SAS Pillars

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: Structural Well-Being; Justice, Equity, and Liberation; Community Learning and Development; Scientist-Practitioner-Advocate. Learn more about the pillars and our plans for our term as SAS host below.

Pillar I:  Structural Well-Being (SWB)

The Structural Well-Being (SWB) Pillar functions to advocate for the well-being of Counseling Psychology students through a structural lens. We recognize that the well-being of students is shaped by policies and systems, and that individual health is inextricably linked to our environments and the sociopolitical context in which we live. The aim of this pillar is to shift the focus on student well-being from one that centers individual responsibility to one that emphasizes structural-level interventions that increase institutional support and equity for Counseling Psychology students. To advance this mission, events will focus on: 1) increasing awareness and understanding of structural determinants of health, 2) teaching students evidence-based, tangible advocacy and community organizing skills, and 3) fostering collaborations with students to provide support for advocacy initiatives they wish to implement within their own programs and communities.

Pillar II: Justice, Equity, & Liberation (JEL)

The Justice, Equity, and Liberation (JEL) Pillar is dedicated to cultivating a community of change-makers that are committed to meaningfully advancing equity, justice, and liberation through an intersectional lens. The inclusion of the term “liberation” is intentional in our effort to highlight tenets of liberation psychology, which is aligned with the presidential initiatives set forth by past and current SCP presidents. The primary goal of this pillar is to increase access to the field of Counseling Psychology for marginalized group members. In support of SAS’s mission and decolonizing traditional SCP practices, co-chairs will conduct programming that will focus on the following initiatives: 1) creating spaces for community-building and healing, 2) increasing access to training opportunities in liberation psychology, and 3) developing mentorship relationships among Counseling Psychology students and professionals. 

Pillar III: Community Learning and Development (CLaD)

As the name suggests, the Community Learning and Development (CLaD) Pillar is committed to helping students of Division 17 learn and develop as a community. This pillar focuses on increasing interdisciplinary connections within the field of counseling psychology, and using perspectives and strengths of other fields to advance as a community of scholars, advocates, and practitioners. Programming in this pillar will aim to 1) foster collaborations and coalitions between psychologists, researchers, and community leaders, 2) provide presentations and examples of successful collaborations between community organizations and counseling psychologists, and 3) provide guidance and support for the development of specific community-based participatory research projects. 

Pillar IV: Scientist-Practitioner-Advocate (SPA) Development

Counseling Psychology has called for an integration of advocacy and science, such that professional efforts can be leveraged to inform policy and advocate for systemic change. The Scientist-Practitioner-Advocate (SPA) Pillar aims to provide students with support for development of their identity as a Counseling Psychologist. The SPA Development Pillar will highlight the integration of scholarship, practice, and social justice efforts. In support of this aim, the programming conducted by this pillar will center leadership development and advocacy skills. Examples of programming might include workshops on 1) conducting participatory action research, 2) integrating advocacy into clinical practice and research, 3) translating research into action and policy development, and 4) practicing community engagement outside of therapy.