Allegheny County School Counselors Association Constitution

Revised October, 2014
Revised October 30, 2015


ARTICLE I Name
The name of this organization shall be the Allegheny County School Counselors Association; it may be referred to as the ACSCA.  It shall be considered one unit of the Southwestern region of the Pennsylvania School Counselors Association (PSCA).

ARTICLE II Philosophy and Objectives
As school counselors at all levels of public and private schools within Allegheny County, we share common interests and needs relevant to our primary task of serving students.  It is appropriate, therefore, that we organize ourselves through a professional association and elect officers whose responsibility it will be to accomplish the following objectives of the Association:
A.  Promote the professional status and growth of school counselors.
B.  Provide a forum for sharing professional concerns.
C.  Improve guidance and counseling service in our schools.

ARTICLE III Membership
Section A.   We recognize that our primary responsibility of guiding students involves the support of other professionals from within and outside the educational community.  For this reason, we seek to extend our professional association to those who share our commonality of needs, who can benefit from and contribute to our goals and objectives so that, ultimately, the needs of students within our schools can be better served.  Membership in this Association, therefore, shall be for those professionals who qualify for one of the following categories of Professional, Regular, Student, Retired, Associate, and Life Membership.

Section B.   Professional Members
These persons must hold a valid certification to serve as a school counselor. These persons must be employed as elementary, secondary or college counselors, or as supervisors or directors of guidance and counseling services at the district, regional or state level within Allegheny County. Any person who has attained status as an active member shall retain that status for all purposes including voting until June 30th each year.

Section C.     Regular Members
These persons must hold a valid certification to serve as a school counselor, but must be currently unemployed as such.

Section D.    Student Members
These persons must be certified graduate students enrolled at least half-time in a course of study designed to prepare them for guidance work.  Student membership shall be held for no more than three years and only so long as the person is properly entitled to such status. 

Section E.     Retired Members
These persons must have been professional members for two years immediately preceding retirement.  A retired member may be called to serve on committees.  Retired members may hold appointive offices.

 Section F.     Associate Members
All other persons who present themselves to this Association for membership shall have their applications referred to the Executive Committee which may grant them “Associate Status” if they are not eligible for Professional, Regular, Student or Life Membership.

 Section G.     Life Member
Life Membership is an honor awarded to a person who has made a significant contribution in the field of guidance and counseling and provided exemplary leadership to the organization.  A professional member may only be nominated by an Executive Committee member upon recommendation by a member of the Association.  A nominee may become a Life Member only through special action of the Executive Committee.  Life Members shall retain all the rights and privileges of dues-paying members, and shall be exempt from payment of annual dues.

 Section H.     Dues
Dues shall be set and voted upon for all categories of members by the Executive Committee.  Dues will be reviewed annually at the last general meeting of the Association each year.

 Section I.     Voting and Office-Holding privileges
Only Professional, Regular, Student, Retired and Life Members may have voting privileges on matters brought before the Association.
Only Professional, Regular, and Life Members may hold elective offices in this Association.

ARTICLE IV Officers of the Association
 Section A.     The Offices
1.   President
2.   First Vice President (President Elect)
3.   Second Vice President (Immediate Past President)
4.   Secretary
5.   Treasurer

Section B.     Terms of Office
The First Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer shall be elected before the last general meeting of the Association for the year.  The First Vice President shall serve a one year term.  The Secretary and the Treasurer shall serve a two year term.  (The offices of Secretary and Treasurer shall not be held by the same person for more than two consecutive terms.)  Terms of office shall begin on July 1 and end on June 30.

Section C.     Succession
The First Vice President shall automatically become President of the Association one year after the commencement of term of office as First Vice President, or upon the resignation or death of the President.

Section D.     Vacancies
In the event of resignation or death of officers other than the President, successors to these officers shall be elected at the next regular meeting of the Association.  The successors shall serve the balance of the term of the officers whom they replace, and they may then stand for re-election for a complete term (as specified in Section B above).

