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

Senate Approves Bill Expanding Training Support for School-Based Mental Health Professionals

by Kathie Felix | Aug 24, 2018
A $10 million training program for school-based mental health support is included in the fiscal year 2019 Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations bill that was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate on the evening of Aug. 23.

The Senate passed the appropriations measure with a vote of 85–7. The package includes an amendment offered by Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) that would create a pilot program at the Department of Education to test and evaluate partnerships between universities and state and local education agencies to train school counselors and other mental health professionals for positions in public school systems serving low-income communities.

The House has not yet considered its education spending bill, but is likely to do so in September. The American Counseling Association will advocate for the inclusion of this program in the House measure.

More information is available on the American Counseling Association Government Affairs blog.