A Conversation with Committee Chairs

By Elif Balin

NCDA is one of the most diverse professional associations under which a truly interdisciplinary group of practitioners, educators, researchers, leaders, and policy makers share their passion for the career development field. It is a professional home that we come back to every summer during the annual conference, which revitalizes our career agendas and connections. However, there is a lot more going on in NCDA, especially behind the scenes throughout a year. A major example is the significant work of the NCDA committees. NCDA committees construct the dynamic story of our organization by providing an opportunity to transform the powerful, diverse voices of our members into service, research and policy making.

We asked our NCDA committee chairs about their mission, achievements and how NCDA members can get involved. Here we share excerpts from these conversations and encourage you contact with the committee chairs for more information. Additionally, you can attend the committee meetings at the next NCDA conference in Chicago where you can meet the chairs and members to learn more. You can also read the annual and mid-year reports, posted on the Committee's webpage, under About NCDA.

Chairperson: Michelle Beese
The Awards Committee offers NCDA members the opportunity to recognize others and themselves for professional development and work in the field of career development.  The Committee continues to evaluate current award categories and added two new awards in the past two years - International Practitioner of the Year Award and Exemplary Career Center Award. Why become involved?  We are an active, synergetic group that continuously learns from one another.  Members note that this Committee is a professional development experience through which we learn best practices and gain deeper insight into what others in our industry are doing. 

Career Developments Magazine
Editor: Melissa Messer
Career Developments, the NCDA print magazine for members-only, is a themed publication offering articles that balance a broad vision with practical applications. The editorial team consists of several column editors as well as a main editor and an associate editor. Most recently, the magazine went through a significant redesign based on survey results from our members. We encourage members to get involved with the magazine by contributing articles. An updated publication schedule, along with each issues theme, can be found on the NCDA website. We encourage members to reach out to the individual column editors to discuss ideas for upcoming issues.

Career Convergence Magazine
Editor: Melanie Reinersman
NCDA's web magazine, Career Convergence, inspires and empowers its readers, who are career development practitioners. Articles address trends, “how to”, best practices, case examples, overview of models, book/assessment reviews, training opportunities and related career information in one of the magazine’s eight career development departments. Currently, twelve NCDA members volunteer to assist the Editor in publishing a new issue ten times a year. Almost 1000 articles are archived and searchable. Authors submit drafted articles to an Associate Editor in one of the career development departments, or get help with a submission by contacting a Field Editor. Members are encouraged to submit articles as well as comment and share articles posted online. A list of all the Editors, with contact information, is online.

Committee on Diversity Initiatives and Cultural Inclusion
Chairperson: Yamonte Cooper
This Committee works to raise awareness and promote equity and access within the membership and leadership of the NCDA. Further, the committee supports and addresses NCDA’s long-term strategic plan of diversity in membership and leadership.  With a renewed focus on diversity initiatives, the committee has had a few noteworthy achievements including refining the mission statement and updating the Multicultural Resource List. Our committee is comprised of a passionate group of individuals who consciously operate from a service and advocacy framework. Members who share this vision are welcome to get involved in the committee. 

Chairperson: Carolyn Jones
The Ethics Committee supports the NCDA mission by educating the membership as to the Association's Ethical Standards by responding to questions from the membership and the Board about ethical standards and the ethical behavior of NCDA members. Also, if called upon by the ACA Ethics Committee, to investigate complaints of alleged ethical violations. The most noteworthy achievement of the committee was to finalize the revision of the Code of Ethics in 2015. Members are encouraged to join us to provide support in the assessment and evaluation of ethical issues and concerns to protect and ensure the integrity of the profession.

Global Connections
Co-Chairs: Brian Hutchison and Vera Chapman
The world has been described as growing flatter, smaller, closer, and more connected. Globalization impacts all workers and therefore all career professionals see evidence of a changing global community. The Global Connections Committee, formerly the International Issues Committee, works to unite career professionals worldwide to enhance international policies and practices in career development. The evidence of our committee’s work can be seen in the proliferation of global participation at the NCDA Conference through presentations, receptions, and meetings. Current members continue to support conference attendees while developing partnerships through a new Global Sister-CDA program. Join us today!

Government Relations
Co-Chairs: Charles Lehman and Rebecca Dedmond
The Government Relations Committee provides advocacy for the career counseling profession and NCDA members by working with congressional committees and executive agencies at the national level on educational and workforce legislation with career counseling components. Committee leaders and the association’s lobbyist track and communicate legislation and provide members information and step by step advocacy procedures at workshops, conferences and electronically. Any counselor interested in public policy at the federal or state levels and how to become a more effective advocate should join.

