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CSI Initiation Speaker Information
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If You Are Chosen as a CSI Initiation Speaker...

Congratulations! To be asked to speak at a CSI initiation is an honor for the speaker as well as the initiates. For the initiates, this may be their first-ever recognition for achievement and encouragement for their continued excellence. This is tantamount to an award for each and every one since they were first reviewed by their faculty and peers, met the grade point average of 3.5 or better, show promise of continued excellence as a student and practitioner, and have accepted a specific personal invitation for them to join the chapter and CSI. We trust that you will enjoy this occasion as much as they do!

When preparing your remarks please take into consideration the mission of CSI and how best to communicate that mission to the new initiates. It might be useful to review the information under the About CSI tab on our web page, as well as CSI's Approved Policies. The CSI mission is included on these pages, and is "to promote scholarship, research, professionalism, leadership and excellence in counseling, and to recognize high attainment in the pursuit of academic and clinical excellence in the profession of counseling.”

Initiates should be made aware of some basic information about CSI, such as:

  • CSI was established in 1985
  • More than 130,000 persons have been initiated through Spring 2019, making CSI one of the largest single member organizations of professional counselors in the world, adding 7,000+ new members per year.
  • CSI has more than 13,000 active members.
  • CSI has chartered over 400 chapters, with almost 300 remaining active.
  • Over half of CSI’s currently active membership includes Professional Counselors.
  • All CSI members have a primary professional identity as Professional Counselors.
  • By joining CSI, initiates are confirming their own identity as Professional Counselors and joining a network of similarly trained and like-minded individuals with a commitment to excellence in our profession.
  • CSI promotes servant leadership (more information about CSI's philosophy of leadership can be found in the Leadership section of the CSI website).


Reimbursement for Travel-Related Expenses

Initiation Speakers may expect chapters to provide reimbursement for expenses incurred by traveling to and from the initiation. Reasonable expenses would include travel, accommodations, and meals. The chapter may collect receipts and reimburse an Initiation Speaker directly for expenses. Honoraria for Initiation Speakers are not typically provided.

Chapters should not expect an Initiation Speaker to conduct a professional workshop when agreeing to speak at an initiation. If an Initiation Speaker agrees to conduct a workshop in addition to the initiation, whether participant fees are charged or an honorarium is given, those arrangements should be negotiated directly with the chapter. If CSI is not assisting with funding, then negotiations are strictly between an Initiation Speaker and the chapter as with any other professional services agreement.  Initiation Speakers should be clear about expectations in any such arrangement. The Chapter Faculty Advisor’s approval be included in any such agreement with a chapter.

CSI may provide financial support (up to 50% of the travel expenses) to chapters for approved CSI Speakers when they are requested through CSI's Speaker Assistance Program and approved by CSI well in advance of the initiation. A chapter cannot receive financial support during two consecutive years through the Speaker Assistance Program. In such cases when fees or honoraria are paid, CSI will not provide funding through the Speaker Assistance Program.

CSI Speakers who are receiving partial reimbursement for travel from CSI Headquarters (via the Speakers Assistance Program) instead of the chapter, are encouraged to submit a CSI Speaker Reimbursement Request Form for Speakers as soon as possible so that timely reimbursement can be provided. CSI Headquarters disburses travel reimbursement as soon as verification of expenses are verified with chapters. Should you encounter any problems, please feel free to contact CSI Headquarters and we will follow up. We want our CSI Speakers to be reimbursed in a professionally appropriate manner.

Finally, we know that we are fortunate to have you as an Initiation Speaker! Thank you for taking time from a busy schedule to share your experience, enthusiasm, and commitment to excellence in the profession of counseling!

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