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What is Chi Sigma Iota?

Chi Sigma Iota is the international honor society for students, professional counselors and counselor educators; it was initially established at Ohio University in 1985.Our mission is to promote scholarship, research, professionalism, leadership and excellence in counseling, and to recognize high attainment in the pursuit of academic and clinical excellence in the profession of counseling.

We currently have over 12,500 active members and over 68,000 initiated members. This makes CSI one of the largest single member organizations of professional counselors in the world. We have 263 chapters in the USA, Europe, and the Philippines with more added as counselor education programs commit to meeting national accreditation preparation standards. Members will be found in countries all over the world, most of whom were educated in US university programs described above. With the spread of professional counseling to other countries on the rise, we expect to support more chapters in more countries in the future.

Chi Sigma Iota, the International Counseling Academic and Professional Honor Society, was established January 1, 1985, following several months of planning by representatives of the Counselor Education training program at Ohio University and leaders in the U.S. counseling profession. The impetus for forming an international honor society in counseling included a desire to provide recognition for outstanding academic achievement as well as outstanding service within the counseling profession. The formation of an honor Society was seen as a fruitful avenue to provide a much needed link between students, educators, practitioners, and administrators in various counseling settings who identify themselves as professional counselors, first and foremost.

In 1988, negotiations were initiated by Rho Chi Sigma, the national rehabilitation counseling and services honor society, concerning unification. Rho Chi Sigma was formally merged into Chi Sigma Iota in March of 1989. This was a landmark move to unify rehabilitation counselors with the mainstream of the counseling profession.

CSI evolved as a consequence of the maturity of the counseling profession. While the scope of the Society is international, its focus is upon the personal and professional development of its individual members. CSI is committed to upholding the high standards of its members.

The purposes of Chi Sigma Iota, International, as noted in Article I of the By-Laws, are:

To promote scholarship, research, professionalism, and excellence in counseling, and to recognize high attainment in the pursuit of academic and clinical excellence in the profession of counseling."

The goals of Chi Sigma Iota are achieved primarily through the activities of local chapters, and secondarily, through efforts of the Headquarters' staff, officers, and committees.

Local chapters serve as links within their respective communities to promote interaction between counselor educators, students, alumni, and local professionals. The chapters provide a forum for interaction, sharing of concerns, discussion of issues, and support for common interests. Many chapters schedule meetings and solicit speakers on a variety of topics relevant to counselors, serving as a resource for continuing education. Chapters have conducted service activities and have organized social gatherings to facilitate interactions between members.

International Headquarters Activities include the functions of the CSI International Office, which is responsible for maintaining the records of the Society, ordering and distributing certificates and pins, and distributing information about the Society. The International Headquarters is responsible for the dissemination of the Exemplar, the quarterly publication of the Society.

The Headquarters also serves as a networking source to link CSI chapters and members throughout the world. This has been an especially valuable resource for students who have moved to new locations after graduation and seek to affiliate with the nearest CSI chapter.

International Meetings of CSI are held during the annual convention of the American Counseling Association (ACA) in the Spring of each year. The Spring meetings include time for an Executive Council meeting, a leadership training seminar, the Scholars or Academy of Leaders for Excellence program, a business meeting, an awards ceremony, an initiation and an informal gathering of members for exchange of information and socialization. The annual business meeting is open to all CSI members. Chapters must send representative in order to maintain active status.

Since the time of its chartering, CSI as an organization, and many of its individual members, have assumed leadership roles at the state, regional, national and international levels in promoting the counseling needs of persons of all ages as well as the concerns of counselors themselves.

[from Chi Sigma Iota webpage, http://www.csi-net.org]

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