Category Archives: North Carolina

ACA Deletes Its Own Thread and Latest News Post on North Carolina CACREP-Only Bill

ACA had posted a discussion thread yesterday entitled “ACA Affirms Commitment to Nondiscrimination, Expresses Disappointment in the NC Legislature’s Decision to Coopt Counselor Licensing Bill”.

In it they expressed some confusingly-worded sentiment about the grandfathering for non-CACREP counselors not being enough, and disappointment with the discriminatory add-ons tacked to the bill by the NC legislature which had nothing to do with the original bill.

Apparently ACA is censoring itself now.

As of 4:35pm EST 10/08/15, not only did they remove their own discussion thread, they also killed the article in the “Latest News” section of their website. (Perhaps the Open Forum thread will be reposted later… this has happened before.)

It used to be at this link and was removed:
https://www.counseling.org/news/updates/2015/10/07/aca-affirms-commitment-to-nondiscrimination-expresses-disappointment-in-the-nc-legislature-s-decision-to-coopt-counselor-licensing-bill
Makes us wonder at what was objectionable:
1. The sentence in which they wished for better grandfathering for non-CACREP counselors?
2. They decided that they were not committed to non-discrimination after all? (honestly we don’t really think this)
3. They just don’t want to talk about it until after the governor signs it? (our best bet for the sudden removal)

We are attaching what we can retrieve of it below.

The bill on the governor’s desk can be seen here:
http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/Sessions/2015/Bills/Senate/PDF/S279v5.pdf

This would be a good time to write the governor and ask him not to sign this legislation:
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory
116 W. Jones St.
Raleigh, NC 27603-8001
Fax:(919)733-2120
Tel:(919)733-4240
email: governor.office@governor.ncmail.net
Email/Webform: http://governor.nc.gov/contact/email-governor

~~~~~

Oct 7, 2015 2:55 PM
[ACA Staffer]

Last week, ACA received notification that a bill pertaining to the licensing of counselors in North Carolina, Senate Bill 279, had been scheduled for an immediate vote in the House after passing out of a joint conference committee the day before. A version of S279, a bill pertaining to “Amending Qualifications/Practice of Counseling,” has been sent to the Governor’s desk to be signed.

ACA is glad to see that CACREP standards have been legislated in the state of NC to be included in the state’s licensure requirements. However, ACA is disappointed in the lack of clear pathway for those LPCS with non-CACREP degrees. ACA is committed to supporting adequate grand-parenting for those with degrees from non-CACREP accredited programs.

Read more here.

——————————
[ACA STAFFER]
American Counseling Association
Alexandria VA
——————————

2. Re: ACA Affirms Commitment to Nondiscrimination, Expresses Disappointment in the NC Legislature’s Decision to Coopt Counselor Licensing Bill

Oct 7, 2015 4:55 PM
James Michael Reeder

My quick read of the bill sent to the governor for signature (see below) is that it DOES have grandfathering of non-CACREP applicants through 2022. While my opinion is that grandfathering in general is inadequate, I don’t yet see what is lacking in this bill in terms of the grandfathering that is desired by ACA and CACREP. Maybe I am missing something here?

I am also not sure if the ACA is worried about adequate grandfathering for LPCs (regular counselors) or LPCS (supervisors). Clarification welcome, thanks.

To the extent that grandfathering in this bill does not meet ACA hopes, this speaks to my earlier points about it being nearly impossible to maintain the equality of non-CACREP counselors while simultaneously pushing for CACREP-Only in new licensing. Things have a way of getting out of control. (The loudest message sent is that CACREP is better.)

I’ve also expressed hope that ACA efforts to protect non-CACREP counselors will be as vigilant and well-funded as planned efforts to get CACREP-Only licensing language passed in all 50 states. Such a large campaign implies funding and coordination – which I hope will be applied to somehow convincing people that currently licensed non-CACREP counselors should be treated equally. Happily ACA has the grace to cognizant about this issue in regards to this North Carolina legislation.

NC BILL SENT TO GOVERNOR:
http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/Sessions/2015/Bills/Senate/PDF/S279v5.pdf

North Carolina Legislature Passes CACREP-Only Legislation

[5:00pm EST 10/08/15 edit — ACA has deleted its Open Forum post and the news item on their website.  Some of the links in this story will not work anymore.  Read this story first, then click here for the update.]

The bill is apparently on governor’s desk.

Contacts expressing the damage that this bill will do to professional counseling should be addressed to:

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory
116 W. Jones St.
Raleigh, NC 27603-8001
Fax:(919)733-2120
Tel:(919)733-4240
email: governor.office@governor.ncmail.net
Email/Webform: http://governor.nc.gov/contact/email-governor

The ACA is doing damage control about how disappointed they are that the bill lacks adequate grandfathering measures.  See below.  I guess it’s impossible to control all bills everywhere, but this gets to our earlier points about it being nearly impossible to maintain the equality of current non-CACREP counselors while simultaneously pushing for CACREP-Only in new licensing.  We’ve also expressed hope that ACA efforts to protect non-CACREP counselors will be as vigilant and well-funded as planned efforts to get CACREP-Only licensing language passed in all 50 states.  Such a large campaign implies funding and coordination – we hope more such legislative slips will be few and far between.

HOWEVER — Our read of the bill (see below) is that it DOES have grandfathering of non-CACREP applicants through 2022.  We don’t yet see what is lacking in the grandfathering as desired by ACA and CACREP (other than the whole idea of grandfathering being inadequate).  What are we missing here?  Not sure if the ACA is worried about adequate grandfathering for LPCs (regular counselors) or LCPS (supervisors).

ACA PAPER:

https://www.counseling.org/news/updates/2015/10/07/aca-affirms-commitment-to-nondiscrimination-expresses-disappointment-in-the-nc-legislature-s-decision-to-coopt-counselor-licensing-bill

[5:00pm edit – This link no longer works.  Deleted by ACA]

NC BILL SENT TO GOVERNOR:

http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/Sessions/2015/Bills/Senate/PDF/S279v5.pdf

~~~~

ACA Affirms Commitment to Nondiscrimination, Expresses Disappointment in the NC Legislature’s Decision to Coopt Counselor Licensing Bill

Oct 07, 2015

Last week, ACA received notification that a bill pertaining to the licensing of counselors in North Carolina, Senate Bill 279, had been scheduled for an immediate vote in the House after passing out of a joint conference committee the day before.

A version of S279, a bill pertaining to “Amending Qualifications/Practice of Counseling,” has been sent to the Governor’s desk to be signed.

ACA is glad to see that CACREP standards have been legislated in the state of NC to be included in the state’s licensure requirements. However, ACA is disappointed in the lack of clear pathway for those LPCS with non-CACREP degrees. ACA is committed to supporting adequate grand-parenting for those with degrees from non-CACREP accredited programs.

While S279 was written to make amendments to the licensure process, the bill was utilized for other political agendas. In mid-September, the House amended the bill to include significant provisions regarding sex education in North Carolina’s schools, an issue that is unrelated to the licensing of counselors. These provisions, if signed into law, will mandate the promotion of abstinence-only education and write into statute sex education curricula, without including the expertise of educators in the field.

The conference committee version of the bill bore fruit to an even more egregious version of the bill. This version included sections regarding local governance that took away the authority for local government to pass laws raising the local minimum wage, ensuring fair housing, and enforcing non-discrimination in employment practices. As counselors, we understand how important it is that we empower local communities to make the decisions that best serve the people who live there. Local government decisions foster innovation and local control exists to reflect the unique values and needs of different communities.

