ACAeNews | Volume XII | Number 24

Happy holidays from all of us at ACA! We are grateful for the wonderful work you do and we appreciate your membership. Our best wishes for happiness, peace, growth and prosperity in 2011. Watch for the next edition of ACAeNews on January 11, 2011.

In this issue readers will find:

Study Finds College Degrees are Worth the Effort

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Study Finds College Degrees are Worth the Effort

A new national survey of recent alumni at 2- and 4-year colleges has resulted in higher education achieving a very positive report card. The survey, commissioned by the American Council on Education (ACE), indicated that 90% of recent college graduates believe getting their degree was worth the energy, time, and expense. ACE surveyed graduates earlier this year using a national sample of 25-39-year-olds and then followed up with institution-specific surveys at 22 colleges and universities around the nation.

Although career preparation has become a higher priority these days, a number of the traditional, altruistic objectives continue to hold a place of prominence. When questioned regarding the most important role of the college or university today, the top responses were:

Teach to learn and think critically: 31%
Prepare for employment: 28%
Prepare to solve problems facing the country: 14%
Prepare to be responsible citizens: 11%

The survey also found more than eight in ten (85%) working alumni reporting that their education has prepared them for current career positions and nearly as many (80%) stating that if faced with the decision again—they would enroll at the same college or university.

ACE Alumni Survey...

VA Can Now Start Hiring Counselors

VAIn late September, the Department of Veterans Affairs released new occupational standards for positions as "licensed professional mental health counselors" (LPMHCs) within the agency's health care facilities. The ink is barely dry on the new standards and there are additional issues related to implementation which need to be addressed, but thankfully, VA headquarters staff have indicated that VA facilities can begin using the new standards—and hiring counselors—immediately.

ACA is encouraging the VA to adopt changes to the standards to expand the number of highly qualified counselors eligible for these positions, but the association is also working with them to gain the hiring of counselors under the standards as adopted. (The standards are posted here.) In addition, mental health counselor positions at VA facilities can be checked online at either usajobs.gov or vacareers.va.gov. A national directory of VA facilities can be found here.

Not surprisingly, given how new they are, ACA is hearing mixed results on facilities' use of the new standards. Some counselors are being hired, but other counselors are being told that positions are going to continue to be open only to social workers (or psychologists), that other VA or federal Office of Personnel Management rules or policies need to be changed before they can hire counselors, or that they don't need counselors (although positions for social workers are being posted).

As ACA works with VA headquarters staff on implementation of the standards, we would like to hear about any member experiences so we can document how various agencies are implementing the new standards. If you have contacted your local VA office about applying for a position doing mental health counseling work, please share your story with ACA. If possible, include the job description for the position you inquired about, the name and location of the VA facility, and share what you were told regarding eligibility of licensed professional counselors for the position. Please know that ACA will not share any information, with any VA staff, that could be used to identify you without first obtaining your explicit prior permission.

With such help from members, ACA can identify roadblocks to counselor recognition and work to remove them. Direct information about your experiences and questions to Scott Barstow, Director of Public Policy & Legislation, at 703-823-9800 x234, 800-347-6647 x234 or sbarstow@counseling.org

LGBT Teen's Mental Health Aided by Accepting Parents

According to a recent study by the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco University, family acceptance of LGBT youth results in positive outcomes in their mental health, self-esteem, and overall health status. Based on interviews with self-identified LGBT young adults, researchers found that family acceptance seems to protect against suicidal thoughts and behaviors, as well as depression and substance abuse. The study also found that adolescents from supportive families had self-reported higher levels of self-esteem and self-worth. The study is published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing.

Family Acceptance Project News Release...

Suffering from Counselor Burnout? We Have the Cure!

Shrimp CreoleIf you missed the December 13 email on counselor burnout, click here so you can sample true New Orleans jazz, print out an authentic recipe for Shrimp Creole, view Chef Emeril's 1-minute video, and more! Plus all the links you need to view the entire program are provided in this email.

Not yet registered? Visit www.counseling.org/conference today and register for the March 23-27 ACA 2011 Conference & Exposition in New Orleans.

In the News: Are the Unemployed Destined to be the Unemployable?

A recent New York Times story has economists and policymakers musing about how the most influential economic downturn since the Great Depression may be affecting the long-term employment prospects of those currently unemployed. The article, citing how cyclical unemployment can become structural unemployment, addresses the stigma associated with resume gaps and the beliefs by some employers that individuals unemployed for long periods of time begin adopting negative lifestyle and work habits.

NY Times Article...

