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Professional Advocacy
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Chi Sigma Iota is committed to advocacy for professional counselors as well as their clients. To operationalize this commitment, in 1998 the Society sponsored two national invitational conferences of leaders in the counseling profession who came together to develop a coordinated national plan for professional advocacy. Representatives attending the two conferences returned home committed to creating positive change in the profession, a few of which were significant with long range effects. For example, soon therafter the American Counseling Association (ACA) initiated a membership category for Professional Members and changed its name from the American Association for Counseling and Development to ACA. The American Mental Health Counselors Association entered negotiations with the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) resulting in the merger of the Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor Credential into the NBCC domain.

The plan developed through the conferences was a precursor to the ACA 20-20 initiative and has remained the organizing focus of CSIs advocacy efforts, CSI continues to advocate for the profession through training and support to chapters for leadership development as well as efforts at the national level including publications and representation in coalitions to advance the profession through social, legislative, professional, and personal advocacy efforts.

National Plan for Professional Advocacy: Six Themes

Chi Sigma Iota Advocacy Training Materials are organized according to the six advocacy themes identified in the Strategic Plan for Professional Advocacy. To submit professional advocacy activities that can be added to these resources, contact the CSI Professional Advocacy Committee.

A: Counselor Education
B: Intra-professional Relations
C: Marketplace Recognition
D: Inter-professional Issues
E: Research
F: Prevention/Wellness

Advocacy Heroes and Heroines Interviews

CSI chapters and members are encouraged to contribute to CSI's compendium of interviews with successful advocates for the counseling profession. Those whose advocacy activities are notable for both efforts and impact locally, regionally, and nationally, within the counseling profession and within society nationally or globally, serve as an inspiration to counselors everywhere to become more active on behalf of our profession and our clients. To assist in preparing interviews, please review our Guidelines for Selecting Interviewees and Conducting Interviews. Interviews will include photos and other materials important to describe the accomplishments of our advocates.

Chapter Certificates of Recognition and Appreciation

One of the goals of Chi Sigma Iota (CSI) is to promote and recognize academic and professional excellence in counseling scholarship, leadership, advocacy, and practice. Each chapter is encouraged to recognize at least one counseling student, counselor educator, or professional counselor who is actively engaged in professional advocacy with a Certificate of Recognition and Appreciation.  You can view a sample certificate here, and CSI chapter leaders can request a certificate with your chapter's name that matches this sample.

To request a certificate for your chapter, please complete a Chapter Logo Request Form and select the "Chapter Certificate of Recognition and Appreciation" option. We hope that these certificates will help your chapter to recognize and encourage those in your community who have reached out on behalf of the counseling profession. You may also use the certificate script as a guide.

Advocacy Tips, Guidelines, and Philosophy

A series of professional advocacy tips have been compiled from the CSI Exemplar by the CSI Advocacy Committee. Tips include learning more about counselor advocacy and advocating for the counseling profession.

Dr. Craig Cashwell, as Chair of the CACREP Board, contributed a thought provoking article with his reflections on professional advocacy and identity. Titled Chair reflections: At the crossroads, this publication from the CACREP Connection is reprinted here with permission.

Drs. Kelly Wester and Todd Lewis conducted a study titled "It's not just another line on your resume" in which the importance of CSI membership was clearly highlighted. CSI members are the leaders in the counseling profession.

Many articles in the CSI Exemplar have focused on professional advocacy, and members are especially encouraged to read articles in the following issues:

Fall 2015 (PDF or Flip Book)
Spring 2015 (PDF or Flip Book)
Spring 2015 - Special Edition "Professional Identity" (PDF or Flip Book)
Spring 2014 (PDF or Flip Book)
Fall 2013 (PDF or Flip Book)
Spring 2013 - Special Edition "Exemplary Leadership” (PDF or Flip Book)
Summer 2011 (PDF or Flip Book)
Summer 2009 (PDF)

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