Chi Sigma Iota, the International Counseling Academic and
Professional Honor Society, was established January 1, 1985, following
several months of planning by representatives of the Counselor Education
training program at Ohio University and leaders in the U.S. counseling
profession. The impetus for forming an international honor society in
counseling included a desire to provide recognition for outstanding
academic achievement as well as outstanding service within the
counseling profession. The formation of an honor Society was seen as a
fruitful avenue to provide a much needed link between students,
educators, practitioners, and administrators in various counseling
settings who identify themselves as professional counselors, first and
In 1988, negotiations were initiated by Rho Chi Sigma, the national
rehabilitation counseling and services honor society, concerning
unification. Rho Chi Sigma was formally merged into Chi Sigma Iota in
March of 1989. This was a landmark move to unify rehabilitation
counselors with the mainstream of the counseling profession.
CSI evolved as a consequence of the maturity of the counseling
profession. While the scope of the Society is international, its focus
is upon the personal and professional development of its individual
members. CSI is committed to upholding the high standards of its
Our goals of Chi Sigma Iota are achieved primarily through the
activities of local campus based chapters, and secondarily, through
efforts of the Headquarters' staff, officers, and committees.
Local campused based chapters serve as links within
their respective communities to promote interaction between counselor
educators, students, alumni, and local professionals. The chapters
provide a forum for interaction, sharing of concerns, discussion of
issues, and support for common interests. Many chapters schedule
meetings and solicit speakers on a variety of topics relevant to
counselors, serving as a resource for continuing education. Chapters
have conducted service activities and have organized social gatherings
to facilitate interactions between members.
CSI is open to alternative methods of serving our members (students
and graduates) but we are resolved that every member must have readily
available access to their chapter faculty advisor and regular activities
of their chapters including opportunity for mentoring, participation in
chapter service projects, nomination for offices, awards, grants,
fellowships, etc. Chapters may be deactivated for failure to do so.
International Headquarters Activities include the
functions of the CSI International Office, which is responsible for
maintaining the records of the Society, ordering and distributing
certificates and pins, and distributing information about the Society.
The International Headquarters is responsible for the dissemination of
the Exemplar, the quarterly publication of the Society.
The Headquarters also serves as a networking source to link CSI
chapters and members throughout the world. This has been an especially
valuable resource for students who have moved to new locations after
graduation and seek to affiliate with the nearest CSI chapter.
International Meetings of CSI are held during the
annual convention of the American Counseling Association (ACA) in the
Spring of each year. The Spring meetings include time for an Executive
Council meeting, a leadership training seminar, an annual Assembly
business meeting, an awards ceremony, and an informal gathering of
members for exchange of information and socialization. The annual
business meeting is open to all CSI members. Chapters must send a voting
representative (active CSI chapter member) at least once every three
years in order to maintain active status.
Since the time of its chartering, CSI as an organization, and many of
its individual members, have assumed leadership roles at the state,
regional, national and international levels in promoting the counseling
needs of persons of all ages as well as the concerns of counselors
CSI has flourished and has expanded its sphere of professional
influence under the leadership of its Presidents and Executive
The collective leadership of the CSI Presidents includes six
Presidents of ACA (Sweeney, Cooper, Myers, Lee, Herr, and Gladding),
more than eighteen ACA divisional presidencies, three ACA regional
branch Chairs, five division regional presidencies, four Chairs and one
Executive Director of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and
Related Educational Programs (CACREP), one Chair for the National Board
of Certified Counselors (NBCC), and innumerable state association and
committee leadership positions. The scholarly publications, projects,
and awards are equally significant. All officers of CSI donate their
time and resources to the work of the Society.