Graduate Students

"Being involved in professional counseling associations while in graduate school really opened my eyes to my future in the profession. My involvement started in the South Dakota Counseling Association, when my application was accepted to be a moderator at the annual conference. During this experience, I met other graduate students, got to know faculty members a little more, and was able to network with current school counselors. I was then invited to attend a smaller conference, the American Counseling Association Midwest Leadership Conference, where I could network with professionals from other states on a more personal level. When I attended the national ACA conference in New Orleans last year, I was able to meet up with folks I had met from other states as well as some SDCA leadership to continue building relationships in the profession. Last year, I was accepted into the SDCA Emerging Leader program which helped me to feel more confident in applying for board positions in both SDCA and SDSCA. The people I have met are so helpful and resources they have provided are priceless. All you have to do is get involved, stay involved, and you never know what opportunities may come your way!"

Synnora Wilbur, 2020 USD Graduate         


2023 Graduate Student Scholarship Winners


There are countless reasons to join a professional organization! For instance, one exciting reason to join is creating time to attend a professional conference. A statewide or national conference fosters a culture whereby individuals explore current interests, gain new knowledge and skills, and reflect upon those things which initially drew them to the field of counseling. All of these benefits are salient in maintaining wellness and meaning in the work we all do each and every day.

Although the conference tends to be the highlight of the year, there are also local chapters and areas of specializations to be involved in. Specialty areas include: Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, and the nation’s only Native American Counseling Association. Likewise, if you are interested in legislation and advocacy for clients and/or the profession, students are encouraged to be involved in advocacy efforts.

The local chapters are the best way to meet counseling professionals in your area. Throughout the year local chapters will host various social, service, and professional events. This is a great way to learn about services available in your area while also having some fun. Local chapters also provide the opportunity for leadership experiences. Join SDCA, Specialty Areas and your local chapter to receive updates about activities and events. You can also join the SDCA Facebook page!

There will be more updates and information for graduate students often. Be sure to check this website regularly and contact SDCA should you have any questions.