ACAeNews | Volume X | Number 11

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CLASS OF 2008: A CHANGE IN WORK-LIFE BALANCE ISSUES?

Are the attitudes of college graduates currently seeking their first job different from those of their predecessors? Is there a reshuffling of values among Generation Y as they search for work after college? The 2008 Graduating Student Survey of the National Association of Colleges and Employers has some interesting answers to these and related questions.

In a forced ranking of selected factors in their search for an employer and first job, the current graduating class presented the following responses in order of importance:

  • Opportunity for advancement
  • Job security
  • Good insurance package
  • Friendly co-workers
  • Location
  • Opportunity for personal development
  • High starting salary
  • Recognition for good performance
  • Opportunity for self-expression and creativity
  • Clearly defined assignments
  • Casual atmosphere (non-competitive environment)
  • Embraces diversity
  • Company takes active role in community
  • Signing bonus
  • Company is a recognized name

Attributes such as opportunity for personal development and allowance for self-expression and creativity, two characteristics held in relatively high esteem in similar studies, ranked sixth and ninth. The findings also dispute previously held notions of the importance of salary, an attribute that finished seventh. While the opportunity for advancement ranked first among both women and men, gender differences in other attributes were distinguishable.

To characterize the findings, Ed Koc, NACE Director of Strategic and Foundation Research, dubbed the Class of 2008 the "oldest young generation."

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PENTAGON POINTS TO SHARP RISE IN PTSD CASES

Army Surgeon General, Lt. General Eric Shoomaker reported on May 27th that nearly 40,000 military personnel have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder since 2003. These are only the cases identified by and being tracked by the Pentagon and do not reflect service men and women who are seeing private therapists and have not informed the military. Also missing from the data are military personnel suffering from mental disorders who refuse to seek treatment because they fear what the diagnosis might do to their military careers.

The Veterans Administration offers a web-based curriculum, PTSD 101, which focuses on issues related to combat stress/PTSD. The online course is available on-demand to counseling professionals who provide services to individuals who have experienced trauma or wish to learn more about the disorder. Courses are presented by a faculty of recognized experts in the field of traumatic stress. Continuing education credits are also available.

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ACA ROLLING OUT FREE PODCAST SERIES: THREE NEW PROGRAMS ON THE HORIZON

In the coming weeks, ACA will be debuting its 2008 podcast series at www.counseling.org. Among the relevant topics the upcoming podcast series will cover:

  • "Your Malpractice Insurance." How much is enough? How can you protect yourself? The top five malpractice worries.
  • "The Ethics of Confidentiality: Who Needs to Know What?" Examines issues of confidentiality as they relate to contagious life-threatening diseases, deceased clients and couples counseling.
  • "The Counselor and the Law." Find out why the authors Nancy Wheeler and Burt Bertram chose to write this book now. Also discusses the tension between privacy issues and the safety of others and what counselors need to know about state counselor licensing boards.

Podcasts are perfect for on-the-go practitioners and students who still want to stay current on issues affecting counselors and the profession. If you are an ACA member, you will be able to download the podcasts from the ACA web site and listen while on the treadmill or commuting to work. Continuing education credit is not available for podcasts at this time because the format is more conversational than lecture-based. Watch www.counseling.org for emerging details on this latest free benefit of ACA membership.

ADVOCACY MATTERS: RECESS TO BE FOLLOWED BY BUDGET AND MEDICARE ACTION

Two high priority issues are on the Congressional agenda: passage of a budget resolution for the year, and proposals to block a scheduled multi-billion dollar cut in physician payment rates under Medicare. Members of Congress had moved close to passage of a budget resolution before adjourning for Memorial Day, but procedural difficulties with legislation to reauthorize farm programs got in the way. Completion of the budget resolution will set the stage for appropriations work later in the summer. With the clock ticking down to a July 1st deadline, it's becoming all but a certainty that Congress will approve limited legislation to postpone—not do away with—physician pay cuts under Medicare. This is likely to mean that proposals to expand Medicare's benefit package, such as by establishing coverage of counselors, will fall by the wayside.

Also awaiting action is legislation to prohibit private health insurance plans from covering mental health and addictive disorder services in a discriminatory fashion. Negotiations between the House and Senate are continuing, with proposals and counterproposals being considered. Advocates are hopeful that an agreement can be reached in time for enactment of a strong mental health parity law this year.

Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts has been a primary proponent of such legislation, as has his son, Representative Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island. Senator Kennedy has been an outstanding and effective champion of health, education, and social policy issues. It is unclear how the news of the Senator's recent diagnosis of having a malignant brain tumor will affect his work in the Senate on this and other legislation. ACA wishes Senator Kennedy and his family all the best in responding to his health challenge.

RELEVANT RESEARCH: 21ST BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION AND ALCOHOL - A RISKY COMBINATION

A study of University of Missouri students, published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, reveals some alarming information about the college student's 21st birthday celebration and the harm that excessive alcohol use may cause. More than four in five (83%) of respondents reported that alcohol consumption was a part of their birthday celebration. More disturbing was the fact that 12% of the drinkers consumed 21 or more drinks. The authors call for the consideration of intervention strategies that recognize this rite of passage phenomenon within the larger public health issue posed by college student drinking and seek to minimize the harm it may create.