ACA stands firm in our commitment to nondiscrimination. It is against the 2014 ACA Code of Ethics (section C.5.) and antithetical to the nature of the profession, a profession that is committed to improving the lives of all people. ACA actively fought against the inclusion of these provisions and remains disappointed at those in the North Carolina legislature whom utilized this opportunity to advance other agenda items, distracting from the need to promote and improve access to qualified mental health practitioners in the state.

CACREP Confusion in the States and the Impact on Already Licensed Counselors

As of 9:30pm tonight 9/27/15 (or earlier) the following message thread which was posted yesterday on ACA Open Forum no longer appears. As of this time no notice of its removal or a reason for such has been provided.  This material is posted with permission of the original author.

From: James Reeder

Posted: Saturday September 26, 2015 3:04 PM

Subject: CACREP Confusion in the States and the Impact on Already Licensed Counselors

Message:

One of the state counseling associations recently sent out an email blast asking all their members to write legislators in support of CACREP-Only legislation. A Concerned member of theirs wrote back expressing consternation about what such a position will do to non-CACREP counselors.

The state association responded expressing confusion as to how that counselor could even be concerned given that:

“The legislation does not in any way effect those who are currently licensed.”

“In the future… all programs… are or will soon be CACREP.”

I find this response both unsettling and hopeful. Its unsettling because it has a chilly almost lock-step similarity to the exact positions I keep seeing espoused by CACREP-Only partisans on several forums. Do they have shared talking points? I find it hopeful because – if taken at face value – it suggests that many CACREP-Only supporters are innocently ignorant of the damage such proposals will cause. Maybe there is some hope at education. I’ll take another stab at this now:

Regarding no current non-CACREP counselors being hurt:

Some problems with the “generous grandfathering” proposed:

  1. Your non-CACREP license will be increasingly worthless if insurance plans, the public, and government entities see you as something less than the gold standard. Especially if more plans join TRICARE and the VA in adding CACREP-related requirements on top of valid state licenses.

As an example, I posted to ACA Open Forum a current example of a North Carolina company that is advertising a job opening that is only open to CACREP graduates. (The ad also lets people take an alternate exam but their website says they only hire CACREP grads!)

  1. A comprehensive, well-funded plan to maintain equality in PR and marketing and messaging between CACREP and non-CACREP counselors is needed to be executed on by our associations including ACA. ACA is clearly promising to advocate for your equality as a non-CACREP counselor. I wonder how this lovely message will get through as ACA revives its gold standard rhetoric in their latest FAQ and gears up to lobby all 50 state licensing boards to change regulations to CACREP-Only. However, I remain hopeful that ACA will pull this off.
  1. License portability plans remain very much in flux with competing plans proposed. Your ability to switch states is in question in the years ahead. Hopefully the AASCB plan will prevail.
  1. I’m hearing from worried school counselors. Apparently its common for school counselors to work 7-8 years as a school counselor, and then go back for some additional coursework to become licensed clinical counselors. Depending upon the initial training or subsequent additional coursework, school counselors frequently have strong or acquire strong clinical skills. Its an open question how all of those non-CACREP school counselors will be able to retool mid-career to clinical work if licenses require CACREP-Only.
  1. What if your license lapses? Maybe, gods forbid, you get sick for a few years. A kind and thoughtful licensing board will take such into account. A licensing board imposing new CACREP-Only regulations might not. I do believe that most licensing bodies have common sense, but this is a concern.

Regarding all schools soon being CACREP:

Does this state have any counseling psychology masters programs?

CACREP partisans have conveniently re-defined the definition of professional counseling to not include counseling psychology masters programs. They can then use skewed statistics leaving them out entirely.

There are dozens and dozens of these programs and CACREP will not accredit them no matter what they do!

Plans will be announced shortly as to some organized ways to advocate for all counselors. There will be advocacy for any accreditations approved by CHEA and the MCAC program accreditation is currently going through the CHEA process and will compete with CACREP. CACREP partisans are trying to lock-down a monopoly while they can.

It’s all a crying CACREP-Only shame.