Student Awards

ACAF 2015 Graduate Student Essay Competitions

Graduate Student Essay Competition - Supported by Gerald and Marianne Corey and Allen and Mary Bradford Ivey (open to all ACA members enrolled in counseling-related graduate studies at an accredited college or university).

Future School Counselors Essay Competition - Supported by the Roland and Dorothy Ross Trust (open to all ACA members enrolled in counseling-related studies at an accredited college or university leading to a career as a professional school counselor at the elementary, middle, or high school level).  Only future school counselors who intend to function in preK-12 educational settings are eligible.

Eligibility and Competition Rules

Only ACA student members can participate in the essay competitions (if not currently a member and you wish to join or renew, please go to www.counseling.org/membership.)  Competitions are open to master's and doctoral level students.  Previous Grand Prize winners are not eligible, but runners up and honorable mentioned awardees may submit essays.

You may enter only one of the two competitions. You must be a currently enrolled student (fall semester/term 2014), taking one or more graduate level courses at an accredited college or university.

For the ACA Future School Counselors Essay Competition, you must certify that you are working toward a career as a professional school counselor at the elementary, middle or high school level. 

You must submit an essay, 500 words or less in length, that addresses the theme identified below, and submit the essay via the online essay submission site below (essays that exceed 500 words, as well as any emailed or mailed submissions will not be accepted). 

The decisions of the judges are final. All entrants, by the act of entering, grant the American Counseling Association and the ACA Foundation the right to publish their essay as part of the post-competition publicity in ACA’s
Counseling Today magazine and on the ACA and ACA Foundation websites. There can be no substitution of prizes and no cash returned on any portion of the unused ACA eGift Certificate prizes. 

Entries must be received no later than December 12, 2014 at 11:59 PM, EST. Entries received after this time will not be considered.

Prizes

Corey/Ivey Graduate Student Essay Competition

Grand Prize Winner (1)
  • $1,000 grant,
  • Complimentary registration for ACA 2015 Annual Conference,
  • $250 ACA eGift certificate, and
  • Publication of essay in Counseling Today
Runners-up (5)
  • Complimentary registration for the ACA 2015 Annual Conference, and
  • $250 ACA eGift certificate
Honorable Mention (10)
  • Complimentary registration for ACA 2015 Annual Conference OR
  • $250 ACA eGift certificate

Ross Trust Future School Counselors Essay Competition

Grand Prize Winner (1)
  • $1,000 grant,
  • Complimentary registration for ACA 2015 Annual Conference,
  • $250 ACA eGift certificate, and
  • Publication of essay in Counseling Today
Runners-up (5)
  • Complimentary registration for the ACA 2015 Annual Conference, and
  • $250 ACA eGift certificate
Honorable Mention (10)
  • Complimentary registration for ACA 2015 Annual Conference OR
  • $250 ACA eGift certificate

An announcement of the essay competition winners will be made on January 16, 2015. Check www.counseling.org for that information.

Essay Theme

"ACA recently approved a significant revision to its Code of Ethics. State your belief as to the fundamental purpose of ethical standards in the counseling profession and how they can be more effectively communicated to the membership and the profession."

Link to ACA Code of Ethicshttp://www.counseling.org/docs/ethics/2014-aca-code-of-ethics

It is recommended that you write your essay in the program of choice and then copy and paste it into the essay box in the online submission form below.  Please retain a copy of your essay in case there is a problem in transmission of your entry. Neither ACA or the ACA Foundation is responsible if an entry does not reach us. Essay length is limited to 500 words.  Longer essays will be disqualified. Entry deadline is 11:59 pm EST on December 12, 2014.  Entries received after this time will not be considered.

Please have your ACA Member ID ready to submit on the form below.  
To obtain your Member ID, please visit MY ACA and enter your username and password.  Your Member ID will be listed on your dashboard.  If you have any issues signing in or obtaining your Member ID, please contact ACA Member Services at (800) 347-6647, x222.  Entries without a valid Member ID will be disqualified.

Write and Submit Your Essay Here! 

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding these competitions, please email them to 
essaycontests@counseling.org.