New Book by Dr. Gladding: Bringing Art and Science Together for Counselors

The Creative Arts in CounselingIn The Creative Arts in Counseling, Dr. Samuel T. Gladding offers a detailed examination of the expressive therapies in counseling. Dr. Gladding demonstrates how music, dance, imagery, visual arts, literature, drama, and humor can be used as effective strategies with clients. Combining history, theory, and application, he provides a rationale for using each art form with how-to strategies for working with clients of all ages and diverse cultural backgrounds to promote positive change and growth. This fourth edition includes Creative Reflection sections that give readers an opportunity to ponder their own creativity and, for greater ease of use, a new chapter that briefly describes each of the 117 exercises found in the book.

2011 | 308 pgs
Order #72909
ISBN 978-1-55620-314-5
List Price: $48.95
ACA Member Price: $29.95

Order Today...

Relief Efforts in Gulf Oil Spill Disaster Continue

The counseling community—particularly members in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi–should be aware of the Oil Spill Distress Campaign, a coalition of 18 education, health and community organizations (including ACA) that are partnering to provide leadership, information, and assistance during this extended recovery and restoration period. Counselors can visit the Oil Spill Distress website to learn about campaign efforts and resources for use with victims of the disaster.

CACREP Announces Research Funding for Counselor Education Students

MegaphoneThe Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) announces a research funding opportunity for students. Individual students or groups of students at the master's or doctoral level are invited to submit a proposal for funding by CACREP. There are no deadlines, so applications can be made at any time during the year. Applicants must be enrolled in a CACREP program and the research must be related to CACREP in some way.

For More Information...

Elimination of Soft Drinks, Junk Food From Schools: One Step Closer

President Obama has signed into law the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, authorizing increases in funding for child nutrition programs by $4.5 billion over 10 years, and reauthorizing (revising) until 2015 related programs such as the National School Lunch Program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

Passage of the bill sets the stage for the elimination of soft drinks and junk foods from schools nationwide. The bill, S. 3307, authorizes the first increase in school meal reimbursements since 1973, and requires the U.S. Department of Agriculture to update national nutrition standards for all foods sold, including through vending machines, on school campuses throughout the school day. The legislation makes it easier for qualified children to receive free school meals and it extends after-school meals to more at-risk children.

Details...

For more information, please contact ACA's Dominic W. Holt at dholt@counseling.org or 703-823-9800 x242.

On the Lighter (or Possibly Heavier) Side: Changing Male Roles in the Kitchen

Changing Male Roles in the KitchenBeginning with Thanksgiving and thru New Year's Day, the television screens of the nation are tuned to football games with legions of men situated comfortably on a couch in their family room with the remote control in hand. What's wrong with this picture?

According to the Pew Research Center, this stereotype may be outdated, as men today are just as likely to be off in the kitchen preparing or helping to prepare the holiday meals—and enjoying every minute of it. Research conducted in 2006 by Pew found nearly the same percentage of men (32%) and women (35%) saying they "enjoy cooking a great deal." In 1989, women (39%) were more likely than men (25%) to make this claim. The report also address questions such as "Are we eating more these days, or less? Do we enjoy it as much? Is there a correlation between stress and eating?"

Pew Study...

AACE Seeks Editor for MECD

The Association for Assessment in Counseling and Education (AACE), an ACA Division, is seeking applications for the position of editor of Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development (MECD), a national, peer-reviewed journal with a readership comprised of counselors, educators, and other professionals interested in providing leadership, training, and research in the creation, development, production, and use of assessment and diagnostic techniques. The MECD mission is to promote and recognize scholarship, professionalism, leadership, and excellence in the development and use of assessment and diagnostic techniques in counseling. The editor serves a 3-year term beginning July 1, 2011.

Details...

Calendar: Branch Conferences Scheduled in ID, MD, ND, NC, and OK in Early 2011

Branch: Idaho Counseling Association
Theme: Charting a Revolutionary Course – Navigation Tools for Counselors
Dates: January 12-22, 2011
Location: Red Lion Hotel – Pocatello, Pocatello, ID
Information...

Branch: Maryland Association for Counseling & Development
Theme: Graduate Student Conference – Building Professionalism in the Future Leaders of the Counseling Profession
Date: January 28, 2011
Location: Comfort Inn and Conference Center, Bowie, MD
Information...

Branch: North Dakota Counseling Association
Theme: Creating Possibilities
Dates: January 30 - February 1, 2011
Location: Best Western Ramkota, Bismarck, ND
Information...

Branch: North Carolina Counseling Association
Theme: Professional Counselors – Fit To Serve
Dates: February 16-18, 2011
Location: Embassy Suites, Concord, NC
Information...

Branch: Oklahoma Counseling Association
Date: March 4-5, 2011
Location: National Center for Employee Development, Norman, OK
Information...

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 dbrown@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.

About ACAeNews

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.

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.

Marcheta P. Evans, Ph.D., President
Marcheta.evans@utsa.edu

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

Debra Bass, Director of Marketing and Communications
dbass@counseling.org

Frank Burtnett, NCC, NCCC, ACAeNews Editor
fburtnett@counseling.org

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

ACA Web site: www.counseling.org

Copyright 2010, 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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