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Welcome to the first issue of ACAeNews for Counseling Students and New Professionals, our newest addition to our series of Special Focus enewsletters. The other three are:
This electronic newsletter is a free service for ACA members. To ensure that all members are aware of this series, we will send the first two issues of each enewsletter to all members for whom we have an email address. Upon receipt of the second issue of each title, you will be provided directions to opt-in to receive further issues. If you do not wish to receive a title after the second issue, no action is required on your part. All ACA members will continue to receive the regular biweekly ACAeNews.
We hope you find this new benefit useful and we welcome your feedback. Please email the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Richard Yep, CAE
1. In this year of historic change, what do you see as the most formidable challenges for individual counseling students and new professionals?
Given the recent tumultuous times both nationally and globally as well as the desperate need for hope and positive change, students and new professionals need to prepare themselves to be on the front line. People are scared, bewildered, and hurting. Counseling professionals are exclusively prepared to meet the needs of clients facing the myriad changes that occur on a daily and sometimes hourly basis. That is, counselors are prepared to meet the needs of everyday people facing everyday problems and, now, more often than not, everyday people are facing extraordinary problems and counselors need to be prepared to help.
2. How similar or different would those challenges be for the profession as a whole?
I think the challenges are pretty much the same for our profession as a whole as they are for students and emerging professionals. As counseling professionals, we are uniquely prepared to help people face today's challenges and we need to make sure that folks know who we are and what we do. We are here to help, to stand with our clients and their significant others in their fear and pain and help effect positive and lasting changes in their lives. We are also in the unique position as a profession to face social injustice and oppression head on, with a voice strong and proud that all people, regardless of differences, should be treated fairly, affirmatively, and with unconditional positive regard.
3. What role will ACA play in helping students and new professionals transition into long and productive careers as counselors?
ACA understands the life-cycle of the counseling professional. This year we have added many more options that reflect the changing needs of our members. For example, we now offer a number of podcasts so that students and professionals alike can listen to pertinent information and knowledge while they are on the go. We also offer Counseling Today in a new magazine format that is by all accounts much more user-friendly. At the conference in Charlotte, we plan to offer a number of opportunities to earn CEs as well as free consultation on a number of topics such as ethics, building and maintaining a private practice and more. Another exciting project is ACA's collaboration with ACES in creating and maintaining a Syllabus Clearinghouse. Newly graduated counselor educators can now access syllabi that have been submitted by counselor educators from across the U. S. This is truly exciting as I remember all too well when I first graduated the daunting task of trying to write my first syllabus….fortunately, I was able to "borrow" from my professors and now there is a formalized process for borrowing syllabi. How exciting!
4. If you could offer a single tip or piece of advice to students and new professionals during their preparation and early career experiences, what would it be?
Join ACA, get involved, find a mentor, take the risk to be a leader and help shape our profession. We need our students and new professionals now more than ever. In this constantly changing world, counselors are on the front line, and, indeed, we are the front line.
ACA just announced a new benefit for its Master's level student members: professional liability ("malpractice") insurance. The ACA Student membership of $89 now includes liability insurance to ACA student members enrolled and engaged in a master's degree counseling curriculum at a post secondary institution. Coverage is solely while performing counseling services (e.g. practicum and internship) related to such curriculum.
For additional questions and to learn how to obtain your "Evidence of Insurance" document, click here or contact ACA Member Services toll free at 1-800-347-6647, ext. 222 or 703-823-9800, ext. 222.
ACA and its endorsed insurance provider, Healthcare Providers Service Organization (HPSO), are pleased to add this additional high-value benefit to the counseling professionals of the future—ACA student members!
Please Note: Students enrolled in a bachelors, doctoral degree program or other post master's program are not covered through this program. But don't worry, there is a program available to you. Call ACA's Insurance Trust at 800-347-6647 x284 for more information.
Graduate school costs and the availability of financial assistance are "hot button" issues with both undergraduate and graduate students and the current economy may be adding additional anxiety. Give us your thoughts on graduate school financing and the impact it has on your student status. All respondents will be anonymous. Findings will be reported in a forthcoming edition of the bimonthly ACAeNews.