International Student Services 
Co-Chairs: Satomi Yaji Chudasama and Elizabeth Knapp
The International Student Services Committee brings attention to the significantly growing numbers of international students in the U.S. Our surveys with international students, career counselors and employers have led our efforts to create a comprehensive resource guide that includes handouts and best practice examples. Our group also created an annual NCDA award to help promote the sharing of best practices across the higher education institutions and NCDA members. The International Student Services Committee is made up of a very diverse group of professionals who are excited and passionate about supporting international student career development in higher education. There are ample opportunities for NCDA members to participate in our two teams (Research & Writing Team and Resource Team).

National Career Development Month
Chairperson: Lakeisha Matthews
The National Career Development Month (NCDMonth) Committee supports the NCDA mission by promoting career development throughout the lifespan.  Through the annual celebration of National Career Development Month and the Poetry and Poster Contest, the NCD Month Committee seeks to engage members and inspire individuals to achieve their career goals. The NCD Month committee is most proud of facilitating the annual Poetry and Poster contest which is in its 50th year and averages 150+ entries annually. Members should get involved in the NCD Month Committee to help promote the field of career development throughout the world.

NCDA/ACES Commission
Chairperson: Melinda Gibbons
The NCDA/ACES Commission has two major goals: improve counselor educator commitment to career development in counselor preparation and enhance the quality of career course content. To achieve these goals, we have over 50 members who offer their ideas in the form of conference presentations, participation in the Counselor Education Academy, and overall involvement in NCDA. We have subcommittees who are working to populate a YouTube channel, create advocacy projects, and prepare a webinar, all on teaching career. The Commission activity I am most proud of is our history of quality presentations at every NCDA, ACA, and ACES conferences. NCDA members who teach graduate level career counseling courses should join the Commission to promote best teaching practices and learn from other Commission members.

Professional Standards Committee
Chairperson: Jamie J. Johnson
The mission of the Professional Standards Committee is to assist the NCDA leadership and members in monitoring the professional standards of the career development profession. The Committee has worked on a variety of projects including helping the NCDA Board review other professional association standards and trends, defining specific profession areas, and assessing the professional standards for career coaches and career development professionals. NCDA desires to lead the way in establishing the professional standard for the career development field.  Now is the time to get involved and join the Professional Standards Committee!

Co-Chairs: Seth Hayden and Melissa Wheeler
The Research Committee supports NCDA and its membership by advocating for quality research related to the career development of all individuals. Our committee reviews and approves potential research studies to be shared with NCDA members, awards graduate student research grants to further research in our profession, and recognizes the year’s outstanding research article published in the Career Development Quarterly. Last year, we awarded three graduate student research awards and two outstanding research article awards. NCDA members are encouraged to be involved with this committee as a way to connect with the integration of research of career development into the delivery of services.

Technology Committee
Chairperson: Melissa Venable
The Technology Committee's objectives guide our work across NCDA. From responding to questions from the Board to cross-collaborating with other committees, this group provides relevant resources for NCDA members and has input on a wide range of projects. One of our most accessible activities is the “Tech Tips” column of Career Convergence. Each month the committee provides a brief recommendation for using technology tools, trends, and apps in a variety of contexts. Through their participation, committee members have the opportunity to not only share their expertise with NCDA, but also continue learning about technology's potential role in career development.

The Career Development Quarterly
Editor: Paul J. Hartung
Since 1911, The Career Development Quarterly (CDQ) has supported the NCDA mission by serving as the association’s flagship publication to advance knowledge about career theory and intervention. The CDQ Editorial Board, comprising members with established reputations of exceptional scholarship, makes this possible by providing the critical judgments needed to make informed editorial decisions. The journal also enlists ad hoc reviewers who can lend their expertise on particular topics to the review process. To get involved, submit your manuscripts to CDQ and send along your CV for consideration as an ad hoc reviewer.

Co-Chairs: Charles Lehman and Krysta Kurzynski
The Veterans Committee provides professional development through workshops, webinars, research bibliographies, publications and other materials to NCDA members working with recently separated or prior service veterans in educational and workplace settings. The leadership advocates for veteran career counseling programs at the national level with federal and nonprofit agencies serving veterans. With over a hundred members, the committee is the largest in the association. Any counselor working with veterans should join to learn about and share career counseling information and resources.

Elif BalinElif Balin, Ph.D., LPC, NCC is an Assistant Professor of Counseling in the Educational Services and Leadership Department at Rowan University. She served as the former chair of the NCDA International Student Services Committee and currently leads the Research and Writing Team under this committee. She also participates in the NCDA/ACES Commission. She can be reached at elifbalin@gmail.com or via LinkedIn.

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Ellen Weaver Paquette   on Saturday 04/02/2016 at 04:23 PM

Good to see things all spelled out, thanks, Elif!

Paul Timmins   on Monday 04/04/2016 at 03:08 PM

Thanks for pulling this all together, Elif. There are so many good things happening in NCDA's committees!

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the comments shown above are those of the individual comment authors and do not reflect the views or opinions of this organization.