ACA members are special people. By being part of ACA, members receive Counseling Today and have access to the Journal of Counseling & Development. Members of ACA know they are part of an organization that has literally set the standards for ethics, professional practice, and development of the counseling profession. Members are provided with many opportunities.
In addition to the services and benefits that ACA members receive directly, there is also the advocacy in support of the counseling profession that takes place daily. Our legislative and regulatory concerns are communicated to public policy officials by you and by the ACA Government Affairs team. During this past year, we have had numerous “opportunities” to visit states where the counseling profession was being challenged. This is what your membership provides — the services of a dedicated and experienced team of public policy professionals.
Clearly, the benefits of membership are many. But, today, I’m writing about something you may not have thought about as an ACA member. I am referring to something that is both a privilege and an obligation. I like to call this a “priviligation.”
Simply put, as a member of the world’s largest organization representing professional counselors, you have the “priviligation” of casting a vote for those who will lead the profession in the coming years. The voting cycle runs from Dec. 2 through Jan. 31. ACA members receive an email notification about the election, complete with links to information about who is running at the national, division and region levels of our organization.
You have the control and ability to elect those whom you believe will best serve your interests and those of the profession. I encourage you to take a look at who is running for ACA national, region and division positions. Make your voice heard — by voting!
I often say to candidates who run for ACA positions that I am in awe of their commitment to the profession, their vision, their energy, and their willingness to serve. My feeling is that the membership “thanks” them by casting a ballot. Let this year’s candidates know that you also respect their interest in serving the profession by voting. ACA members will receive an email directly from our election vendor, eBallot, that includes voting instructions, along with a username and password for the eBallot system. Your ACA membership must have been active on Nov. 1 to participate in this year’s voting.
As we head into December, I also need to let you know that the ACA Foundation, a proud professional partner of ACA, is asking all members to consider a donation of any size. The ACA Foundation has seen great success over the years with the programs it supports that benefit ACA’s graduate students and professional members. Most recently, the ACA Foundation has been supporting a “mini grant” program that provides a small amount of funds for professional counselors who have innovative ideas regarding how to serve their clients, students or communities. These small grants are often key to ensuring the success of these endeavors.
So, as we head into the traditional season of giving, I hope you will consider supporting the ACA Foundation in light of the support it has provided to the counseling profession for the past 40 years. More information is available at counseling.org/about-us/aca-foundation.