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.


8 Ways ACA Helped Counselors Help Others in 2018

2018 ACA Annual Report Infographic

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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 18 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 - May 2019

ACA Code of Ethics

2014 ACA Code of Ethics

ACA Nominations and Elections Handbook - February 2020
2020-2021 ACA Nominations and Election Handbook Feb 2020

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 (August 2020)

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 2018 Public Version

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  • Latest News

    ACA Announces the Winners of the 2021 American Counseling Association Awards

    by Katrina Lee | Apr 20, 2021
    The annual American Counseling Association Awards, created to recognize the best among the counseling profession’s students, counselors in practice and ACA members, acknowledge those who have made extraordinary contributions to the counseling profession.

    The American Counseling Association and the American Counseling Association Foundation are pleased to announce that a field of 77 counseling professionals, counseling students and individuals serving the counseling profession received top honors in the 2021 ACA Awards program.

    The annual American Counseling Association Awards, created to recognize the best among the counseling profession’s students, counselors in practice and ACA members, acknowledge those who have made extraordinary contributions to the counseling profession.

    This year, nine counselors were granted ACA Fellow status, the highest honor awarded by the American Counseling Association. In addition, the achievements of 77 professional counselors and ACA members were recognized with ACA National Awards.

    In the ACA Graduate Student Awards of Excellence program, 11 graduate-level counseling students earned high honors in the ACA Future School Counselors and Tomorrow’s Counselors essay competitions. In addition, seven graduate student teams took top spots in the ACA Graduate Student Ethics Awards essay competitions.

    The award recipients are being recognized at the ACA Virtual Conference Experience throughout the month of April.

    The American Counseling Association thanks everyone who participated in this year’s ACA Awards program—the judges/reviewers, nominators and all who were nominated or applied for the awards—and offers warm congratulations to the winners!

    2021 ACA Fellows
    Dr. William Cox
    Dr. Suzanne Dugger
    Dr. Kimberly Frazier
    Dr. Kristopher Goodrich
    Dr. Natoya Haskins
    Dr. Nicole Hill
    Dr. Garret McAuliffe
    Dr. Mark Scholl
    Dr. Heather Trepal 

    2021 ACA National Awards
    ACA Research Award:
    Dr. Matt Fullen
    Dr. Gerard Lawson
    Jyotsana Sharma

    ACA State Branch Advocacy Award: V
    Virginia Counselors Association

    Arthur A. Hitchcock Distinguished Professional Service Award:
    Jose Tapia-Fuselier

    Best Practices in Research Award for Faculty:
    Dr. Madeline Clark

    Carl D. Perkins Government Relations Award:
    Duane France

    Counselor Educator Advocacy Award:
    Dr. Erika Cameron

    Courtland C. Lee Multicultural Excellence Scholarship Award:
    Ashlei Rabess

    David K. Brooks, Jr. Distinguished Mentor Award:
    Dr. W. Bryce Hagedorn

    Don Dinkmeyer Social Interest Award:
    Marriage and Family Research Institute under the leadership of Dr. Sejal Barden and Dr. Dalena Dillman Taylor

    Dr. Judy Lewis Counselors for Social Justice Award:
    Dr. Ebony White

    Extended Research Award:
    Dr. Danica Hays

    Federal Legislative Service Award:
    Rep. Mike Thompson

    Garry R. Walz Trailblazer Award:
    Dr. Ashley Blount

    Gilbert and Kathleen Wrenn Award:
    Dr. Judy Green

    Glen E. Hubele National Graduate Student Award:
    Olivia Ngadjui

    Kitty Cole Human Rights Award:
    Dr. Reshelle Marino

    Professional Development Award:
    Dr. Stephen Lenz

    Ralph F. Berdie Memorial Research Award:
    Chelsea Scoffone

    Robert H. Rencken Emerging Professional Leader Award:
    Dr. Rebecca Pender Baum

    Samuel T. Gladding Unsung Heroes Award:
    Erin Frock

    Thomas Hohenshil National Publication Award:
    Dr. Samuel T. Gladding
    Dr. Gerald Corey

    Thomas J. Sweeney Award for Visionary Leadership and Advocacy:
    Dr. Donna Gibson

    2021 ACA Graduate Student Awards of Excellence

    ACA Future School Counselors Awards
    Grand Prize: Margaret Latta-Milord
    First Prize: Austin Laws, Verna Estoque (tie)
    Honorable Mention:
    James Harris
    Kellie Lewis
    Cha-Lisa Johnson

    ACA Tomorrow’s Counselors Awards
    Grand Prize: Adriana Labarta
    First Prize:Devon Boyers
    Second Prize: Theresa Schmidt
    Honorable Mention:
    Alix Jansma
    Christine Banks-VanAllen

    ACA Graduate Student Ethics Awards for Master’s Degree Students
    First Place: New Jersey City University (NJ)
    Second Place: Central Michigan University (MI), Grand View University (IA) (tie)
    Third Place: University of Florida (FL)

    ACA Graduate Student Ethics Awards for Doctoral Degree Students
    First Place: Montclair State University (NJ)
    Second Place: University of Texas at Austin (TX)
    Third Place: Lindsey Wilson College (KY)