In his second edition of Becoming a Counselor: The Light, the Bright, and the Serious, Sam Gladding offers insights into the role of a professional counselor and a veteran's view of how personal successes, missteps, and lessons learned shape our counseling careers.
Becoming a Counselor: The Light, the Bright, and the Serious, Second Edition
This unique book provides insight into the turning points that influence professional growth and development as a counselor.Through the use of memorable and often humorous autobiographical vignettes, Dr. Gladding shares his experiences as one of counseling's most beloved and respected leaders. His personal experiences reflect universal themes in becoming a helping professional, and both novice and seasoned counselors will benefit from his knowledge, skill, and the wisdom drawn from more than 30 years in the profession.
Topics addressed include personal growth; finding what works and learning from failure; basic skills and counseling processes; creativity in counseling; multicultural and spiritual considerations; the influences of colleagues, friends, and family; working with groups and families; professional development; leadership; and termination. Each section of the book contains "Points to Ponder" to facilitate classroom discussion and personal reflection.
Published by the ACA Foundation
Professional counselors who have incurred debt via federal student loans may qualify for certain new loan repayment and loan forgiveness programs. Income-Based Repayment (IBR) is a new way to make your federal student loan payments more manageable, starting in July 2009.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness is a new program for federal student loan borrowers who work in certain kinds of jobs. It will forgive remaining debt after 10 years of eligible employment and qualifying loan payments. (During those 10 years, the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plan can help keep your loan payments affordable.)
Thirdly, professional school counselors working in certain low-income schools may be eligible for the "Loan Forgiveness for Service in Areas of National Need" program. Under this program, the federal government will forgive up to $2,000 in Federal Stafford Loan or Federal Direct Stafford Loan debt, for each school year or calendar year of full-time employment in area of national need, up to 5 years, for a maximum of $10,000 per eligible borrower.
Also, ACA has published a document entitled: Student Loan Forgiveness Programs for Counselors (August 2008), which is available in the members-only area of the ACA website.
The good news is we have computers to help us with our work. The bad news is we have computers to hinder us in our work. At a time when our work and school responsibilities scream out for us to "multitask," we must take stock of how we do our work, set our priorities, and tackle our assignments. Penelope Trunk's Brazen Careerist Blog offers ten simple strategies for to consider in addressing time management.
Not so fast with that point of view. According to the Educational Testing Service (ETS), administrator of the Graduate Record Exam, the period of steady rise in GRE applications has come to a halt. The number of test takers rose to a half million in the mid part of this decade (577,000 in 2007). ETS projected 675,000 exam takers for 2008 but the actual number was 621,000. The shoe that hasn't fallen yet is whether the costs incurred by existing students will be affected by these lower enrollments. Will graduate student tuition, fees, and other costs rise if enrollments are lower?
Two listservs designed specifically for graduate students in counseling offer great opportunities for students to connect over subjects they are studying, research they are conducting, and matters they would just like to share with their peers.
COUNSGRADS is a listserv that is operated by faculty out of Ohio State University since 1997. To register for it, send an email to: email@example.com with the following in the body of the message (without parenthesis): subscribe COUNSGRADS (first name) (last name). Example: subscribe COUNSGRADS fran benjamin
ACESGS is an unmoderated listserv for students managed out of Kent State University by Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, an ACA Division. Students can sign on to the ACESGS listserv at any time by placing only the text (not the quote marks) "SUBSCRIBE ACESGS Jane Doe" in the body of an e-mail sent to: LISTSERV@LISTSERV.KENT.EDU
Each listserv should be used for academic and professional purposes and each person utilizing the listserv has the responsibility to post and respond to messages in a professional manner and use the appropriate Internet etiquette. The use of inappropriate content or language will result in removal from either listserv. The listserv manager and monitors have the discretion to determine if content or language is inappropriate.
"Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions -- who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage."
-- Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, January 20, 2009
Has your new position thrust you into a grant writing role? Could you use some grant money to fund your scholarly research? Would you like to get a better understanding of the core elements of grant writing? The Minnesota Council of Foundations has some valuable information and guidelines for both novice and veteran grant writers.
Fifteen ACA student members have been named recipients of the Ross Trust Scholarships by ACA. Each student will receive a $1,000 award, an extension of their association membership for one year and a complimentary registration to the 2009 ACA Conference & Exposition in Charlotte, NC.