 

2014 Graduate Student Essay Competition Winners

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Latest News

Help ACA design the 2014 For Graduate Students and New Professionals Only conference series in Hawaii!

by Don Kenneally | Apr 11, 2013
ACA really enjoys paying as much attention as we can to graduate students and new professionals and we need your help to do so.

Dear Graduate Students and New Professionals,

ACA really enjoys paying as much attention as we can to graduate students and new professionals and we need your help to do so.

An important ACA initiative is our special For Graduate Students and New Professionals Only conference series. Each year at the annual conference, ACA provides education sessions by some of the most famous authors, theorists, and leaders in professional counseling on topics specifically chosen by graduate students and new professionals. Previous For Graduate Students and New Professionals Only presentations have included:

  • Patricia Arredondo—Making the Most of Supervision.
  • Gerald Corey—Finding a Meaningful Life After Graduate School.
  • Gerald Corey, Marianne Corey, & Jamie Bludworth—Becoming a Professional Counselor
  • Rebecca Daniel-Burke—Finding a Counseling Job in This Lousy Economy. A New Opportunity: Getting a Job in Integrated Care.
  • Marcheta Evans—What Graduate Students and New Professionals Need to Know About Mindfulness.
  • Jo-Ann Lipford Sanders—What Graduate Students and New Professionals Need to Know About the Current State of Multiculturalism.
  • Carman Gill & Stephanie Dailey—Got Spirit? Our Clients Do.
  • Sam Gladding—What Graduate Students and New Professionals Need to Know About Humor in Counseling.
  • Sam Gladding & Donna Henderson—Keeping the Boundaries From Breaking in Counselor Education: Professor/Student Relationships.
  • Jane Goodman—Master Teaching Techniques for Rookie Counselor Educators.
  • Allen & Mary Ivey—What Graduate Students and New Professionals Need to Know About Neuroscience.
  • Marty Jencius—What Graduate Students and New Professionals Need to Know About Social Media.
  • Jeffrey Kottler—What Can I Do With My Counseling Degree? Career Options for Graduate Students and New Professionals.
  • Courtland Lee—Let Your Degree be Your Passport: International Opportunities for Graduate Students and New Professionals.
  • Lynn Linde—Office Politics 101.
  • Sandra Lopez-Baez—Practical Pointers for Graduate Students and Professionals.
  • Deborah Legge—Preparing Graduate students and New Professionals for Success in Private Practice.
  • Chris Moll—From Backpacks to Briefcases: Making the Transition From Graduate Student to Professional Counselor.
  • Jane Myers—Wellness & Self-Care for Graduate Students and New Professionals.
  • Beverly O’Bryant—Knowing me, Supporting Me, and Marketing Me.
  • Cynthia Osborne, Pamela Paisley & Jack Culbreth—How to Find Post-Grad Supervision on a Shoestring Budget.
  • Mark Pope—How to Get Through Your Dissertation (and Graduate).
  • Anneliese Singh—“Do Ask, Do Tell”: Current LGBTQ Issues in Counseling for Graduate Students and New Professionals.
  • Don W. Locke—Building Skills and Advocating for the Counseling Profession.

ACA needs your help in determining the lineup for the 2014 ACA conference in Hawaii next March. We would love to have you respond to the following two questions: 1.—Other than a faculty member in your own program, who is a famous counselor that you would enjoy seeing (and meeting) at the conference? Who is the person most likely to get the following reaction from you: “I can’t believe I’m seeing her/him in person!”

2. What topic(s) would you like to see at the 2014 conference for the For Graduate Students and New Professionals Only series? Most of our student attendees are enrolled in master’s degree programs, so while we certainly want doctoral level related programs, we are especially desirous of topics that are meaningful to master’s level students and new professionals.

ACA thanks you for your willingness to help construct the 2014 For Graduate Students and New Professionals Only series. The ACA conference is the world’s largest conference for professional counselors (3,500 attended the Cincinnati conference last month) and we hope that everyone can come to Hawaii. For information on the conference – including how to submit a proposal before the June 5th deadline- visit www.counseling.org/conference. Even if you can’t attend we still would love to have your ideas for the series.

You can send your thoughts directly to ACA at dkaplan@counseling.org.