The OCCDHE Awards and Programs Committee is comprised of the Past Chair of OCCDHE, who chairs the committee, as well as one representative from each caucus.  The deadline for 2015 Awards submission is September 11, 2015.  Please send all submissions in an email attachment to Jeanne Manese at

Diversity Leadership Mentoring Program

Diversity Leadership Mentoring Application (MS Word)

In an effort to encourage and enhance diversity within our counseling center directorship, OCCDHE established the Diversity Leadership Mentoring Program.  This program offers scholarships to talented mental health professionals who want to become counseling center directors. OCCDHE recognizes that having opportunities to interact and network with experienced directors at the annual Fall conference can provide a rich professional development experience for aspiring directors.

We look to award a scholarship of up to $1,000.00 to cover the costs for the recipients to attend the Fall conference in Shell Beach, CA. Scholarship recipient will be matched with a director mentor.

Qualifications for nominees are as follows:

  1. No prior experience as a counseling center director.
  2. Has an interest in being a counseling center director and providing leadership in a higher educational setting.
  3. Has completed at least three years of experience in a clinical position (some must have been in a staff position at a counseling center).
  4. Has taken leadership on an initiative or project.
  5. Represents diversity in an underrepresented group and has had experience advancing a cultural agenda.
  6. Has experience as a supervisor (preferred).

Individuals can be nominated by submitting their vitae, two letters of support (one letter must be from the applicant’s home institution director), and a statement of interest that includes:

  • How diversity has influenced their career.
  • Their experience taking leadership on an initiative or project.
  • How issues of diversity have been implemented in their work and their experience advancing a cultural agenda.


Excellence in Leadership Award

Excellence in Leadership Award Application (MS Word)

During the OCCDHE Fall Conference an award will be presented to a Director or Director Emeritus (who has retired within the last year) who has provided outstanding leadership and commitment to OCCDHE.

Complete nominations include at least two letters from current or emeritus OCCDHE members highlighting the nominee’s substantive contributions to OCCDHE and to the field of college counseling in general. Other additional letters of support can be submitted from staff or other appropriate administrators. The nominee must have been a member of OCCDHE for at least three years.


Program Excellence Award

Program Excellence Award Application (MS Word)

During the OCCDHE Fall Conference we recognize one excellent, innovative program, designed and implemented by counseling center staff. A $500 grant is distributed to the awarded counseling center and can be used to further develop and fund the program or to defray costs for staff professional development, etc. No demonstrated need for funding support is required.

Nominations require a complete description of the program, including specifics about implementation (e.g., numbers served, outreach to underserved populations, cost, mental health focus, uniqueness, etc.) and measured outcomes.


Social Justice Scholar Program

Social Justice Scholar Application (MS Word)

The Organization of Counseling Center Directors In Higher Education (OCCDHE) is committed to increasing diversity in the membership of the organization and in its members’ knowledge and expertise about social justice issues. Social justice refers to advocating for individuals and groups of all backgrounds to receive fair treatment and a more balanced share of the benefits of society. Consequently, OCCDHE has developed the Social Justice Scholar Program to provide a professional development opportunity to individuals from all backgrounds who are interested in becoming student counseling center directors at colleges and universities and have demonstrated leadership and/or scholarship in Social Justice.

The Social Justice Scholar is awarded up to $1,000.00 annually to enable the scholar to participate in the spring OCCDHE director’s meeting. The scholarship covers conference registration and includes housing and most meals (additional meals will be reimbursed from receipts), travel expenses (mileage) to and from the conference. As part of the scholarship, the recipient will present a program related to diversity and social justice at the spring directors’ meeting.

The Social Justice Scholar will be paired with a veteran counseling center director to assist in the mentorship. The recipient will attend professional development sessions; CSU, UC or Independent Schools caucus meetings; all director meetings; and the Multicultural Action Committee (MAC) meeting. MAC meets to plan and integrate diversity and social justice into the fabric of the conference.

Qualifications for nominees are as follows:

  1. An individual from any background that has a demonstrated commitment to, passion about, social justice and diversity issues on college and university campuses.
  2. An individual who is employed at a college or university student counseling center that is an active OCCDHE member.
  3. An individual who is interested in becoming a Director at a counseling center.
  4. An individual who is able to articulate a vision for infusing social justice into programming or leading an initiative or project in the social justice arena.

Selection Process:

The selection will be made by a committee composed of the Past Chair of OCCDHE one representative from the Multicultural Action Committee and representatives that include members from each of the 3 caucuses. The Social Justice Scholar will be announced at the Fall OCCDHE conference, and the award winner will attend the conference in the following spring.