Texas Counseling Association Historical Timeline [pdf]
The History of the Texas Counseling Assoication
by James Mathis with assistance from Charlotte McKay, Geraldine Mullins and Suzanne Schmidt, November, 1997
On November 29, 1947, a group of counselors met for the first time as the "Guidance Section" of TSTA's 69th Annual Convention in San Antonio. This evening's celebration commemorates the 50th anniversary of that occasion. The following historical sketch provides a sense of the phenomenal growth of our association.
In 1934 at a Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA) convention, it was suggested that the vocational guidance personnel should start meeting as were other groups of school personnel. The gestation period began and the group met during each convention from 1935 through 1940. World War II interrupted the meetings until 1947.
Virginia Hofstedler, who would later be known as Dr. Virginia Love, chaired the 1947 meeting of the "Guidance Section" of TSTA. Approximately 20-30 professionals attended the meeting and a period of labor began. Discussions at this meeting dealt mainly with the establishment of guidance programs in public schools. Dr. Royal Embree of the University of Texas, and the person who deserves much of the credit for preservation of TCA's history, was elected chair for the 1948 meeting to be held in Dallas. He is now considered the association's first president. Dr. Embree served two consecutive terms as president and conducted the 1948 and 1949 meetings.
During the 1948 meeting in Dallas a decision was made to develop a separate association. This was brought to fruition by the next annual meeting, held in Fort Worth at Thanksgiving, 1949. A constitutional committee began work establishing the constitution and by-laws of the Texas Guidance Association.
By 1950, the TGA constitution was completed by George Beamer, William Truax, and John Love, and an organization which was a departmental affiliate of theTexas State Teachers Association was born. This was the same year Bill Truax began his service as Executive Secretary/Director - a position he held for nearly 25 years. Following the 1950 conference address, committee reports were given and a business session was conducted.
The 1951 meeting, chaired by Corinne Britt, was conducted in Houston and shared with Deans of Women and the Mental Hygiene groups. The 1952 conference was in El Paso, Earl Koile serving as president, worked to add Personnel to the association's title and to bring it in line with the national and other state associations in 1953. O. Lee Reeves followed Earl as president of the association in 1953. In 1954 the association began its efforts to become a state branch of the American Personnel and Guidance Association (APGA).
The association was still holding once a year meetings as a departmental affiliate of TSTA. Membership consisted of secondary school counselors, college counselors and counselor educators,and a few school administrators and classroom teachers who were interested in guidance and counseling activities.
The size of the group was gradually increasing. In 1956 when George Beamer was president it was decided that a state convention, separate from the annual TSTA convention, should be held. This was accomplished in 1957 during the presidency of Ruby Morris. Membership in the association at this time was 99. The executive committee met in Austin at their own expense, planned a program, secured the Driscoll Hotel for the convention, and agreed to invite Donald Super to be the convention speaker- all with no funds. The members of the program committee, three genuinely committed members, agreed among themselves to underwrite the costs of the speaker and other convention expenses. Some 210 people registered for the convention - more than double the membership!
Dr. William E. Truax, counselor educator and Dean of the College of Education at East Texas State University and another person of great vision for and commitment to the association, became president in 1958. He was to remain a significant force in the association for many years, giving freely of his time as executive secretary of the association. He cites several important events in his memories reported in the September, 1973 issue of the TPGA JOURNAL:
- The First newsletter of the association was published in 1951.
- Carter Parkes was the first executive secretary and Bill Truax was the second.
- On April 9, 1963 in Boston at the annual APGA banquet, Marion Belka, then president of TPGA, accepted the charter recognizing TPGA as a state branch of APGA.
- In September, 1972, the first issue of the TPGA Journal was published.
When TPGA became an affiliated state branch of APGA in 1963, there were 950 association members. By 1971, it had grown to 1,851 members, with 13 chapters and 3 divisions (TSCA, TACES, and TVGA). Then 21 years ago in 1976, TPGA had grown to 2,273 members, and it was decided to hire a full-time staff person. The constitution and by-laws were re-written moving the association to a bi-cameral governing body, including a board of directors and a senate. The operating budget had grown to approximately $67,000.
Early in the 1980's, APGA changed its name to the American Association for Counseling and Development (AACD). Texas followed suit and the new name of Texas Association for Counseling and Development (TACD) was phased in during 1984. During this period, the official Governance Manual of the association was developed under the leadership of Bonnie Pierson. Again in 1992, Texas followed the lead of the national association and the name was changed to Texas Counseling Association (TCA).
As early as 1975-76, the association began work toward the pursuit of licensure in the Texas Legislature. Licensure bills were submitted in 1977 and 1979, but failed for lack of support. Finally, after many further revisions, the bill garnered enough support and was passed by the 1981 legislature and signed by then Governor Bill Clements. During the initial licensure period, approximately 10,000 persons with a great variety of backgrounds sought licensure. This one piece of legislation has had perhaps a greater impact on the counseling profession in Texas than any other single action since the founding of our association in 1947.
Currently, TCA, the 3rd largest state branch of ACA, has a membership in excess of 6,000 and is still growing.