think agents, knowing this, will really want to have this qualification because they’ll look at it as something that will open doors to different insitutions and give them a bit more credibility, especially as they approach a school they don’t already work with.”
The exam will be remotely monitored via webcam or live at ICEF events to ensure credibility.
One of two agents who have successfully completed the course so far, Ahmad Al-Dhalaan from the International Student Recruitment Centre agency in Canada, called the USATC “an essential tool for any agent looking into getting into the US market”.
And Gabriela Zelaya, deputy team leader for the US Commercial Service, welcomed the move to increase training and testing available to agents in the US market.
“A better understanding will pave the way for successful partnerships and increased international student recruitment to the United States,” she said.