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ACA blogs, written by counselors, for counselors:
Dramatic Changes Reported in American Marriage and Family
According to a new study by the Pew Research Center and Time magazine, the social changes that have been occurring over the past half century in America have resulted in a major transformation of marriage and the family. Most notable among the changes is the poignant difference in the number of couples electing to marry. In 1960, more than two-thirds (68%) of all twenty-somethings were married, compared with just over a quarter (26%) today. How many will eventually marry is unknown, but at this younger age, cohabitation without marriage is an option many are choosing.
The findings revealed a mix of views on the emerging marriage and family form trends. Nearly seven in ten (69%) see single women having children as a bad thing, while less than half (43%) voiced negative attitudes about people living together without being married, unmarried couples raising children, and gay/lesbian couples raising children.
The Pew study also found that while marriage for college graduates was declining, the higher one's educational attainment, the greater the likelihood that she or he would "tie the knot." Similarly, the higher an individual has ascended the socio-economic ladder, the greater the chances of marriage. When asked "Is marriage becoming obsolete?"—nearly four in ten (39%) said yes.
ACA Election Activity Begins: Vote Online by January 31
The polls are open and ACA members can vote online for the first time to select the women and men who will lead the association in the coming years. All ACA members for whom an email address is on file should have received an email on Wednesday, December 1 with complete election information. Using the Internet allows ACA to be more environmentally responsible while offering members a comfortable way to place their important vote. All votes must be cast by January 31, 2011.
After reviewing the candidate profiles and statements in the December issue of Counseling Today or via the website at
Staying In: School Dropout Rate Improves Dramatically
Calling the loss of high school students before graduation a matter requiring vigilant and continued attention, "Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic" is reporting the first significant improvement in America's high school graduation rate in 40 years. The new study released by the America's Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises, and Johns Hopkins University's Everyone Graduates Center credits higher standards, better data collection and utilization, and more parent engagement as leading the improvement.
While the U.S. graduation rate increased from 72% in 2002 to 75% in 2008, the number of "dropout factory" high schools—a small fraction of all public high schools, but accounting for about half of all dropouts each year–fell by 13%, from 2,007 in 2002 to 1,746 in 2008. Other report highlights:
ACA Public Policy Communications: What Works for You?
ACA uses multiple strategies and tools to communicate with members about its public policy work: monthly public policy conference calls, (the first Tuesday of the month at 1:00 p.m. ET), a regular column, "Washington Update," in Counseling Today, the government relations e-mail distribution list, and a section on the ACA website (
ACA wants to know how these strategies are working for you, and what other ways (i.e. social media, YouTube videos, carrier pigeons) would be effective to engage, energize, and educate counselors about advocacy work. Please
Positive Job Signals for 2011 Crop of College Graduates
If the indicators collected by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) and the Michigan State University Collegiate Employment Research Institute are on target, the June 2011 crop of college graduates will be looking at a slightly improved hiring situation. The Job Outlook 2011 survey of information collected this fall reports employers plan to hire 13.5% more new baccalaureate degree graduates than they did last year. Asked to characterize the general hiring situation for 2011, nearly half the surveyed employers responded with a "good" rating. In 2010, the largest group reported job opportunities as "fair."
Other projections suggest the best opportunities for grads will be for those majoring in the business, engineering, and computer science fields. Nearly 62% of the organizations cited plans to hire accounting graduates. Other popular candidates for hiring will be those with degrees in finance (57% of respondents), electrical engineering (53.5%), computer science (53%), mechanical engineering (53%), and business administration/management (52%).
Similar improvements are being reported by the Michigan State University Collegiate Employment Research Institute which recently surveyed 4,600 national employers. The MSU data suggests that overall hiring will increase 3%, with bachelor's-level and MBA-level hiring leading the pack at 10%.
Conference Clipping: Giving Back to the Community Project in New Orleans
Join counseling colleagues on Thursday, March 24, 2011 as ACA serves the New Orleans community during the 2011 ACA Conference & Exposition, March 23-27. Be a part of giving back to New Orleans as conference participants provide services to sites such as homeless shelters, community clean-up and revitalization projects, Catholic charities, and the recovery school district. After the community projects, continue your experience by participating in afternoon workshops on topics of economic and social injustice, marginalized populations, and other issues that pertain to the future of the profession.
Not registered yet?
NHSC 2011 Loan Repayment Program Guidelines Announced
In November, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published its 2011 National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program information bulletin. NHSC is a competitive program that recruits health professionals to serve in areas with inadequate access to healthcare (referred to as Health Professional Shortage Areas–HPSAs). It should be noted that NHSC positions are low-paying and located in challenging, high-need areas.
In return for their service, the corps assists clinicians in their payment of qualifying education loans. To be eligible, counselors must be fully trained, licensed and working at (or in the final stages of employment negotiations with) an NHSC-eligible facility. Application deadline: May 26, 2011. For more information, or to apply online, visit
Relevant Research: Alarming Increases in Eating Disorders Reported
Eating disorders among children and adolescents are growing at an alarming rate, according to new statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Service's Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and reported in the December edition of Pediatrics. The hospitalization of children younger than 12 jumped by 119% in the 7- year period, 1999-2006. AHRQ also reported a rise in the incidence of anorexia and bulimia in boys and minority youth.
ACA-ACES Syllabus Clearinghouse Ready for Spring Semester Use
Counselor educators teaching a course for the first time this spring or looking for innovative ways of refreshing an existing course will find the ACA-ACES Syllabus Clearinghouse a valuable member resource. Since its creation in 2009, the Clearinghouse has grown to 371 syllabi, covering every aspect of counselor pre-service preparation.
To search the database or contribute your syllabi, go to
ACA People to People Delegation to Visit Brazil
Under the auspices of the People to People Ambassador Program, an ACA delegation specializing in multicultural counseling is being formed to participate in bilateral discussions with their professional counterparts in Brazil, May 7-15, 2011. The program, led by Dr. Gargi Roysircar, Past President of the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development, will include stops in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Interested individuals can learn more about the program itinerary and register by calling 877-787-2000 or clicking
Grants: Violence Reduction and Childhood Obesity Prevention
Support for Violence Reduction Programs
The Robert Wood Johnson Local Funding Partnerships Program is a matching grants program that connects the foundation with local grant makers to fund community-based projects to improve healthcare for vulnerable populations. The program's special solicitation, "Peaceful Pathways: Reducing Exposure to Violence," helps diversity-focused grant makers fund projects to reduce violence in traditionally underserved communities that are defined by race, ethnicity, tribe, gender, sexual identity, or rural/frontier location. Grant levels: $50,000 – $200,000. Application deadline: January 5, 2011.
Childhood Obesity Prevention Projects
Youth Service America (YSA) is collaborating with the Special Olympics to offer "Get Into It" grants that bring together students of all abilities to address childhood obesity in their schools and communities. Grant levels: $500 – $1,000. Projects must be launched by March 2, 2011 and culminate on Global Youth Service Day (April 15-17, 2011). Application deadline: January 19, 2011.
ACES 2011 Conference Proposals Due January 31
Planners of the ACES 2011 Conference, "Helping the Leaders, Helping the Helpers, Shaping the Future," scheduled for October 26-28, 2011 in Nashville, TN invite submissions for the program. The submission portal, including information and requirements can be found at
Auditing Preventative Dental Care and Getting Answers to Insurance Questions
The end of the calendar year may be a good time for members to examine their preventative dental care routine. To that end, MetLife, the ACA dental insurance carrier, has provided a dental care information site at its Oral Health Library. Go to:
Calendar: Branch Conferences Scheduled in Idaho and North Carolina in Early 2011
Branch: Idaho Counseling Association
Branch: North Carolina Counseling Association
ACA divisions, branches, and regions are valuable sources of learning and professional development. Information on events will be posted approximately 8-10 weeks prior. This information is made available to ACAeNews via the ACA master calendar and the various organization web sites. Send calendar items to email@example.com. 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.
ACAeNews is published 24 times annually by the American Counseling Association for the benefit of members across the counseling profession. Any reference to a product, service, activity or listing of a website 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.
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