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From the President: A Clear Vision Forward

Mar 1, 2024, 00:00 AM
Title : From the President: A Clear Vision Forward
By line : Edil Torres Rivera, PhD, LPC, LCPC

Now that ACA’s strategic plan has been officially approved by the Governing Council, I’m excited to share that we have a road map for how we’ll work together to advance not only this organization but the counseling profession. You will hear more about how we’re using the strategic plan on a regular basis because it will connect almost everything we plan to do in the next several years. There’s much work to do to realize what we think we can accomplish, and your support is critical. I want to share some of the collaboration and efforts that went into creating this framework. 

Governing Council and several key staff colleagues met this past September to discuss revising the mission and vision of ACA. During that meeting, we all participated in a facilitated visioning exercise where we had to imagine what ACA would look like in five years. The goal was to dream big — no response was unreasonable. At the end, we all shared what we wanted for the future of the organization. Some highlights of these aspirations include:  

  • Build a stronger sense of community 
  • Become the go-to organization for counselors and counseling resources 
  • Be innovative, progressive and inclusive 
  • Become an expert leader in research
  • Elevate the field of counseling with media and the public
  • Create an environment that serves as a home for counselors  

These visions for our future became the backbone for our strategic priorities. Based on these conversations, we established four goals approved by Governing Council at its December meeting. Each one is explained here:  

  • Advocacy & Engagement: We will guide counselors in advocating for the mental health and well-being of their communities and clients, as well as the profession.​ 
  • Community & Partnerships: We will nurture community and mutually beneficial partnerships to advance the profession and expand its footprint.​
  • Education & Public Awareness: We will provide broad-reaching education for counselors across their career trajectory, and we will also amplify counseling as a viable path to wellness and delineate counseling identity and its position in the mental health field.​
  • Research & Practical Application: We will curate and disseminate rigorous, innovative research and scholarly activity to continually advance data-informed practice.​ 

It’s been a privilege to be a part of these discussions and listen to the hopes and dreams my colleagues have for the profession and this association. This led to a fruitful discussion and the final strategic plan, which staff has already started incorporating and implementing in their daily operations to help move ACA forward.

Edil Torres Rivera, PhD, LPC, LCPC, is the ACA president, an ACA Fellow, and a professor and Latinx Cluster coordinator at Wichita State University. Contact him at etorresrivera@counseling.org.


Department : From the President
Categories :
  • Business Administration
  • Professional Counseling
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