The ACA Fellows Award, a distinctive honor awarded by the American Counseling Association, recognizes ACA members who have advanced the counseling profession throughout their career.

Christine Suniti Bhat
Jeff Moe
Benjamin V. Noah

The American Counseling Association Fellows Award acknowledges ACA members of professional distinction for significant and unique contributions to the counseling profession on a national level.  ACA Fellows have a record of demonstrated success, and their work has an enduring impact. While the quantity of one's work (e.g., the number of leadership positions, publications, classes taught, clients served) can be an important factor, this award recognizes those who have gone beyond quantity and provided quality work that has influenced, changed, and significantly advanced the counseling profession and/or counselor practices through their professional practice; scholarly achievement; leadership and governance; and/or teaching, training, supervision and mentoring. 

To be determined

To be determined

Candidates are judged by the ACA Fellows Selection Committee.  The Fellows Selection Committee consists of nine ACA Fellows who are current members of ACA.  Committee members are appointed by the President and serve three-year terms.  A Fellow may not serve on the Fellows selection committee in any year in which they nominate or write a letter of support for an individual.

Complimentary registration for the 2024 ACA Conference and Expo (April 11-13, 2024 | New Orleans, LA), and recognition during event. Winners will receive further information at the time of award notification.

Sponsor: The American Counseling Association Foundation

All prospective ACA Fellows must adhere to the standard nomination process. In order to apply for ACA Fellow status, a candidate must:

  • Be nominated by a past ACA Fellow who is a current member of ACA.  An ACA Fellow may not nominate more than one candidate in any given year.
  • Have a master's or doctoral degree in counseling.
  • Demonstrate a professional identity as a counselor.
  • Hold ACA membership for at least 15 continuous years at the time they are nominated and agree to maintain membership in ACA.
  • Have a commitment to diversity and ethics—as described in the ACA mission statement and the ACA Code of Ethics—and have no ACA ethics violations.
  • Demonstrate that their contributions are consistent with ACA's mission and serve to advance the counseling profession.
  • Hold counseling credentials (e.g., counselor licensure, NCC, CCMHC, NCSC).



ACA Fellows are individuals who have demonstrated unique and outstanding contributions to the counseling profession, as reflected in the ACA mission statement. Fellows have achieved longevity, fidelity and a breadth of contributions as evidenced by sustained, meaningful impacts on counselor practices on a national level and the creation of new paths forward. ACA Fellows have made a significant, distinctive and expansive impact on the counseling profession in one or more of the following areas:

  • Scholarly Achievement: Publications of impactful counseling articles, books, book chapters and/or the attainment of impactful grants related to counseling theory, practice or research.
  • Leadership and Advocacy: The creation of new systems, models or practices that advance the profession and counseling associations.
  • Teaching, Training, Supervision and Mentoring: Excellence and innovation in teaching, training, supervision and mentoring; the creation of teaching, training, supervision or mentoring practices or models that support the development of students, new professionals, counselors and/or leaders in the profession.
  • Counselor Practice: The creation and dissemination of models of counselor practice or consumer advocacy efforts that have positive outcomes and are recognized at the national/international level.

The nominator is responsible for coordinating and submitting required information and supporting materials (endorsement information). 

The nominee is responsible for submitting required documentation and other information.