Background and Purpose

The Thomas J. Sweeney Award for Visionary Leadership and Advocacy is given in honor of the lifetime contributions of Dr. Sweeney to the counseling profession. This award is presented to a professional counselor or counselor educator in recognition of career contributions to the counseling profession through leadership and advocacy.

Thomas J. Sweeney is a visionary leader who served as ACA President and President of two divisions (ACES and IAMFC, for which he served as founding president). He also served on the Executive Board of two additional divisions. Dr. Sweeney served as Chair of the CACREP Board of Directors and established Chi Sigma Iota (CSI), the Counseling Honor Society International. He was also a branch officer and Southern Region Chair. Dr. Sweeney's professional career as a counselor, counselor educator and CSI Executive Director was dedicated to promoting excellence within the counseling profession.

Deadline: Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, 11:59 PM EST
Judges: ACA Awards Committee
Prize: $500 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

Nominees must:

  • Be a professional member of the American Counseling Association at the time of the nomination;
  • Be a member of at least one ACA Division at the time of the nomination;
  • Be an active member of Chi Sigma Iota at the time of the nomination;
  • Demonstrate a strong identity as a professional counselor, as evidenced by a terminal degree in counseling, preferably from a CACREP-accredited program, and appropriate credentials (e.g., LPC, NCC); and
  • Have demonstrated through independent work a career commitment of at least 20 years to issues of professional leadership and advocacy to promote the profession of counseling. Such advocacy work may occur at the national, regional and/or state/local level.
  • Nominees will be evaluated on the basis of their overall body of work in support of the counseling profession.
  • 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:

  • Include a two-page summary that provides documentation of the nominee’s sustained leadership and advocacy work;
  • Describe the impact these activities have had on the counseling profession.

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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