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College Freshmen Speak Out on Habits, Parents, Social Networking and Diversity

The findings of The American College Freshman study, the nation's oldest and largest empirical study of higher education, were released earlier this month by the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CERP) of the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI). Involving 13 million current freshman students at 1,900 institutions, the study produced information on student "habits of mind" essential to ensuring success in academic work, the use of social networking sites in student communication and student understanding of diverse cultures. Also examined in the 2007/08 study were trends in parental involvement in college-related decisions.

The two "habits of mind" in which the most freshmen report "frequently" engaging were supporting opinions with logical arguments (58.2%) and asking questions in class (54.4%). The parental engagement question focused on whether involvement in a series of decisions and actions was "too much," "right amount," or 'too little." Noteworthy were the number of matters in which students would have liked greater parent involvement. Highlighted findings and commentary can be found in this HERI research brief. A comprehensive set of findings can be found in the Chronicle of Higher Education, which detailed The American College Freshman study in a February 1, 2008 feature.

Worth Reading - Combating Depression Results in Worker and Workplace Gains

Systematically identifying and treating employees' depression symptoms is likely to result in higher job retention, fewer sickness-related absences and increased worker productivity, a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) sponsored study has recently found. Earlier research had shown that employees who are depressed are less productive and experience a higher rate of absenteeism. This and other studies have shown that organized screening and enhanced depression treatment can significantly improve health. However, few employers have implemented such programs, in part because their return on investment has been unclear. Counselors should consider using these findings in supporting the creation and extension of mental health counseling initiatives as a part of employee assistance programs.


15 Named Ross Trust Scholarship Recipients by ACA

The recipients of the 2008 Ross Trust Scholarships have been named by ACA. Recognized for their stellar academic achievements, as well as their commitment to volunteerism and a desire to work in the K-12 educational environment in the future, the five doctoral and ten master's level students represent the fourth group to receive the annual awards. Each of the 2008 recipients is awarded a $1,000 scholarship, free ACA student membership and a complimentary registration to the ACA Conference & Exposition. Congratulations to these recipients:

Doctoral level
Tonya Jasinski, University of South Carolina
Erika Nash, University of Missouri
Megan Reibel, Seattle Pacific University
Margaret Shillingford, University of Central Florida
Chinwe Uway, GeorgiaState University

Masters level
Whitney Blaszak, Radford University
Melissa Combs, Purdue University
Jennifer Garcia, Seattle Pacific University
Shannon Hall, Old Dominion University
Lauren Hamar, Old Dominion University
Lewis Hatcher, Wake Forest University
Stephen Kennedy, University of North Carolina - Greensboro
Meghan Orgeman, St. Cloud State University
Brandy Smith, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
Nickolas Tackett, University of Central Florida

The nomination and application process for the 2009 competition will begin during the early fall semester. Watch and ACAeNews for details.

Reliable Resource - Hurricane Impact on Mental Health Data

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Office of Applied Studies (OAS) has just released an 8-page report based on data from the SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use & Health that provides substance use and mental health data before and after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in both the Gulf State disaster areas and the rest of the nation. It also examines the impact of displacement on Gulf State disaster area residents.


ACA Best-Seller on Solution-Focused Counseling in Schools Revised

Solution-Focused Counseling in Schools, 2nd Edition
by John J. Murphy

This book offers a refreshingly positive and practical approach to resolving a diverse range of problems from preschool through high school. Drawing on the most recent research and on his extensive experience as a school practitioner and trainer, Murphy presents a step-by-step guide to solution-focused counseling in today's schools. This strength-based approach is illustrated through real-world examples and dialogues from actual counseling sessions. User-friendly forms, questionnaires, and handouts are provided for immediate application with students, teachers, and parents. The revised book will be available in mid-February.

Order #72873 ISBN 978-1-55620-247-6
List Price: $44.95
ACA Member Price: $33.95

Order Online...

ACA Link to Amazon Helps Members, Supports Association

Use the ACA portal to for your next book order and support your profession! ACA earns referral fees on each order, and these funds are used to support professional programs and services of the organizations. Should you be shopping for books and other products, use this Amazon link and you will be participating in the largest Internet partnership of its kind. Please continue, however, to order your ACA book titles through the ACA bookstore.

US Department of Education Call for Grant Proposal Reviewers

Several departments of the federal government have put out a call for peer reviewers for grant programs relevant to counseling in the schools. Reviewers are needed for the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Grants Program and the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Grants, a process that is performed online and through a series of conference calls. Practicing counselors, supervisors and counselor educators are encouraged to apply for these compensated positions.

