Last month, I shared several ACA initiatives related both to graduate student membership and to the promotion of professional identity. I want to thank everyone who already has reached out to contribute and make your voice heard. This month I’d like to share a few more initiatives and again ask you to step up and help.

Promotion of employment and professional development issues: ACA continues to promote legislation that supports employment opportunities for counselors, such as the recent Department of Veterans Affairs, TRICARE and Medicare reimbursement initiatives. Professional development offerings are being enhanced through increased webinar and free CE offerings on a diverse range of topics. The five webinars ACA has hosted to date have been incredibly successful, and many more are being planned. To enhance your professional development, please participate in one of our next webinars to see what all the excitement is about.

Also plan to come to the ACA 2013 Conference & Expo in Cincinnati. Actress Ashley Judd, who recently addressed the United Nations on issues of importance to counselors, will be a keynote speaker, and we just finished selecting more than 300 outstanding presentations and Learning Institutes. In addition to being a great venue, Cincinnati will be one of the most affordable ACA conferences in years! If you haven’t done so already, please go to for registration and hotel information.

“New professional” initiatives: We want our graduate student members to find a lifelong home at ACA. Our reduced dues and conference fees for “new professional” members have been extremely successful in helping brand-new counselors maintain membership in ACA. It is clear that the needs of new professionals are very different from those of graduate students and seasoned counseling professionals. So, we are establishing a new professional member task force to suggest and help develop services and products that these counseling professionals in transition will value. If you are a new professional member and would like to contribute to this effort, please contact me at

Finally, during these tough economic times, we are expanding support for all professional ACA members to help them locate employment opportunities through our Career Center.

Promotion and support for the internationalization of counseling: Counseling has gone global, and counseling associations are being developed in countries all around the world. This is a magnificent occurrence and speaks volumes about the impact that counseling has had on promoting wellness and addressing mental health issues. Not surprisingly, many of our international members are leading and promoting this global effort. ACA is proud to announce the establishment of a new interest network focused on the internationalization of counseling. In this edition of Counseling Today, Daya Singh Sandhu, co-chair of the ACA International Committee, has authored an article announcing the establishment of this ACA interest network. I strongly encourage all of you who have an interest in international counseling to contact Daya at to receive more information and join the network.

A discussion of the internationalization of counseling at the June Executive Committee meeting led to pursuit of a related goal: collaboration with international counseling organizations to co-host a counseling research conference at an international location. We are exploring possible venues and collaborative partnerships and hope to make arrangements for an international counseling research conference over the next year or two. ACA is also exploring the establishment of an electronic international membership category that would allow us to reach out to counselors worldwide, while allowing them to enjoy ACA member benefits and resources at a cost structure sensitive to various economic factors. We will also continue to reach out and collaborate with counseling associations from other countries.

This is going to be a busy year! Please get involved in ACA initiatives, all of which aim to elevate the counseling profession and your career to new heights. How high we soar depends on you!

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