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Tomorrow’s Counselors Essay Competition

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Background and Purpose

The American Counseling Association Tomorrow’s Counselors essay competition recognizes graduate counseling students with exceptional insight and understanding about the counseling profession and the work of professional counselors in mental health, private practice, community agency, agency, organization or related counseling settings.

APPLICATION DEADLINE

February 15, 2021, 11:59 PM EST  

JUDGES

Panel of ACA and ACAF leaders 

Prize

Grand Prize Award

  • $1,000 honorarium
  • 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.
  • Essay published on CT Online.

First Prize Award

  • $750 honorarium
  • 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.

Second Prize Award

  • $500 honorarium
  • 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.

Honorable Mention Awards (2 awards): Complimentary registration for the 2021 ACA Virtual Conference Experience.

Sponsor: Gerald and Marianne Corey, Allen and Mary Bradford Ivey and The American Counseling Association Foundation

ELIGIBILITY, RULES AND CRITERIA

The American Counseling Association Tomorrow’s Counselors essay competition is open to any counseling student in a master’s degree or doctoral degree program taking one or more graduate courses at an accredited college or university.

  • Essayists must be enrolled in counseling-related graduate studies in the fall of 2020.
  • Essayists must be American Counseling Association student members. Join ACA or renew your membership.
  • Essayists may enter only one of the following two awards tracks: the 2021 American Counseling Association Tomorrow’s Counselors essay competition or the 2021 American Counseling Association Future School Counselors essay competition.
  • Previous American Counseling Association Tomorrow’s Counselors essay competition Grand Prize awardees are not eligible to apply for the 2021 competition. Previous winners of ACA Tomorrow’s Counselors essay competition in other categories (First Place through Honorable Mention) may apply for the 2021 Tomorrow's Counselors competition.
  • Only one essay can be submitted by each American Counseling Association student member.

All entries will be read by a team of experienced professional counselors and evaluated in terms of how effectively each essay addresses the subject and offers provocative insights into the profession of counseling and its future.

Judges will want to see ideas well explained and supported. They will be evaluating how effectively the essayist presents his/her view and how interesting that position will be to the counseling community at large.

The decisions of the judges are final. There can be no substitution of prizes.

How to Apply

  • Submit an essay of 500 words or less, addressing the theme:

2020 has been a year of unprecedented societal upheaval, ranging from the fears stirred by the coronavirus pandemic to the public outcry against racial injustice and in support of diversity, inclusion, and multicultural harmony. What lessons have you taken from these world and national events and how will you apply them in your future work as a professional counselor?

Scoring Rubric: In the essay, the writer:

  1. identifies the client’s issue;
  2. identifies the client’s world view;
  3. discusses how law, ethical codes and institutional policy impact treatment effectiveness;
  4. covers the purpose of and need for advocating for clients;
  5. demonstrates the use of correct grammar, syntax, spelling and punctuation in a concise and well-constructed essay; and
  6. constructs a logical and compelling argument that supports the conclusions in the essay.
  • It is recommended that awards program entrants write their essay in a software program of their choice, save it and then copy and paste the essay into the online submission form. Keep a copy of the essay in case there is a problem in the electronic transmission of the awards entry.
  • Neither the American Counseling Association nor the American Counseling Association Foundation is responsible if an entry does not reach the Awards program submission queue.
  • All entrants, by the act of entering, grant the American Counseling Association and the American Counseling Association Foundation the right to publish their name and their essay as part of the post-competition publicity on CT Online
  • Check ACA membership status.
  • Submit an essay meeting all award requirements.

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