Background and Purpose

The Professional Development Award recognizes an ACA member who has developed techniques and systems that have strengthened, expanded, enhanced, improved and/or otherwise had demonstrable benefits to clients.  

Deadline:  Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, 11:59 PM EST
Judges:  ACA Awards Committee
Prize:  $300 honorarium, complimentary ACA Conference & Expo registration (travel and lodging not included). Recognition and presentation of the award at the Conference.
Sponsor: The American Counseling Association Foundation

Eligibility, Rules and Criteria

The individual must have engaged in a history of professional development efforts that:

  • Have been concerned primarily with the profession in general, while recognizing that a discrete component of the profession may be a focus.
  • Have strengthened, expanded, enhanced, improved or extended the horizons of the profession, such as by broadening applications of and opportunities for the profession; influenced other professions; identifying needs of the public and providing services to meet these needs; or enlarging the potential clientele for the delivery of services by the profession.
  • Have included substantive work beyond the call of duty to improve professional practices and demonstrate diligence, skill and effectiveness in applying principles and concepts to achieve professional goals. These efforts may include the following:
    • the development of methods, techniques, materials, books and/or models;
    • exceptional efforts to obtain support for the profession;
    • sustained efforts in professional education, through providing training, workshops, providing supervision to or teaching counselors or counselors in training;
    • efforts to create and improve opportunities for all individuals to realize their full potential, as evidenced by work performed in professional organizations, work that has affected the lives and careers of many, or other activities that demonstrate sensitivity to the problem in general of human growth and development and relate to improving the interaction of people with their environment.
  • Nominations must come from an ACA member.
  • The awardee must be an ACA member.
  • An individual can only be nominated for one award per year.

Nomination Guidelines

In your nomination submission, briefly:

  • Describe the nominee’s contributions to the intentional strengthening, expansion, improvement, enhancement or extension of the profession.
  • Describe the nominee’s history of substantive, sustained work beyond the call of duty to improve professional practices or achieve professional growth.
  • Describe the nominee’s history of extensive effort to create and improve opportunities for all individuals to realize their full potential.

Nomination Checklist

  • Nominee Biography
  • Nomination Letter
  • Supporting Materials
  • Maximum of two supporting letters


**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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