Your Purpose is our Mission

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Your Purpose is our Mission

  • The mission of the American Counseling Association (ACA) is to
  • enhance the quality of life in society by promoting the development
  • of professional counselors, advancing the counseling profession,
  • and using the profession and practice of counseling to promote
  • respect for human dignity and diversity.
  • ACA is the world's largest association exclusively representing the
  • community of counselors in various practice settings. ACA
  • provides its student members with professional development,
  • continuing education opportunities, advocacy services, credibility,
  • and networking opportunities.
  • ACA Educates You Beyond Your Classroom

History of ACA

  • Founded in 1952
  • In 1976 ACA aids in passage of first licensure law in the U.S. in Virginia
  • ACA founded CACREP in 1981 (Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs)
  • ACA founded NBCC in 1982 (National Board for Certified Counselors)

Counseling As A Career

  • Counseling is in demand – The 2007 Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook states that there will be more counseling jobs than graduates from college counseling programs
  • Money magazine named a Licensed Professional Counselor among the top 50 jobs in the U.S.
  • This means unprecedented opportunities
  • for counseling students.

Student Liability Insurance for Master’s Degree Students

  • ACA student membership includes professional liability (malpractice) insurance for students enrolled and engaged in a master’s degree counseling curriculum at a post secondary institution.
  • Coverage is available to ACA student members solely while performing counseling services (e.g. practicum and internship) related to such curriculum.
  • ACA new graduate members receive a 50% discount
  • on their liability insurance premium
  • .
  • Students enrolled in a bachelor degree program, doctoral degree program or
  • other post master's program are not covered through this program.

ACA Supports You!

  • Student membership in ACA opens doors to lifelong
  • resources and benefits:
  • ACA supports counseling students:
  • By advocating for the counseling profession
  • By offering career development services and access to select counseling jobs
  • By helping you to develop and expand the skills you need
  • By providing resources for research
  • By offering professional networking opportunities
  • “I love being a student member of ACA because you are given so many’s impossible to be uninformed! It’s a great way to learn as much as possible before entering the field…”
  • Alissa Klayman, Northern Illinois University

What Are Counseling Students Saying About ACA?

  • “I love knowing that I have resources at my fingertips any time of day! As a graduate student, we are studying at all hours and when I need information I can log on to ACA anytime.”
  • - Sara Brandt, University of Wisconsin - Whitewater
  • “One of the things I love the most about being a student member of ACA is that I can be part of an organization that includes veteran counselors and therapists as well as students. It is a great way to connect to my future career and learn from others who have gone before me.”
  • - Brad Hinman, Andrews University

What Are Counseling Students Saying About ACA?

  • “What I love about being a student member of ACA is the security I have in knowing that I have a professional family to turn to for all things counseling…”
  • - Dawn Riley, Eastern New Mexico University
  • “I am a part of something so much bigger than me...”
  • - Heather Fuller, Capella University
  • “ACA student membership gives me access to what I need to support my career at a price I can afford...It is a bargain I can’t afford to pass up.”
  • - Pat Baranczyk, Winona State University

Education Beyond The Classroom ACA Member Services and Benefits

  • Liability Insurance included in membership for master’s level students
  • Year-round career services support
  • Employment services through partnership with CareerBuilder
  • Free ethics and professional standards consultation
  • ACA Code of Ethics
  • ACA’s monthly magazine, Counseling Today; quarterly journal of counseling research, Journal of Counseling & Development now accessible online; bi-weekly e-news bulletin, ACAeNews, and ACA’s website provide up-to-date information and research in the world of counseling.
  • ACA helps emerging counseling professionals develop their skills and expand their knowledge base with the following services and benefits designed with their personal and professional growth in mind:

ACA Member Services & Benefits

  • Online library and resources for research
  • Networking and mentoring opportunities
  • Low student rates for conference registration
  • Graduate Student and New Professional Center, volunteer opportunities and special activities at the Annual Conference & Exposition
  • Podcasts and Online Learning
  • Grants and scholarships
  • Support for building a private practice
  • Leadership development and skill-building
  • Affordable CE credits
  • Discounted Publications, books and videos
  • Listservs, Blogs, Interest Networks
  • And much more…

ACA Conference & Exposition

  • Attend the world’s largest gathering of professional counselors
  • Meet counseling professionals from all over the world and mingle with other students in the Graduate Student and New Professional Center
  • Volunteer at the conference and get a discount on registration:
  • Benefit from education sessions developed for students
  • See the latest counseling products, services and publications in the Exposition
  • Future Conferences
  • 2010 – March 18-22, 2010 - Pittsburgh, PA
  • “I remember my first conference vividly...the excitement, the chatter, the education, the camaraderie! The ACA Conference is a time to bond with other counseling professionals and to rejuvenate my soul! I am thrilled to attend each conference and look forward to making my attendance a lifelong tradition!”
  • Jennifer Alamia, University of Texas San Antonio

Student Member Benefits on

  • Special area for students
  • Members-Only section
  • Virtual Library - research 24/7!
  • Online learning
  • Career Center partnership with Career Builder
  • Code of Ethics online
  • Manage your membership
  • Join listservs and special interest groups
  • Purchase books and videos direct from ACA at a discount
  • Private Practice Pointers is a comprehensive section of the ACA website that can help you prepare for the thriving full or part time independent practice that may be in your future

Student Learning, Networking & Leadership Opportunities in ACA

  • Student essay competition
  • Ross Trust Scholarship for students
  • Become a student representative to Governing Council
  • Become a student representative to a committee
  • Become a legislative advocate

Public Policy & Legislation

  • Advocate for your profession at the national and state level
  • Help to secure funding and legislation
  • Learn leadership skills
  • Join the PPL listserv and stay informed
  • “What I love most about being a student member of ACA is the feeling that comes with making a difference through advocacy opportunities in the field of counseling.
  • I subscribe to the ACA Public Policy Listserv to stay current on pending legislation of concern to the profession and make my voice heard.”
  • Laura Messer,
  • Florida International University

Public Awareness

  • Due to the dedicated counselors throughout California and the state and national organizations, particularly ACA and the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), that support professional counseling, the counseling profession achieved a historic goal with the signing into law California Senate Bill 788, establishing licensure of professional clinical counselors in the state.
  • ACA partnered with the American Red Cross to provide disaster mental health volunteer services following Hurricane Gustov's landfall in the Gulf Coast region.
  • ACA’s response to Hurricane Katrina won the Summit Award from the American Society for Association Executives
  • ACA organized a counseling effort for Virginia Tech
  • Counseling Awareness Month
    • Counseling Awareness Month is in April
    • ACA created an award-winning campaign to bring public attention to counseling

Online Interest Networks

  • Children’s Counseling
  • Grief and Bereavement
  • Historical Issues in Counseling
  • Advances in Therapeutic Humor
  • Multiracial/Multiethnic Counseling Concerns
  • Jewish Interests
  • Sports Counseling
  • Traumatology
  • Women’s Issues
  • Professional Counselors in Schools
  • Forensic Counseling
  • Wellness

Organization of ACA

  • 19 Divisions
  • 4 Regions
  • 56 Branches
  • “I stay connected to all disciplines within the counseling profession…I believe there is great value in learning from all specialties and working together towards the common goal of helping. I am proud to be a student member of this force.”
  • - Laura Knight, The University of Virginia

ACA Divisions

  • 19 specialized Divisions offer further enhancement of your ACA membership and additional resources in your counseling specialty
  • Organized around specific interest and practice areas

ACA Divisions

  • Association for Assessment in Counseling and Education (AACE)
  • Association for Adult Development and Aging (AADA)
  • Association for Creativity in Counseling (ACC)
  • American College Counseling Association (ACCA)
  • Association for Counselors and Educators in Government (ACEG)
  • Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES)
  • Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues in Counseling (ALGBTIC)
  • Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD)
  • American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA)
  • American Rehabilitation Counseling Association (ARCA)

ACA Divisions

  • American School Counselor Association (ASCA)
  • Association for Spiritual, Ethical and Religious Values in Counseling (ASERVIC)
  • Association for Specialists in Group Work (ASGW)
  • Counseling Association for Humanistic Education and Development
  • (C-AHEAD)
  • Counselors for Social Justice (CSJ)
  • International Association of Addictions and Offender Counselors (IAAOC)
  • International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors (IAMFC)
  • National Career Development Association (NCDA)
  • National Employment Counseling Association (NECA)

ACA Regions

  • Provides leadership training
  • Networking for branch leaders
  • 4 Regions:
      • Midwest
      • North Atlantic
      • Southern
      • Western

ACA Regions

ACA Branches

  • 56 branches in U.S. and abroad
  • Provides a mechanism for counselors to join together to carry out the purposes of the American Counseling Association
  • Leadership opportunities
  • Professional development
  • Publications
  • Advocacy
  • “What I love most about being a student member of ACA is the networking. In the short time I have been a member, I have seen students get and give great advice from each other about internships, classes, and job searching.”
  • Cassandra Driver, Vanderbilt University

ACA Governing Council

  • Provides strategic leadership
  • Composed of:
      • Nationally elected ACA officers
      • Treasurer
      • One representative from each division and region
      • Student representative

ACA Committees

  • Awards
  • Branch Development
  • Bylaws & Policies
  • Ethics
  • Financial Affairs
  • International
  • Nominations & Election
  • Public Policy & Legislation
  • Publications

Join the Community Created for Counselors! The world’s largest organization for counseling professionals… American Counseling Association 5999 Stevenson Avenue Alexandria, Virginia 22304 Phone: 1-800-347-6647, x222/703-823-9800, x222 FAX: 1-800-473-2329

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