Strategic Planning Process Results in Three Main NCDA Priorities

By Deneen Pennington and Kathy Evans

The 2019-2020 NCDA Board of Directors began a Strategic Planning process at its meeting in February 2020.  This process, facilitated by Richard Yep, the Executive Director of the American Counseling Association (ACA), helped the Board to identify priorities, incorporate strategies and understand member needs.  In addition, the Board conducted group activities to dream of “wish lists,” discuss NCDA’s brand, and identify “barriers” or “worst possible scenarios.”  Ironically, the following month, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and one of our “worst scenarios” came true with the forced cancellation of the 2020 Global Career Development Conference in Minneapolis.  The Board and Headquarters Management Team quickly learned how to pivot to host a virtual event and minimize the loss of one of NCDA’s largest revenue sources, professional development opportunities and community-building event. 

Following the Strategic Planning process, the Presidential Team, including the current National President, Dr. Kathy Evans, Past President, Dr. Spencer Niles, President-Elect Dr. Seth Hayden, and President-Elect-Elect Dr. Sharon Givens, recommended a review of NCDA’s mission statement, values statements, and a new vision statement.  The NCDA Board approved the following statements on August 17. 2020:

Vision Statement: NCDA’s vision is for all people to attain fulfilling career and life goals.

Mission Statement: The National Career Development Association (NCDA) provides professional development, publications, standards, and advocacy to practitioners and educators who inspire and empower individuals to achieve their career and life goals.

Core Values (approved in 2019 after the Values Study was completed):

  • Diversity and Cultural Inclusion: Foster a diverse and inclusive environment for all members to be engaged by addressing the unique needs of diverse members and their clients.
  • Innovation: Use diverse methods/technologies to meet the programmatic needs of the NCDA membership and contribute to the current and future success of the organization.
  • Community: Lead and engage members and other career development professionals to create a professional community and foster a sense of belonging.
  • Accountability: Commit to being accountable to the membership and the governing policies of NCDA.
  • Knowledge (competence): Facilitate career practitioners to be competent through credentialing, learning and development opportunities, and resources.
  • Professionalism: Value and deliver high quality, professional responsive and innovative service and resources to NCDA members and career development practitioners.
  • Integrity: Dedicate itself to being personally, professionally, and socially responsible by promoting strong moral codes and norms for members to follow.
  • Inspiration: Inspire NCDA members by offering memorable events and professional development opportunities.

Three main priorities for the next four years include:

  1. Membership expansion
  2. Diversity and cultural inclusion
  3. Identity/community development

Specific goals and objectives will be developed for each of these areas. The Board will present the completed plan during the Virtual Career Practitioner Institute on November 10, 2020. The association statements and plans are linked under About NCDA: Mission on the website at www.ncda.org. The current Board, including biographies and contact information is also linked under About NCDA. Board meeting minutes are also on that page. Watch for more information and activities surrounding the priorities to be developed in the near future.

2019 2020 Board Photo

NCDA Board of Directors, 2019-2020


Deneen Pennington, Executive Director, dpennington@ncda.org

Kathy Evans, President, 2019-2020, ncdaprez2020@gmail.com


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