Richard YepEvery May, the ACA staff and I excitedly anticipate welcoming a new cadre of professional counselors. As those of you who are earning your master’s or doctoral degrees reach the important milestone of graduation, we want you to know that the American Counseling Association stands ready to assist as you begin the next phase of your professional career.

Your commitment to completing your graduate studies and your devotion to an endeavor as worthy as helping others face life’s challenges is commendable. It goes beyond that, however. The path you have chosen says a great deal about you as a person and your willingness to improve the human condition. We on the ACA staff salute and congratulate you!

Now that your “student days” are in the rearview mirror, you might be wondering why you should maintain your membership in ACA. That is a legitimate question — and one that I can answer. ACA prides itself on meeting the needs of professional counselors at all phases of their career, whether they are looking to obtain a job, trying to gather more resources as a practitioner or educator, or desiring to stay connected to the “hub” of the counseling community for networking.

In addition, when you maintain membership in ACA, you let clients, students, colleagues and the public know that you abide by the ACA Code of Ethics. As you know, your membership also entitles you to a peer-reviewed professional journal (the Journal of Counseling & Development), a multitude of opportunities for continuing professional development, a professional practice risk management hotline, professional ethics consultations and our flagship monthly magazine, Counseling Today. And, as a practicing professional counselor, your membership includes a free “CE of the Month,” which in itself is valued at $240!

Just as our goal was to meet your needs when you were a student, we now want to provide the resources you will require as you make your way in the world as a professional counselor. If you can’t find what you need (or aren’t certain that we have what you are looking for), please contact me or any member of the ACA staff directly. We will be very happy to assist you. Our email addresses are listed on the staff directory at Or simply call us toll free at 800.347.6647.

Let me also address a harsh fact of life after graduate school. We understand the economic realities that those of you who are new professionals face once the glow of graduation fades. That is why we offer you a “New Professional” membership rate. This is the same rate you paid as a student, and we hope that it will keep you connected to ACA at one of the most critical points of your career — when you are just starting out. As trite as it may sound, for about 25 cents per day, your status as a New Professional member of ACA gets you all the benefits I have already noted, plus many more.

For those of you planning to attend your first ACA Annual Conference & Expo next year in Cincinnati (March 20-24, 2013), I hope you will take advantage of all that we will be offering. Go to the ACA website and check on the latest updates at And if you want to present, make sure you submit your proposal by June 6 at 5 p.m. Eastern.

As always, I look forward to your comments, questions and thoughts. Feel free to call me at 800.347.6647 ext. 231 or contact me via email at You can also follow me on Twitter: @RichYep.

Be well.


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