Interested readers should send an email indicating interest and a current resume to the 2008 peer review contractor, Federal Business Services and the appropriate program officer(s) identified below:

Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program-Send email and resume to: and

Safe Schools/Health Students Program-Send email and resume to: and

ACAF Grad Student Essay Competition Now Open: Entries Due April 25

Over its 11-year history the ACAF Graduate Student Essay Competition has produced some remarkable examples of scholarship and commentary. The 2008 Competition is now open! ACA Graduate student members can voice their opinions, compete to win prizes and have their essay published on the ACA website and in Counseling Today. Students should write 750 words on one of the following topics:

1. What is the single most important issue you see facing the counseling profession over the next decade?
2. What can counselors and /or the counseling profession do to be more proactive in combating depression and the problems it brings?
3. Do you think all professional counselors, regardless of specialty, should be licensed? Why or why not?

Complete contest rules, prizes and submission instructions are available at or from ACA Member Services at 800-347-6647, X222. The deadline for the submission of essays is April 25, 2008.

Fast Fact - Hispanic Population Headed Toward 100 Million

The US Census Bureau has projected the Hispanic population in America to grow to 102.6 million in 2050. According to this projection, Hispanics will constitute 24 percent of the nation's total population at that point.

Texas, Ohio Universities among ACA Ethics Competition Winners

The fourth annual ACA Ethics Case Study Competition is now history and winners have been announced. Following are the institutions, student teams and faculty representatives of the award winning entries:

Masters Level Competition:

1st Place: University of North Texas
Student Team Members: David D. Huffman, Daisy Colin, Kimberlee Tucker, Lorena Rodriguez Fernandez
Faculty: Dr. Casey Barrio Minton

2nd Place: Oakland University
Student Team Members: Kirsti J. Reeve, Amy Willett, Suzanne Sebree
Faculty: Dr. Thomas W. Blume

3rd Place: Argosy University-Seattle
Student Team Members: Karmen Lynn Walker, Brandin Chapman, Kris Goodman
Faculty: Dr. Deidra L. Clay

Doctoral Level:

1st Place: University of Toledo
Student Team Members: Amber Lange, Tara M. Hill, Christie D. Jenkins, Megan Mahon
Faculty: Dr. Nick Piazza

2nd Place: Old Dominion University
Student Team Members: Amanda C. Healey, Michael Hauser, Katherine Moore, Cynthia Walley
Faculty: Dr. Edward Neukrug

3rd Place: The University of Akron
Student Team Members: Michelle E. Toth, Kevin P. Feisthamel, Kara Kaelber
Faculty: Dr. Cynthia R. Reynolds

Congratulations to the winners!

ACAF Counselors Care Fund Appeal Results in Doubling of Contributions

Contributions doubled this year for the American Counseling Association Foundation (ACAF) 2007 year-end Counselors Care Fund Appeal. During the January Board meeting in New Orleans, ACAF Trustees heard firsthand accounts of the impact Counselors Care grants had on the people and programs affected by Hurricane Katrina, including an account by a doctoral student whose counseling studies had been severely interrupted by the tragedy. His grant is now allowing him to address personal and family matters and resume his educational and career dream. Gifts to the ACAF Counselors Care Fundare making a difference in the lives of ACA members! The Trustees thank all of the donors who contributed and urge you to keep contributing.

To learn more about the important work of the ACA Foundation or to make a contribution to the Counselors Care Fund go to:

Noteworthy Events and Important Dates

February 15-18, 2008
Event: California Counseling Association
Location: Conference cruise from Long Beach, CA to Ensenada, Mexico
Details: 2008_Cruise_Brochure.pdf.

February 20-23, 2008
Event: North Carolina Counseling Association Annual Conference
Location: Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center, Durham, NC

March 26-30, 2008
ACA 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition
Location: Honolulu, HI
February 15, 2008: Last discounted registration opportunity
February 22, 2008: Deadline for discounted rates on hotels

March 31-April 1, 2008 (Pre-conference on March 30)
Event: Maine Counseling Association Annual Conference
Location: Samoset Resort, Rockport, ME
Details: or contact Jeannie McKenney at

ACA divisions, branches, and regions are valuable sources of learning and professional development. Information on events will be posted approximately eight weeks prior. This information is made available to ACAeNews via the ACA master calendar and the various organization web sites. Send calendar items to Please provide the sponsor, dates, site and contact person information. Information posted here is restricted to that sponsored by ACA divisions, branches, regions and related organizations.

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About ACAeNews

ACAeNews is published biweekly by the American Counseling Association for the benefit of members and the counseling profession. Any reference to a product, service or activity or listing of a web site in ACAeNews 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.

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© 2008 American Counseling Association, 5999 Stevenson Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone: 703/823-9800. Email: 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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