The Ross Trust Scholarships are awarded annually to students committed to working in educational environments who display outstanding scholarship and volunteer service. Each must be an ACA member and nominated by an ACA member counselor educator.
The nomination and application process for the 2010 Ross Trust Scholarship Program will begin in early fall. Watch ACAeNews for an announcement.
Many recent Internet participation studies have focused on use by teens and children, so a new report of the Pew Internet & American Life Project offers some interesting data. Contrary to the image of Generation Y as the "Net Generation," Internet users in their twenties do not dominate online life. Generation X is the most likely group to bank, shop, and look for health information online. Boomers are just as likely as Generation Y to make travel reservations online. Following are the percentages of Internet users by adult group:
Each edition of this e-newsletter will identify one or more websites members can use to learn about programs, services, and resources that can be useful in their studies and work. To start with, check out the Student section of the ACA website which tells student members all the things they need to know to maximize their student affiliation with ACA. Visit the student page now to see what's there and then come back regularly to see what new information has been added.
Courtland C. Lee, chair of the ACA Foundation, invites all graduate students enrolled in counseling programs to enter this year's ACAF Graduate Student Essay Contest. This annual contest offers a top prize of $500 plus five paid ACA student memberships. Five winning essays will be published in Counseling Today.
Students can write up to 750 words on one of the following topics:
Topic A: Do you think there is an advantage to counselor education programs having students focus on a particular theoretical framework, or should counselor education promote a more wide-ranging and eclectic approach in training counselors?
Topic B: Given how our country's demographics have changed in a variety of ways in recent years, do you think the counseling profession has taken adequate steps to meet the needs of this nation's changing population? If yes, in what ways have counselors or counseling changed? If no, what needs to be done?
Complete contest rules can be found at counseling.org/ACAFContest. The contest deadline is May 1, 2009.
The Council of Graduate Schools does not offer any financial assistance for graduate students, but it does maintain a good list of aid providers and other resources online. Included are organizations and agencies offering scholarships, fellowships, traineeships, and assistantships. The website also offers guidelines on how these programs should be administered, including student rights in accepting them.
The ACA 2009 Conference & Exposition, March 19-23 in Charlotte, NC, will once again offer focused sessions for counseling students and professionals in the early stages of their counseling careers. Participants will be exposed to a highly regarded group of counseling professionals speaking on topics that graduate students and new professionals have identified as critical to their success. In addition, the ACA Conference & Exposition affords students unparalleled opportunities to network with their fellow students from around the nation.
This year, the series includes:
Additional education sessions developed for students are also on the program:
Also of interest:
For students who are members of ACA/NCCA, the full registration rate through February 17 is $240; for nonmember students, the rate is $440. Full conference program details and registration information are available online here.
Questions about conference registration can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-347-6647, ext. 222.
*Free Ethics Consults, Free Private Practice Consults, and a very limited number of Free Career Consults are still available. For more information and to set up an appointment for a free consult contact Jason Wilke at email@example.com
The ACA Graduate Student Ethics Competition has once again yielded a group of outstanding ethics team responses. Essays from 34 counselor education programs were considered in the competition. The winning teams will be honored at the ACA 2009 Conference by the ACA Ethics Committee and their essays will be posted on www.counseling.org.
The 2009 winners represented the following institutions:
Master's Level Competition
Doctoral Level Competition
ACAeNews for Counseling Students and New Professionals is one of four new electronic newsletters that will be published three times per year each by the American Counseling Association for the benefit of members working in these unique settings. It is disseminated as an opt-in subscription enewsletter and is a free benefit of ACA membership. The next issue will include information on how to opt-in as a subscriber.
The other three special focus enewsletters are:
Any reference to a product, service or activity or listing of a web site in this publication 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 Frank Burtnett. All submissions will be subject to review by ACA for accuracy, timeliness and relevance to the readership and may be edited.
Colleen Logan, President
Richard Yep, CAE, Executive Director
Debra Bass, Director of Marketing and Communications
Frank Burtnett, ACAeNews Editor
Don Kenneally, Internet Development / Production
ACA Website: www.counseling.org
Copyright 2009, American Counseling Association, 5999 Stevenson Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone: 703/823-9800. Email: firstname.lastname@example.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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