Section E.     Eligibility
To be eligible for any elective office, a person must have been an active member at least two years prior to the year in which the nomination is made.

Section F.     Voting Procedures
Officers shall be elected by Professional, Regular, Student, Retired, and Life Members.  Ballots must be emailed to members at least fourteen (14) days prior to the last general meeting of the Association each year.  The Second Vice President (immediate Past President) shall act as Chief Teller for all elections where voting is carried out by ballots, with assistance from at least two other members appointed by the President.

Section G.     Recall
An elected officer or member of the Executive Committee may be removed for cause, by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members of the Executive Committee.

Section H: Expenditures
All expenditures will be voted upon by the Executive Officers with a 3/5 vote needed to pass. The Secretary will make note of the date of the vote, results, and the method (in person, electronic, or telephone).

ARTICLE V Duties of Officers
Section A.     The duties of the President of this Association shall be to:
Preside at all Association meetings, Act as Chairperson of the Executive Committee, Appoint the members of all committees except as specified elsewhere in this Constitution,
Act as an ex-officio member of all committees, Assist the First Vice President in the arrangements for programs and locations of meetings.

Section B.     The duties of the First Vice President (President  Elect) of this Association shall be to:
Perform all the duties of the President in the absence of the President, Act as Chairperson of the Program Committee, arranging for all programs and locations of meetings.

Section C.     The duties of the Second Vice President (immediate Past President) shall be to:
Perform all the duties of the President in the absence of both the President and the First Vice President, Act as Chairperson of the Nominating Committee, Act as Chief Teller in all elections where ballots are used, Act as Parliamentarian of the Association. Review bylaws yearly and update as necessary. Check records of income and expenditures kept by the Treasurer.

Section D.     The duties of the Secretary of this Association shall be to:
Keep minutes of all Association and Executive Committee meetings, Maintain and pass on the permanent file of all programs and minutes, as well as other files designated by the President,Email all official correspondence of the Executive Committee, Perform such other duties as are normally assigned to a secretary of an organization.

Section E.     The duties of the Treasurer of this Association shall be to:
Receive all monies and pay all approved bills of the Association, Certify to the membership annually the result of an audit, Give a financial report at each general meeting.

ARTICLE VI Committees
Section A.     The Executive Committee of this Association shall consist of the elected officers of the Association plus the Chairperson of standing committees and the Chairpersons of all appointed committees.  The Chairperson of the Executive Committee shall be the President of the Association.  All Committee Chairpersons are ex-offico (nonvoting)members of the Executive Committee unless they also hold a position of an officer.

Section B.     The standing committees of this Association shall be as follows:
Nominating Committee: Its Chairperson shall be the Second Vice President of the Association. Its Members shall be appointed by the President.
It shall present a slate of candidates to the Executive Committee in time for a ballot to be emailed to members at least fourteen (14) days in advance of the last general meeting of the year. It shall make provisions for nominations from the floor and for write-in candidates on the ballot. It shall be the responsibility of the Nominating Committee to make sure that all nominees have been active members of the Association for at least the past two consecutive years prior to the date of the nomination.

Membership Committee: Its Chairperson and members shall be appointed by the President. The Committee shall be responsible for the promotion of membership and for the active recruiting of new members. Its chief functions shall be the maintenance and checking of membership records and lists and the production and distribution of a directory. The membership Chairperson shall have the ongoing responsibility of providing the Vice President with updated contact information for mailings to the general membership.

Program Committee: Its Chairperson shall be the First Vice President of the Association.  Additional members may be appointed by the President.Its chief function shall be to assist and advise the First Vice President in planning and carrying out the programs for general meetings.