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CONSIDER ACA TITLES FOR FALL TEXTBOOKS AND SUPPLEMENTARY READING

As the publisher of one of the most comprehensive listing of counseling topics by the most experienced and talented authors in the field, ACA has much to offer counselor educators as they review and select their textbooks and supplementary reading materials for the 2008-2009 academic year. From proven standards to recent revisions to new releases, ACA has an unparalleled book publishing reputation. The 2009 Publications Catalog will be out in early August but most items are available now at www.counseling.org/Publications.

PRIVATE PRACTICE POINTERS: GUIDANCE RELATIVE TO APPROPRIATE BUSINESS STRUCTURE

This month in Private Practice Pointers, Bob Walsh and Norm Dasenbrook offer some valuable guidance regarding the kind of business structure (i.e., incorporation, sole proprietorship) a private counseling practitioner might elect to utilize. Visit this "members only" web site area and keep up to date on the business, legal, insurance, communications and related matters that entrepreneurs and business owners need to know. Visit now, visit often.

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CONFERENCE CLIPPING: PROGRAM SUBMISSION FOR 2009 CONFERENCE NOW CLOSED

The deadline for submission of program proposals for the 2009 ACA Conference & Exposition in Charlotte, NC, March 19-23 was yesterday. Acceptance/rejection notices will be emailed August 15. Thank you to all who submitted. The Summer Registration rate for the conference is in effect thru August 31; register now and save!

Registration...

FAST FACT: FEWER SUMMER JOBS THIS SUMMER

Just when you thought the economy couldn't get any worse. Almost half (49%) of the nation's hiring officers surveyed by SnagAJob.com, a leading hourly-wage firm in the staffing industry, reported they would not be adding summer help in 2008. Making matters worse for new applicants, two thirds indicated they would rehire persons with experience from previous summers. Fortune magazine offers some valuable tips for summer job seekers that counselors may wish to share.

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GRANTS, GRANTS, GRANTS: RGK FOUNDATION AND COLLEGE ACCESS CHALLENGE GRANT PROGRAM

The RGK Foundation makes grants to nonprofit organizations for programs that focus on formal K-12 education (particularly mathematics, science, and reading), educator development, literacy, and higher education. Interested applicants can also view current and previous grant lists. Maximum Award: $25,000. The foundation requires a formal letter of inquiry that can be submitted anytime.

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The College Access Challenge Grant (CACG) Program is a new formula grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Education that will provide funds to states (not school districts or individuals), beginning 2008-09, to assist low-income students and families learn about, prepare for, and finance postsecondary education. Governors designate the state agency that will apply for and administer these federal grants, and states may choose to sub-grant CACG funds to one or more state or private agencies. The training of middle and secondary school counselors is listed among the potential uses of the funds.

The 2008 applications were available May 12, 2008, and the application deadline is June 27, 2008. Determine the extent to which your state is participating in the CAGP and learn what you can about the implementation mechanism, including the possibility of sub-grants, being created. Questions about the CACG program can be directed to Karmon Simms-Coates at 202-502-7807 or karmon.simms-coates@ed.gov.

NEWSWORTHY EVENTS AND IMPORTANT DATES: ACTIVE SUMMER FOR ACA DIVISIONS

June 15-17, 2008
Event: Conference on Spirituality in Counseling - Illuminating the Path for Training and Practice
Sponsor: Association for Spiritual, Ethical and Religious Values in Counseling
Location: Lake Junaluska, NC
Details...

June 28 - July 1, 2008
Event: Setting New Standards
Sponsor: American School Counselor Association
Details...

July 9-11, 2008
Event: Public Policy & Advocacy - Finding Our Voice and Making It Heard
Sponsor: National Career Development Association
Location: Washington, DC
Details...

July 17-19, 2008
Event: Embracing Diversity - Relationships Across Cultures & Generations
Sponsor: American Mental Health Counselors Association
Location: San Diego, CA
Details...

ACA divisions, branches, and regions are valuable sources of learning and professional development. Information on events will be posted approximately eight weeks prior. This information is made available to ACAeNews via the ACA master calendar and the various organization web sites. Send calendar items to dwilliams@counseling.org. Please provide the sponsor, dates, site and contact person information. Information posted here is restricted to that sponsored by ACA divisions, branches, regions and related organizations.

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ABOUT ACAeNews

ACAeNews is published biweekly by the American Counseling Association for the benefit of members and the counseling profession. Any reference to a product, service, activity or listing of a web site in ACAeNews does not imply endorsement by ACA. Any views and opinions are those of the sponsoring organization and may or may not be shared by ACA.

Direct comments, questions and submissions to fburtnett@counseling.org. All submissions will be subject to review by ACA for accuracy, timeliness and relevance to the readership and may be edited to meet space parameters.

Brian Canfield, President
canfield@sandiego.edu

Richard Yep, CAE, Executive Director
ryep@counseling.org

Debra Bass, Interim Director of Marketing
dbass@counseling.org

Frank Burtnett, ACAeNews Editor
fburtnett@counseling.org

Don Kenneally, Internet Development / Production
dkenneally@counseling.org

ACA Web site: www.counseling.org

Copyright 2008, American Counseling Association, 5999 Stevenson Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone: 703/823-9800. Email: fburtnett@counseling.org. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce anything contained in this newsletter as long as the American Counseling Association is identified as the original source of the information.

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