For several months (years really), I have occasionally shared news in this column that ACA would be developing and launching products and services designed with our members’ needs in mind. The goal has always been to tap into what members said they wanted and to deliver those products and services in the format members desired. During this time, we also wanted to ensure that we spent your membership dollars in a manner that demonstrated prudent stewardship.
Not to sound trite, but I think that the proof is in the pudding (and I love pudding). Let’s take a quick inventory of the past few years. Members have been introduced to: a new website; ACA Connect (our online community where members gather to discuss issues affecting them); numerous podcasts and webinars; a Free CE of the Month; social media communities on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter; a conference program app that is scalable for your smartphone, tablet or laptop; professional liability insurance included in the membership benefits for students pursuing their master’s degrees; a live chat feature with our member services unit via our website; full digital access to all ACA journals (back to volume one, issue one); a more robust career services information center; and many other products, services and features.
And to think, I remember how cool it was when ACA got a fax machine. As Bob Dylan sang, “The times they are a-changin’.”
To deliver what members need and want, as well as to demonstrate our value to you, ACA will continue to look at the best ways we can help you as clinicians, practitioners, researchers and academics. We also want to make sure that we go beyond your work setting and meet your professional needs as students, midcareer professionals or retired members.
All those members for whom we have an email address have now received two issues of the ACA Member Toolkit (with a third on its way in early August). This arrives in your e-mailbox at the beginning of each month and is packed with useful information — plus a link to your Free CE of the Month. I encourage you to take a few moments to read through this valuable digital publication that we have started providing to ACA members.
As we enter the month of August, the beginning of a new academic year will have an impact on many of you. Whether you are a counselor educator, a graduate student, someone who works in an educational setting or simply the parent of a child starting a new school year, I hope you will enjoy the year ahead. Regardless of your role, I wish you the very best. If the staff or I can do something for you, please let us know.
Some of us have recently put away our “gear” from summer vacation and are back on the job. Still, I hope you will mark your calendars now for the ACA Conference & Expo in Orlando, Florida, from March 11-15. The call for programs resulted in what will surely be a stellar lineup of full-day and half-day Preconference Learning Institutes (March 11-12) and Education Sessions (March 12-15) tailored just for you. More information is available at counseling.org/conference.