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Fellows Awards

The ACA Fellows Awards, the highest honor awarded by the American Counseling Association, recognize ACA members who have contributed to—and advanced—the counseling profession throughout their career.

2021 ACA Fellows Awards Recipients

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 

Background and Purpose

The American Counseling Association Fellows Awards acknowledge ACA members of professional distinction for significant and unique contributions to the counseling profession. The awards recognize ACA members for their service throughout their career and are a call for continued service—as professional counselors, authors, mentors, conference facilitators, practitioners, scholars and leaders.

ACA Fellows:

  • Are leaders in the counseling field who strongly embrace the ACA Code of Ethics and the ACA Position Statement on Nondiscrimination.
  • Represent a diverse community of leaders that creates and expands knowledge and insight into the strategic matters of the counseling profession.
  • Identify and develop future leaders.
  • Take an active role in the American Counseling Association in the identification of future trends, research and issues.
  • Serve through active leadership in support of the American Counseling Association and the American Counseling Association Fellows activities and programs.


ACA Awards Committee


Complimentary registration for the 2021 ACA Virtual Conference Experience, and recognition during the virtual event. Winner will receive further information at the time of award notification.

 Sponsor: The American Counseling Association Foundation

Eligibility, Rules and Criteria

ACA Fellows candidates are required to have made a significant, distinctive and unique contribution to the counseling profession in one or more of the following areas:

  • Professional Practice
  • Scientific Achievement
  • Leadership and Governance
  • Teaching and Training

A candidate for an American Counseling Association Fellows Award must be an ACA member for at least 10 continuous years and must be a member in good standing in the year the ACA Fellow status is conferred.

ACA Fellows candidates are expected to be active members of the American Counseling Association and its divisions and are expected to have an identity as a professional counselor.

The American Counseling Association and the ACA Fellows Selection Committee place significant weight on the possession of appropriate professional credentials (LPC, CMHC, SC, CRC, NCC, NCSC, etc.). ACA Fellows candidates should identify their eligibility for, and their possession of, appropriate credentials based on experience, education, etc.

ACA Fellows candidates must have a minimum of a master’s degree in counseling.

ACA Fellows candidates are nominated by American Counseling Association members in good standing.

ACA members may nominate more than one ACA Fellows candidate. Nominators should have direct experience with their nominee(s) and must be able to personally attest to their leadership qualities and other attributes.

Nominators should verify that they and their nominee(s) are American Counseling Association members. 

Self-nominations are not accepted for ACA Fellows Awards.

An individual can only be nominated for one award per year.

Nomination Guidelines

The total submission package for the ACA Fellows award may not exceed 16 pages in length. All nomination materials must be combined into one document (all formats accepted), with the nomination letter first.

The nomination materials should clearly identify the nominee’s membership in ACA and identity as a professional counselor.

  • Nomination letter: In the letter, identify the nominee and the specific award. Explain why you believe the nominee should receive the award by responding to the specific criteria outlined in the nomination guidelines. Keep in mind that the awards reviewers are relying on the information you provide to choose the most deserving recipient for the award. Please address each nomination guideline and make sure your nominee meets the award criteria and requirements. Brevity, clarity and specificity are most important here.
  • Curriculum vitae: No more than four pages highlighting the nominee’s service and involvement with the American Counseling Association and the counseling profession.
  • A statement by the nominee on what it means to be a professional counselor.
  • A letter of endorsement: It is highly recommended that the letter of endorsement should be written by an ACA Fellow, however this letter may be provided by any ACA member or volunteer. Endorsements should result from direct contact with the candidate and should paint a picture of the candidate beyond what is stated in their supporting documents. Letters of endorsement should explain how the candidate has made a significant and distinctive impact on the counseling profession.
  • At least three letters supporting the nominee as an ACA Fellow from others familiar with the nominee and her or his accomplishments.
  • Supporting materials: Include a nominee biography. If there are additional materials (news reports, journal articles, etc.) that you feel help support the nominee’s achievements, please include a copy of them.