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Ohio University Counselor Education Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Students and faculty in the Ohio University Counselor Education program are guided by the American Counseling Association (ACA, 2014) Code of Ethics and are committed to the ethical practice of counseling. In classroom, field work, and extra-curricular activities, we acknowledge and value the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of our students, faculty, site supervisors, and clients. We believe that an emphasis on diversity, inclusion, and advocacy strengthens the learning experiences of all.

As a program in The Patton College of Education, we share a commitment to diversity and inclusion. We align with the mission of the Ohio University Office of Diversity and Inclusion to create a “supportive and affirming environment that welcomes and respects all persons, specifically those individuals and groups who have historically [and currently] been excluded, not represented, and/or rendered voiceless in society.” Diversity signifies difference and heterogeneity between and among individuals, groups, and cultures. Specifically, diversity is inclusive of, but not limited to, all ages, races, ethnic groups, genders, gender identities, sexual orientations, national origins, cultures, socioeconomic classes, abilities, ways of thinking geographic regions, religions, and veteran status

The ACA (2014) Code of Ethics Preamble identifies five core professional values of the counseling profession that embody our commitment to ethical practice:

  1. enhancing human development throughout the life span;
  2. honoring diversity and embracing a multicultural approach in support of the worth, dignity, potential, and uniqueness of people within their social and cultural contexts;
  3. promoting social justice;
  4. safeguarding the integrity of the counselor–client relationship; and
  5. practicing in a competent and ethical manner.

The consensus definition of counseling (Kaplan et al., 2014) describes counseling as a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals. To do so effectively involves an ongoing commitment to the aspirational Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies (Ratts et al., 2015) endorsed by the ACA.

Specific to the personal values of our students and faculty, the Ohio University Counselor Education program is guided by the ACA (2014) Code of Ethics, Section A.4.b. Personal Values:

Counselors are aware of—and avoid imposing—their own values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Counselors respect the diversity of clients, trainees, and research participants and seek training in areas in which they are at risk of imposing their values onto clients, especially when the counselor’s values are inconsistent with the client’s goals or are discriminatory in nature.

Adopted December 7, 2018