Each host institution, in its application to host Student Affiliates of Seventeen, must identify areas it will focus on during its term. These areas of focus are called pillars, and they will form a foundation for our work during our three years as SAS host. The areas we have identified as essential to our field are: Wellness and Positive Development; Equity and Justice; Excellence and Innovation; and Growth and Sustainability. Learn more about the pillars and our plans for our term as SAS host below.

Pillar I: Wellness & Positive Development

Historically, the field of counseling psychology has aimed to foster a climate of wellness, something that many graduate students struggle with given the demands of their work and academics.  In addition, current graduate students in counseling psychology may feel unsupported by organizations because their primary interests include clinical/applied careers.

The Wellness and Positive Development committee is focused on wellness, self-care, and fostering graduate students’ development as both scientists and practitioners. We use our program expertise in positive psychology and vocational psychology to develop webinars and events promoting self-care and collective-care among students and in communities. We also expand opportunities for students to learn about burgeoning clinical specialties (e.g., integrated health care, school-based prevention and promotion) and to receive mentorship from Division 17 members in practice. We promote scientist-practitioner competencies and values by highlighting clinical research produced by SAS members through our publications and events. Our goals include (1) increasing awareness about ways to engage in self-care and wellness activities, (2) highlighting clinically-focused research within counseling psychology, and (3) encouraging membership of students who are more clinically oriented.

This pillar supports students by giving them access to resources and networking opportunities related to clinical work. This pillar also supports wellness initiatives that support graduate student development and wellness.

Pillar II: Equity & Justice

Our mission is to promote equitable access to resources and professional opportunities, particularly for students from marginalized groups. In our efforts to accomplish our mission, we plan to expand SAS and Division 17’s engagement with mentorship, leadership development, training, and advocacy in social justice competencies. We also hope to expand opportunities to learn from student activism and approaches to research, teaching, and practice that promote intersecting forms of justice—including but not limited to racial, economic, and immigrant justice; disability rights; and justice for women and LGBTQI+ people. We will also apply these principles reflexively to SAS to promote equitable internal practices.

Pillar III: Excellence & Innovation

Progress through innovative practices is an inherent and aspirational goal in any scientific field. This pillar promotes excellence and innovation in counseling psychology and an interdisciplinary approach to healthcare. We want to prepare the next generation of professionals to make advances in research, scholarship, and other areas in which scientist-practitioner training can be applied, such as policymaking and consultation. We provide student-focused webinars, facilitated online discussions, and convention programming each year related to advanced research methodologies, new theoretical insights, and innovative teaching and clinical practices. Additionally, we aim to support students who are advancing our field through awards, grants, and recognition.

Pillar IV: Growth & Sustainability
The Growth and Sustainability pillar is focused on sustaining, growing, and further diversifying membership of SAS and Division 17. This involves increasing student identification with Division 17, supporting students from traditionally marginalized groups, and increasing inclusion and engagement of students with a wide range of interests (e.g., master’s students, future master’s-level practitioners, undergraduate students interested in Counseling Psychology). The aim is to further the organizational development of SAS and its long-term sustainability.