State Liaison Committee: This committee shall be chaired by the PSCA Southwestern Unit Representatives.  The chief function of this committee shall be to act as a liaison between the Association and the PSCA by: (1) carrying the concerns and opinions of this Association to the PSCA (this shall be accomplished by the attendance of the Unit Representatives at the Governing Board meetings of the PSCA), (2) reporting back to the Association by means of direct reports at general meetings and/or by written reports. Both Unit Representatives and their respective Alternates shall serve same two year terms with elections occurring in even numbered years for Unit 2 and odd numbered years for Unit 3 by balloting of the Association members who are paid members of PSCA at the time of the election.​ Additional responsibilities of the PSCA Unit Representative shall include: (1) updating the membership list in the PSCA computer bank on an annual basis, (2) securing nominations for successors to the position of Unit Representative and Alternate Unit Representative, (3) emailing ballots to all Association members eligible to vote (this shall be accomplished separately from any other election of this Association), (4) collecting and counting the results with the Alternate Unit Representative and reporting those to this Association and the PSCA. In the event of the death or resignation of a PSCA Unit Representative, the Alternative Unit Representative shall assume all of his or her duties for the balance of the unexpired term; the unexpired term of the Alternate Representative so vacated shall be filled by special appointment of the President of this Association.

Recognition Committee: Its Chairperson and members shall be appointed by the President. Its chief function shall be to recognize outstanding members of our Association, including the ongoing responsibility of organizing the yearly process of awarding the ACCA Counselor of the Year Award. The Recognition Chairperson shall also have the ongoing responsibility of organizing the process of awarding a yearly scholarship from the association for high school seniors. Provide recognition and gift bags to the presenters at regular meetings.

Communications Committee: Its Chairperson and members shall be appointed by the President. Its chief function shall be to interpret and disseminate the activities of the Association to the general public through social media outlets and the ACCA website. Update the Association with current job opportunities. Distribute a newsletter after each general meeting.

Counselor/Higher Education Committee: Its Chairperson and members shall be appointed by the President. Its Chairperson shall act as liaison to the various associations of state and national private school administrators and college admissions counselors; this shall be accomplished primarily through regular contact with coordinators of the Western Region of the Pennsylvania Association of Private School Administrators (PAPSA) and the Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education (PCHE). Its chief function shall be to facilitate communications and promote the interchange of ideas and opinions among counselors and the aforementioned organizations.


Section C.     Standing committees shall consist of three or more members (including the Chairperson) with representation from elementary and secondary school counselors wherever possible and practical.


Section D.     The President, with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee, shall be empowered to create any other committee or committees which may be deemed necessary to carry out the work of the Association.  All such appointed committees shall cease to exist at the conclusion of the term of office of the President who appointed them.


Section E.     The President is charged with the responsibility of seeing that well-rounded representation from all levels of membership and counseling is found on all committees.

ARTICLE VII Amendments

Section A.     This Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present at an Association meeting.


Section B.     Amendments shall be proposed to the Association by the Executive Committee upon the presentation of a written petition signed by ten or more active members or upon the decision of the Executive Committee.


Section C.     Proposed amendments must be published and distributed to members at least fourteen (14) days prior to a general meeting of the Association.


Section D.     Amendments to this Constitution shall take effect immediately upon their adoption.

ARTICLE VIII By-Laws
By-Laws consistent with this Constitution may be adopted by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present at a stated or scheduled meeting of the Association.

ARTICLE IX Effective Date
This Constitution shall take effect immediately upon its adoption by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those active members present at a general meeting of the Association designated for the purpose of adopting a new Constitution.

ARTICLE X Parliamentary Authority
Robert’s-Rules-of-Order shall prevail except where otherwise provided for in the Constitution and/or By-Laws. The Association’s fiscal year shall extend from July 1 to June 30.
The Association will conduct at least four general meetings per year. These By-Laws may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the active members present at a general meeting of the Association. The President may submit emergency questions to the members of the Executive Committee by telephone or by mail when they arise between meetings of the Executive Committee.

ACSCA Constitution