The ACA Fellows Awards

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

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.

  • Deadline: Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, 11:59 PM EST
    Judges: ACA Awards Committee
    Prize: Recognition and presentation of the award at the ACA 2019 Conference & Expo to be held March 28 - 31, 2018, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Inductees are expected to attend both the Conference and the awards ceremony. 
    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

    Applications for the ACA Fellows Awards should include the following:

    • A curriculum vitae of 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 (as outlined above). Letters of endorsement should explain how the candidate has made a significant and distinctive impact on the counseling profession. Brevity, clarity and specificity are most important here.
    • At least three letters supporting the nominee as an ACA Fellow.

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

    Nomination Checklist

    • Nominee Biography
    • Nomination Letter
    • Letter of Endorsement
    • Supporting Materials (must include a CV)
    • Two additional supporting letters
    • Statement by the Nominee


    **NOTE:  If this is the first time you have submitted a nomination, you must create an account.  The email and password for the awards submission system may or may NOT be the same as your ACA website email and password.  They are different systems, and are not linked.

    Submissions must be received by Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, 11:59 PM EST.

    Send questions about eligibility criteria or other parts of the application process HERE

    Supported and sponsored by the American Counseling Association Foundation.

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