Founded in 1991 | A division of the American Counseling Association

Emerging Leader Grant

***The Emerging Leader Grant Application is Closed for 2019/2020. Please return to this page next August/September 2020 about the next grant cycle.***

The American College Counseling Association (ACCA) is pleased to invite applications from graduate students and new professionals for the Emerging Leader Grant (ELG) to attend the ACCA or ACA  (American Counseling Association) Annual Conferences in 2020.

Graduate students must be actively enrolled in a master’s or doctoral graduate counseling program (e.g. clinical mental health, clinical psychology, counselor education and supervision). New professionals are those working in college counseling within 2 years of matriculating from a counseling graduate program, or within 2 years of transitioning from another counseling profession into college counseling. College counseling includes a variety of professions such as mental health, career or disability services. 

The review and selection committee will typically comprise of the Graduate Student Member-at-Large (GS-MAL), an Executive Council Member, the ACCA Graduate Student & New Professionals (GSNP) Committee Chair/Co-chair and/or members, and previous ELG recipients. Throughout the process, the GS-MAL will be the primary contact person for questions by applicants as well as assistance, support and follow-up with ELG recipients throughout the year.

The Emerging Leader Grant covers the cost of the ACCA or ACA conference registration only.  This is NOT a cash/monies grant..  Travel, lodging, meals and other incidental expenses are the responsibility of the ELG recipient.

Travel grants: ACCA will distribute travel grants based on financial need and the number of requests. A request for a travel grant does not guarantee receiving a travel grant. If an ELG recipient receives a travel grant, the ELG recipient will fill out an expense form and submit receipts for reimbursement to the ACCA treasurer. Reimbursements are up to the amount of the awarded travel grant after the ELG recipient's attendance of the ACCA or ACA conference. 

ACCA Emerging Leaders responsibilities prior, during and after the conferences:

  • Maintian active paid membership of ACA and ACCA at application, when recieving notice of one's applicatoin status, and, if chosen, throughout one's time as and Emerging Leader.
  • Be informed about ACCA as an organization to work the ACCA information table at the ACCA or ACA conference.  
  • Write a short reflection essay or create a short reflection video within one (1) month after the conference. Additional information about the content for the essay will be provided to recipients prior to and after the conference. Note: Essays may be quoted in ACCA promotional materials for next year’s conference.
  • Serve on an ACCA committee for one year.
  • Submit feedback on the ELG program at the end of the year.
  • Optional: Assist in the review and selection process for next year’s ELG recipients.

For those who attend the ACCA Conference in Washington, DC (Feb 27 – March 1, 2020, Thurs - Sun):

  • Attend a meal with the Graduate Student Member-at-Large (GS-MAL)  
  • Attend a leadership meeting with the GS-MAL and ACCA president
  • Attend the GSNP and First-Time Attendees (FTAs) reception on Thursday evening
  • Work the ACCA information table for a minimum of 10 hours
  • Receive a conference guide via the FTAs program (if desired)
  • Be available for other duties

For those who attend the ACA Conference in San Diego, CA (April 16 – 19, 2020, Thurs - Sun):

  • Attend the ACCA reception
  • Attend one event with the Executive Council Leaders
  • Attend a meal/gathering with Executive Council Leaders
  • Attend the opening of the exhibit area 
  • Work the ACCA table in the exhibit area for a minimum of 10 hours
  • Be available for other duties 

The Process

 A).  Applications are due electronically by email by email to Elena Yee at Submit all materials as PDF filesNo applications will be accepted in any form other than electronically. The ELG review committee will examine all applications for eligibility.

B).  Applications must include ALL of the following (8 items):

1.      Join or reinstate membership in ACCA and ACA here. When joining ACA, add ACCA as a division. Include your ACA membership # in the application.
2.      Completed application form: Emerging Leader Application
3.      A resume or curriculum vitae
4.      A typed, double-spaced summary (one page only) of financial need to attend the conference (narrative and number amount) such as for travel, lodging, meals, etc. List all funding sources (actual and potential) to pay for these expenses. If you are requesting a travel grant, include an amount up to $500. Note: Applying for a travel grant does not guarantee receiving one.
5.      One letter of recommendation from a current or recent faculty member or employer. Note: No recommendation letters from colleagues, classmates, family or friends will be accepted.
6.      One letter of recommendation from a most recent site internship supervisor. Note: No recommendation letters from colleagues, classmates, family or friends will be accepted.
7.      Professional narrative: A typed, double-spaced narrative (one page minimum, two page maximum) describing your past and current scholarly activities (e.g. presentations, publications, research projects) and/or professional service (i.e. within a college campus community, professional organizations, committees, etc.) contributing to the future of the college counseling profession. You may also include describing how receiving this grant and attending the conference will impact your future research and/or professional work within college counseling.
8.      Diversity and Inclusion statement: ACCA is fully committed to diversity, inclusion and multicultural competence. As such, write a short statement (double-spaced, 1 to 2 pages, typed) on how your current and/or future work will contribute to this commitment in the context of college counseling. You are welcome to include how your identities and life experiences have shaped your professional commitment to diversity, inclusion and multicultural competence.

C).  Decisions are based on the quality of the submitted information and each category is given consideration in the overall score. The ELG review committee will conduct a blind review of the applications to select grant recipients.

D). All ELG applicants will be notified by email regarding their application status. Those awarded an Emerging Leader Grant will be sent a separate email with further information about conference registration.

Eligibility requirements:

1).  Applicants must be a student or new professional member of ACA and ACCA. Individuals who are not current members must affiliate with ACCA as a division within ACA in order to be considered for this award. To join ACA and ACCA, please visit the ACA webpage for membership information and forward your confirmation email of your membership to the GS-MAL. The review committee chair will confirm verification of membership in ACA and ACCA before considering your application.

2).  Applicants cannot have previously received an Emerging Leader Grant from ACCA.

Emerging Leader Grant Application

Deadline: October 7, 2019 (Monday) at midnight (12am EST)

Questions can be directed to:

Elena Yee, MS, NCC
Member-at-Large, Graduate Students and New Professionals
American College Counseling Association

Quick Links

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ACCA is currently accepting nominations for the Executive Council, find the available positions here.

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