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 14, 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

ACA Names Representatives to CDC Project

by Amber McLaughlin | Feb 27, 2014
Five expert members will contribute to the Safe and Supportive Schools Project, which will work with 19 state education agencies to promote the establishment of safe and supportive school environments for all students and staff as an approach to preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections for adolescents.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of the 19 million new sexually transmitted diseases reported each year occur in young people, ages 15-24. In 2010, young people, ages 13-24, accounted for 21 percent of all new HIV infections in the U.S.

This alarming trend clearly indicates that a change is needed in the standard national approach to addressing human sexuality. As part of its mission to enhance the quality of life in society and promote respect for human dignity and diversity, ACA supports a proactive approach to youth health and wellbeing. That’s why we have partnered with the American Psychological Association (APA) to implement the Safe and Supportive Schools Project (SSSP). 

Funded by the CDC for a five-year period, SSSP will work with 19 state education agencies to promote the establishment of safe and supportive school environments for all students and staff as an approach to preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections for adolescents.

ACA has selected five expert members who will review resources and provide implementation guidance for interventions that school counselors, school nurses, school psychologists, and school social workers can use in their districts.

Our representatives to the Safe and Supportive Schools Project are:

Vanessa Cantu, a school counselor at Besteiro Middle School in Brownsville, Texas.  Brownsville is currently the poorest city in the U.S. Consequently; Ms. Cantu works with many homeless students, as well as frequent drug users and students who are practicing unsafe sex.

Rick Gunsallus, PhD., who provides counseling services for schools in Broward County, Florida.  The county in which je works has the second highest number of new AIDS cases per capita in the U.S.  Dr. Gunsallus counsels homeless students, ESL students, and GLBTQ students.

Brian Law, a school counselor at Valdosta high School in Valdosta, Georgia. Mr. Law’s school has a 40% migrant population. He also has experience working in a Title I school.

Patrick Ryan Mullen, a doctoral student in Counselor Education. His dissertation is focusing on school counseling. Mr. Ryan has served as chair of the School Counseling department at Journeys Academy, an alternative and Title I school in Sanford, Florida.

Amanda Rumsey, a school counselor at McLendon elementary School in Decatur, Georgia. Ms. Rumsey enrolled in the doctoral counselor education program at Georgia State University. She has developed school-wide interventions for at-risk students.

"We are proud to play a role in this progressive initiative,” said Dr. Cirecie West-Olatunji, President of ACA.  “Facilitating empowerment for youth to make better decisions early in life, rather than solely focusing on problems after they manifest down the road, is and always will be one of the underlying values of our profession.”

For additional information about the project, please contact David Kaplan at dkaplan@counseling.org.