CACREP Advocacy Week
Workforce Warrior: (noun): a professional counselor who engages in active identification, outreach, education, recruitment, and/or support of prospective counselors through sharing information and raising awareness about the counseling profession; this includes advocacy efforts aimed at strengthening and unifying the profession in order to provide pathways to parity, portability, and employment opportunities for the current and future counselor workforce.
WHAT IS CACREP ADVOCACY WEEK?
CACREP Advocacy Week is a time set aside for counseling program faculty members, students, and graduates to make their voices heard through engaging in advocacy efforts on behalf of their counseling programs and profession. CACREP advocates on behalf of its programs on a daily basis; yet, the voices that can truly make a difference in advocacy efforts come from you— counselors, counselor educators, and counseling students. This is especially true when it comes to reaching out and connecting with individuals interesting in professional counseling as a potential career choice, so we need your help! Below is a brief description of CACREP Advocacy Week 2017 activities. CACREP invites professional counselors of all types to BECOME A WORKFORCE WARRIOR by participating in one or more activities aimed at supporting the current and future counselor workforce.
HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?
Counselors can start by something as simple as promoting the counseling profession on social media. To get further involved, check out the activities below.
Monday February 20: PROFESSIONAL ADVOCACY
The 2017 CACREP Advocacy Week Video Contest gives counseling program faculty members, students, and graduates an opportunity to advocate for their profession by providing valuable insight to individuals considering graduate study in counseling. As the counseling profession continues to grow, strengthen, and unify, it has become clear that more effort is needed to reach out to the public and educate undergraduate students and prospective counselors about what the counseling profession actually is (and isn’t), as well as what one should consider and expect both before and after entering graduate school to become a professional counselor.
Help inform those who may be considering entering the counseling profession by creating a short video and entering it in the Advocacy Week Video Contest. Video entries for this year’s contest should address the question, “What advice would you give to prospective counseling students looking for a graduate program in counseling?” The contest is open to faculty members, students, and graduates from CACREP programs and the first place prize is a $500 AMAZON GIFT CARD. The contest opens February 1st and video submissions will be accepted through February 24, 2017.
Resources: Video Contest Entry Form and Staff demo
Tuesday February 21: EDUCATIONAL ADVOCACY
Team up with CACREP to educate undergraduate students and prospective counselors about career options across counseling specializations and pathways to become a professional counselor by helping promote a new resource, A Guide to Graduate Programs in Counseling. Consider buying, sharing, recommending, or even donating a copy of the book to your local/campus library or career services center. Educate prospective counseling students further by discussing your own experience as a graduate counseling student and/or professional counselor and point them to additional resources that can assist in learning more about the profession and what it takes to become a professional counselor.
Resources: A Guide to Graduate Programs in Counseling
Wednesday February 22: PROGRAM ADVOCACY
Identify a need within your graduate counseling program and develop an action plan to address the need or advocate for change. A brief list of program advocacy ideas is provided below to help get the conversation started. Advocate further by raising campus and community awareness about the counseling profession and your program through developing brochures, flyers, or posters to advertise your accredited counseling program. Distribute brochures to undergraduate students in social science majors such as psychology, human services, or social work. Hang up flyers or posters around campus to raise awareness of your counseling program and recruit prospective students. Promote your program at campus career fairs and other events, or even by giving brief presentations to undergraduate classes. Raise awareness both on your campus and in local communities by creating brochures, flyers, or posters about counseling services that may be available through your campus counseling clinic or training lab. Spread the word about who counselors are and what they can do!
To support counselor education programs engaging in Program Advocacy activities, Chi Sigma Iota (CSI) will provide free access to a three-part series of recorded webinars titled, “Strengthening the Counseling Profession.” During CACREP Advocacy Week, anyone will be able to watch the following one-hour webinars and receive free NBCC-approved CE hours regardless of membership in CSI!
Who Are We and Where Are We Going?
Dr. Craig S. Cashwell
The Role of Counselors’ Professional Identity
Dr. Donna M. Gibson
Supervising for Professional Identity: Integration of Chi Sigma Iota’s Mission into the Supervisory Context
Dr. Melissa Luke & Dr. Kristopher Goodrich
Non-members can set up a CSI Guest membership at any time by visiting www.csi-net.org and clicking on “New Member Registration.” During CACREP Advocacy Week (Sunday, February 19-Saturday, February 25), CSI members and non-members with Guest accounts will be able to access the “Strengthening the Counseling Profession” webinars for free on CSI’s Recorded Webinars webpage. After completing a webinar and passing a five-question quiz, a participant will be able to download a CE certificate from her or his csi-net.org profile.
CSI chapters in some states have organized conferences to educate participants about professional advocacy. For more information, you can download promotional materials provided by CSI’s Iota Delta Sigma and Rho Chapters (Alabama) and CSI’s Nu Sigma Chi and Phi Sigma Chapters (North Carolina). CSI chapters in other states or regions are encouraged to develop similar events.
Thursday February 23: SOCIAL NETWORK ADVOCACY
Promote public awareness of professional counseling through sharing information via social media. Highlight innovative programs or services offered by local counselors or visit websites of counseling organizations and share links to news articles, resources, infographics, or important announcements. Personalize your efforts by posting about life in a CACREP-accredited program or other current issues related to graduate level counselor preparation on Facebook, Twitter, ACA Connect, and more. Get further involved by following CACREP on Facebook and Twitter and signing up for the CACREP Connection Newsletter to get updates about student and faculty research opportunities, scholarships and grants, accreditation decisions, new programs and policies, recent publications, trends in higher education, and other important information.
Friday February 24: POLITICAL ADVOCACY
Help secure employment opportunities and make licensure portability a reality for the current and future counselor workforce by writing letters to key decision and policy makers. Write a letter to your state counselor licensure board, department of education, or government representatives advocating for the adoption of standardized education requirements that include graduation from a CACREP-accredited program to assist in licensure portability for counselors.
Resources: Letter Guidelines
PREPARING FOR ADVOCACY WEEK
As a part of Chi Sigma Iota’s Professional Advocacy Series, CACREP will be hosting a webinar on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 from 2:00-3:00PM (EST) to get counselors engaged and prepared for Advocacy Week. An NBCC-approved CE clock hour will be provided, and registration is available through CSI. The webinar will be free for CSI members; $39 for guests.
Please contact the CACREP office at (703) 535-5990 or [email protected] with all questions related to CACREP Advocacy Week.