Membership Question?

If you have a question about Membership, please contact NCDA Headquarters by calling, toll-free 1-866-FOR-NCDA. Or email Natalie Scrimsher, Membership Director, at nscrimsher@ncda.org. Your membership profile is available when you log on to MyNCDA (located in the far right side of the purple navigation bar on each webpage.

Membership Categories

Member benefits are the same for all membership Categories. Some Categories offer optional Designations. Career development professionals can Join NCDA directly, or join through the American Counseling Association (ACA). New Membership details have been posted, effective Nov 2014.

Regular

While most NCDA members hold master's degrees in counseling or related fields, there is not a minimum educational requirement to become an NCDA Regular Member.   Anyone who has an interest or involvement in career development may join.  Regular members join directly through NCDA Headquarters.  Regular members have the option of choosing an NCDA Designation.

New Professional & Student & First Timers

Students enrolled in programs preparing them for counseling and other career development areas are eligible to become student members of NCDA. Student members may join through NCDA directly, or through ACA. New Professionals are those graduates in their first year of employment in the career development field.  New Professionals may also be anyone new to NCDA regardless of their employment history.  New Professionals are offered reduced membership dues for a limit of one-year.

Retired

Retirees who have been an NCDA member for at least ten years and are retired from the counseling profession can apply for retired membership. Retired members should apply for membership directly through NCDA. Retired members have the option of choosing an NCDA Designation.

Professional

Professional members are those members who join through American Counseling Association (ACA) and NCDA through the ACA joint membership program. To qualify for ACA membership, one must hold a master's degree or higher in counseling or a closely related field from a college or university that was accredited by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Professional  members have the option of choosing an NCDA Designation.

Membership designations

NCDA Member Designations are intended to describe members’ level of education and expertise.  The membership designations are optional and offered to Professional, Regular, and Retired Members only.  NOTE: Students, New Professionals, and Promotional Members are not eligible for the NCDA Member Designations.

NCDA Designations are organized in three main areas (career counselors, career specialists and scholars).  While some NCDA members may meet all designations, one should select the designation that best describes his/her highest level of expertise.  

Career Counselors: Two options available:

Master Career Counselor (MCC):

  • Master’s degree or higher in counseling
  • 5 years post masters experience in career development
  • Many possess NCC or NCCC credentials and hold state counseling/psychologist licensure
  • Possess specialized training in assessment and testing, career theory, group and individual counseling, and ethical/legal issues
  • Completed supervised career practicum during master’s program

Subject to 30 hours of continuing education every 5 years.

May elect to be included on the NCDA "Need Career Help?" Online Directory for an additional annual fee.

Career Counselor:

  • Master’s degree or higher in counseling

Subject to 30 hours of continuing education every 5 years.

Career Specialists: Two options available:

Master Career Specialist (MCS): (formerly called Master Career Development Professional (MCDP)

Master’s degree or higher in fields other than counseling; 5 years post masters experience in career development AND one of the following:

  • Completion of the NCDA Career Development Facilitator Training Program
  • One Year of Supervised Career Development Experience

Subject to 30 hours of continuing education every 5 years.
May elect to be included on the NCDA "Need Career Help?" Online Directory for an additional annual fee.

Career Specialist: 

Bachelor’s degree or higher in fields other than counseling AND one of the following: 

  • Completion of the NCDA Career Development Facilitator Training Program
  • One Year of Supervised Career Development Experience

Subject to 30 hours of continuing education every 5 years.

NCDA Scholars:

Master’s degree or higher in counseling; 5 years post masters experience researching at higher education settings, working as a counselor educator, researcher, or in private practice.  NCDA Scholars include NCDA Fellows, Brain Trust Members, etc.

This designation is not required to do continuing education nor is listed on the NCDA Career Help Online Directory.