Student Awards

ACA Foundation 2018 Graduate Student Essay Competitions

Welcome to the ACA Foundation 2018 Graduate Student Essay Competitions! This program is available to ACA student members and administered by the ACA Foundation. Since its inception, the ACA Foundation has been a strong supporter of graduate students in counseling. From scholarship awards for attendance at the ACA Annual Conference and Expo, to supporting the Graduate Student/New Professional Center and special education events at the annual conference, the ACA Foundation has taken an active role in helping counseling students become more involved in this exciting and demanding profession.

The ACA Foundation 2018 Graduate Student Essay Competitions, including the Future School Counselors Essay Competition (sponsored by the Roland and Dorothy Ross Trust) and the Graduate Student Essay Competition (sponsored by Gerald and Marianne Corey and Allen and Mary Bradford Ivey), will operate according to the following calendar:

  • The online essay submission form will go live on Monday, October 2, 2017.
  • All essays must be received by January 9, 2018 at 11:59 pm EST.
  • Award recipients will announced by early February 2018.
  • Essay competition winners will be recognized at the National Awards ceremony at the ACA 2018 Conference & Expo  in Atlanta, Georgia.

Essay Competitions
Two competitions for ACA student members are being held: 

Corey/Ivey Tomorrow’s Counselor 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 in the fall of 2017 at an accredited college or university). This competition is open to students preparing to work in mental health, private practice, community agency, agency, organization and related counseling settings.

Ross Trust Future School Counselors Essay Competition  - Supported by the Roland and Dorothy Ross Trust (open to all ACA members enrolled in counseling-related studies in the fall of 2017 at an accredited college or university) leading to a career as a professional school counselor at the elementary, middle, or high school level.

Eligibility and Competition Rules

Only ACA student members can participate in the essay competitions. Participants may enter only one of the two competitions. 
    
Competitions are open to master's and doctoral level students. You must be a currently enrolled student (fall semester/term  2017), 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. 

Essays are to be 500 words or less in length, addressing an appropriate  theme from the list below, and submitted via the online essay submission form below (emailed or mailed submissions will not be accepted) by January 8, 2018 at 11:59 PM, EST.  

Previous grand prize winners are not eligible, but runners up and honorable mentioned awardees may submit essays.

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. 

Prizes

Corey/Ivey Graduate Student Essay Competition

Grand Prize Winner (1) - $500 grant, Complimentary registration to the ACA 2018 Conference & Expo, Publication of essay in Counseling Today

Runners-up (5) - $250 grant, Complimentary registration to the ACA 2018 Conference & Expo,

Honorable Mention (10) - Complimentary registration to the ACA 2018 Conference & Expo

Ross Trust Future School Counselors Essay Competition

Grand Prize Winner (1) - $500 grant, Complimentary registration to the ACA 2018 Conference & Expo, Publication of essay in Counseling Today

Runners-up (5) - $250 grant, Complimentary registration to the ACA 2018 Conference & Expo

Honorable Mention (10) - Complimentary registration to the ACA 2018 Conference & Expo

Essay Theme

ACA student members wishing to participate in either essay competition must address one of the following themes:

Option A

Essay applicants for either the Tomorrow’s Counselors Competition or the Future School Counselors Competition can answer the following question:

As a professional counselor, how would you promote openness and inclusion in your work? Furthermore, how would you reach out and support under-served and underrepresented clients?

OR

Option B

Essay applicants should respond to the appropriate theme below:

Corey/Ivey Tomorrow's Counselors Competition

Strategies professional counselors can employ in addressing the current opiod crisis in America

Ross Trust / Future School Counselors Competition

The role of the professional school counselors in promoting career and college readiness with under-served and underrepresented students

 

Only one essay can be submitted. It is recommended that you write your essay in the program of choice and then copy and paste it into 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 nor the ACA Foundation is responsible if an entry does not reach us. Essay length is limited to 500 words. Entry deadline is 11:59 pm EST on January 8, 2018. 


Click here to read the 2017 grand prize winning essays.

Judging

All entries will be read by a team of experienced professional counselors and evaluated with respect to how effectively the essay addresses the subject and offers provocative insights into the profession of counseling and its future. Judges will want to see ideas well explained and supported, but will also be evaluating how effectively the essayist presented his/her view and how interesting that position will be seen by the counseling community at large.

Judging will be completed by late January so that winners can be notified in time to make plans to attend the ACA Conference & Expo, April 26-29 in Atlanta, Georgia. Grand prize and runners up winners will receive their grants at the ACA National Awards Ceremony.

Ready to enter? Complete the information requested on the entry form below and submit to ACA by January 8, 2018 at 11:59 pm, EST.

Contact Information

Questions? Email them to essaycontests@counseling.org.

Winners of the ACA Graduate Student Essay Competitions for 2017

The ACA Foundation Graduate Students Essay Competitions award winners for 2017 have been selected. Essayists this year were challenged to create a message for the new federal administration on the importance of supporting the counseling needs of the populace, and the counselors that provide these services in varied settings across the nation.

 Future School Counselor Essay Competition

 Grand Prize Winner (Award - $500 and complimentary 2017 conference registration)

  •  Mitra Ghandeharizadeh, Johns Hopkins University (MD)

 Runners Up (Award - $250 and complimentary 2017 ACA conference registration)

  • Trista Bruns, Plymouth State University (NH)
  • Jennifer Debevec, San Francisco State University (CA)
  • Katie Hanson, University of North Dakota (ND)
  • Claire Randall, Liberty University (VA)
  • Nicholas White, Alfred University (NY)

Honorable Mentions (Award - Complimentary 2017 ACA conference registration)

  • Megan Dunn, Monmouth University (NJ)
  • Jennifer Dwiggins, College of William & Mary (VA)
  • Jacqueline Iloh, Johns Hopkins University (MD)
  • Marcus Peerman, Virginia State University (VA)
  • Margaret Scally, Trinity Washington University (DC)
  • Austen Winkler, College of William & Mary (VA)
  • Rebecca Yellen, Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi (TX)

Tomorrow’s Counselor Essay Competition

 

Grand Prize Winner  (Award - $500 and complimentary 2017 conference registration)

  •  Leah Culler, Antioch University – Seattle (WA)

 Runners Up (Award - $250 and complimentary 2017 ACA conference registration)

  • Jacqueline Barthelemy, Chicago School of Professional Psychology (IL)
  • Sam Colbert, Ball State University (IN)
  • Travis Kraemer, Western Seminary (OR)
  • Jeffrey Wilson, MidAmerica Nazarene University (KS)
  • Leah Yeomans, University of North Carolina – Charlotte (NC)

Honorable Mentions (Award - Complimentary 2017 ACA conference registration)

  • Brittany Bishop, Longwood University (VA)
  • Karen Cohen, National Louis University (IL)
  • Lauren Deasy, University of North Carolina – Charlotte (NC)
  • Jazmin Gonzalez, University of Texas at El Paso (TX)
  • Eleanor McAuliffe, University of New Orleans (LA)
  • Pneurissa Stamps, Chicago State University (IL)
  • Cassandra Riedy, Belmont University (TN)
  • Kasey Seltner, Neumann University (PA)
  • Angela Touchton, Lindsey Wilson College (KY)
  • Caleb Watkins,University of the Cumberlands (KY)

 The Grand Prize essays will be published in an upcoming edition of Counseling Today.

 

 




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Latest News

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

by User Not Found | 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.