Professional Associations for School Counselors
- The National Education Association
- The American Counseling Association
- The Association for Child and Adolescent Counseling
- The American Federation of Teachers
- Phi Delta Kappa
School counselors can find a great amount of professional organizations to further their practice and careers. The following is a list of highly rated professional counseling and school education associations.
The National Education Association
The National Education Association (NEA) is the premier professional association in the United States with over three million members in all facets of public education. Each state also has their local NEA branch and members range from Pre-K to University educators, counselors, administrations, and all school support staff. The NEA provides professional development, news, and a united front in advocating for the rights of public school employees and children. Consider joining the NEA at http://www.nea.org/
The American Counseling Association
Founded in 1952, the American Counseling Association (ACA) is a professional organization for counselors of all types. They have fifty-six branches throughout the United States, Europe, and Latin America giving members a variety of ideas from counselors around the world. There are twenty divisions within the ACA to further bring members closer together for the purposes of networking, professional development opportunities, and research information sharing. One of these twenty divisions is The American School Counseling Association (ASCA), designed especially for counselors of school aged children. Check out the ACA and the ASCA at https://www.counseling.org/about-us/about-aca.
The Association for Child and Adolescent Counseling
This professional association for counselors is dedicated to those counselors that exclusively work with children and adolescents. The Association for Child and Adolescent Counselors (ACAC) offers members the chance to network and consult with their peers, keep up to date with relevant information through the association’s newsletter, and access to the association’s biannual journal. The ACAC is also present at multiple counseling conventions, and they hold their own annual convention in different places throughout the country. Look at ways to join the ACAC at http://acachild.org/
The American Federation of Teachers
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is not only for classroom educators. This organization is designed to benefit all school professional personnel who interact and work with school children. School counselors will want to look at the AFT Public Education division. It is the oldest division with over one million members. For nearly 100 years, the AFT Public Education division has rallied for public schools in important decisions such as desegregation, educational rights for special needs students, and fair working conditions and pay for school educational staff. Members can expect benefits such as professional networking and an extensive online database of articles and resources. Membership is available at https://www.aft.org/
Phi Delta Kappa
Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) is an international organization for teaching and school professionals. Members can expect to have access to a worldwide network of similar professionals as well as benefits such as scholarships, grant opportunities, and professional publications. Check out this organization at http://pdkintl.org/join/
These five organizations are just a few of the many options that school counselors have to find colleagues and networking within their fields. Professional organizations for school counselors are extremely beneficial and can prove to be great resources in the future.
Related Resource: The 20 Best Online Masters in School Counseling Programs