The case study competition serves as an opportunity to engage graduate students (masters and doctoral level) in critically analyzing a potential ethical case and creating an appropriate ethical decision making plan to respond to the ethical situation.
Rules and Instructions
Purpose: The purpose of the ACA Graduate Student Ethics Case Study Competition is to support the ACA Ethics Committee charge of helping educate the members of the association regarding ethical issues. The case study competition serves as an opportunity to engage graduate students (masters and doctoral level) in critically analyzing a potential ethical case and creating an appropriate ethical decision making plan to respond to the ethical situation.
Team Structure and Rules: The members of the ethics committee will create two mock ethical scenarios, one for the master’s students and one for doctoral students, addressing a current ethical issue facing the profession of counseling. Teams may be comprised of 3-4 masters’ students OR 3-4 doctoral students enrolled in the same counselor education program. Masters and doctoral student teams will be judged in two separate categories. Each team must have a faculty member who will serve as an administrative contact person for the institution. The faculty must be an ACA Member. Only one team of master’s students and one team of doctoral students may apply from each counselor education program.
- Each Counselor Education Program will be allowed to have one team of Master’s level (e.g. may not have two teams of students from different specialty areas) and one team of Doctoral level students enter to compete.
- Each team member must be currently enrolled (in good standing) in a Master’s or Doctoral level program in Counselor Education and will be enrolled for the Fall 2007 term for a minimum of three credits.
- Each team member must be a member of the American Counseling Association (team members may submit membership applications online when they submit their competition registration form).
- Teams should utilize the 2005 Code of Ethics of the American Counseling Association and information from relevant counseling literature for their case study response.
- Utilization of outside sources, URLs, articles, etc. are encouraged for the case study, but the graduate student team members may not consult with anyone outside of their 3-4 member case study team, including their faculty contact or other members of their faculty.
- The role of the faculty contact person is one of a representative of the team’s counseling/education program only and should not act as a consultant in this competition.
- By submitting a case study response, teams agree to allow their names to be posted online, to appear in Counseling Today, and for their responses to be posted online.
Role played by the Ethics Committee
In addition to creating one case study for master’s-level teams and one case study for doctoral-level teams, ACA Ethics Committee members will serve as judges for the competition. Ethics Committee members may not serve as the faculty contact for teams from their institutions. Furthermore, should an Ethics Committee member be associated with an institution that registers a student team for the competition, that Ethics Committee member will recuse herself or himself from judging that particular project.
Prizes recognizing the top three master’s teams and top three doctoral teams will be presented to the winners during the awards ceremony. These winners will also be invited for lunch with the Ethics Committee. In addition, one master’s team and one doctoral team will receive an honorable mention. The names and institutions of the winning master’s and doctoral teams will be published in Counseling Today and posted online. In addition, the winning responses will be posted online.
- First place: Each team member will receive a $75 gift certificate to the ACA Bookstore and a mounted certificate. Each member will also receive a letter of recognition.
- Second place: Each team member will receive a $25 gift certificate to the ACA Bookstore and a mounted certificate. Each member will also receive a letter of recognition.
- Third place: Letter of recognition and mounted certificate.
- All participating programs will receive a letter of recognition.
Cases Available to Teams: 10/15/2007
Case Submission Deadline: 12/14/2007
Decisions Made: 1/18/2008
Winners Announced: 1/23/08
If you have questions about the competition, contact ACA Ethics Committee Co-Chairs Shawn Spurgeon (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Lynn Linde (email@example.com). If you have questions regarding technical aspects of the competition (e.g., problems with registering online), contact ACA Ethics Committee staff liaison Larry Freeman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before you begin your online submission, you must register with the following:
- The ACA Membership Number, address and complete contact information for the Faculty Administrator
- The ACA Membership Number for each team member
Checklist for Case Study Submission:
Case Study Registration and Submission: