About ACA

About ACA

The American Counseling Association is a not-for-profit, professional and educational organization that is dedicated to the growth and enhancement of the counseling profession. Founded in 1952, ACA is the world's largest association exclusively representing professional counselors in various practice settings.

What Is Counseling?

According to 20/20: A Vision for the Future of Counseling, the delegates comprised of 31 counseling organizations agreed upon a unified definition of counseling: Professional counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.

Divisions, Branches, and Regions

There are 19 chartered divisions within the American Counseling Association. These divisions provide leadership, resources and information unique to specialized areas and/or principles of counseling.  ACA has four regions, which serves members in those regions.  Lastly, ACA has 56 chartered branches in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America.  Please click the following links to get more information about ACA's Divisions, Branches, and Regions.

Policies, Bylaws & Forms


ACA Articles of Incorporation and Amendments
ACA Articles of Incorporation - August 1952 

ACA Bylaws
Bylaws - March 2015

ACA Policies Manual
Policy Manual - April 2018

ACA Code of Ethics

2014 ACA Code of Ethics

Code of Leadership Conduct

ACA Code of Leadership Conduct

Past Meeting Minutes
APGA/AACD/ACA Governance Meeting Minutes

Governing Council Motions
Governing Council Motions - 2003 - Present (April 2018)

IRS Form 1023, Exemption Application

IRS Tax Exemption Letter for ACA

IRS Tax Exemption Letter for ACA Group (ACA divisions that are listed)

IRS Form 990 - ACA 2016 Public Version




Learn more about what ACA does for its members here.

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Latest News

American Counseling Association Foundation Offers Grants of Up to $500

by User Not Found | Oct 19, 2017
The American Counseling Association Foundation is seeking proposals from American Counseling Association members for grants of up to $500 in three areas: Disaster-Relief Efforts, Growing Healthy and Confident Kids, and General Needs.
  • Disaster-Relief Efforts: The Disaster-Relief Grants will assist counselors in disaster-relief efforts addressing natural or other disasters affecting counseling services.
  • Growing Healthy and Confident Kids: The Growing Healthy and Confident Kids Funds Grants will help counselors in work with interventions, initiatives, or outreach efforts directed to children in grades K-5. The counselors’ work must be oriented toward increasing the emotional literacy of children and better equipping them to handle life’s challenges.
  • General Microgrants: These grants are designed to address the needs of professional counselors working in areas not covered by the first two grant programs listed above.

Applicants for American Counseling Association Foundation grants must be an active member of the American Counseling Association (ACA) and currently working as a counselor or enrolled as a graduate student in a counseling program. If a team of applicants submits an application packet, at least one applicant on the team must be an active ACA member upon submission of the application. 

Applications for grant funding must be submitted by completing the online American Counseling Association Foundation Funding Application. All applicants are required to answer the questions included in the online form and to submit a preliminary budget detailing the use of the requested funds. The application process is now open. Completed applications will be reviewed upon submission. 

More information is available here.