Chi Sigma Iota is the international honor society of professional counseling. It was established for counselors-in-training, counselor educators, and professional counselors whose career commitment is to research and service through professional counseling. It's 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. Because common usage of the term "counselor" can be misleading, professional counselors are distinguished by their preparation at the graduate level in pursuit of both Masters and Doctoral degrees. One's highest or terminal degree in counselor education is considered evidence of desire to identify with the profession and through membership to support the mission of the Society.
The Society was established in 1985 through the efforts of leaders in the profession of counseling whose desire was to provide recognition for outstanding achievement as well as outstanding service within the profession. For purposes of clarity among helping professionals who use counseling as a method or its techniques, the graduate education of members of the profession of counseling are defined by the national standards of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Individuals whose programs of study in counselor education were accredited by the Council of Rehabilitation Education (CORE) also are eligible for membership. While some members may be enrolled in programs that are not accredited by CACREP at the present time, the program where chapters are located must prepare its graduates to be eligible for state or national credentialing as professional counselors and fundamentally meet the minimum standards as defined by CACREP. Over two-thirds of the counselor education programs that sponsor CSI chapters are nationally accredited. CSI's goal is to encourage and ultimately expect all chapters to be located in nationally accredited counselor education programs.
Founded at Ohio University, Chi Sigma Iota has over 125,000 members who have been initiated into the Society. We are growing by welcoming over 7,000 new members and chartering new chapters each year. This makes CSI one of the largest single member organizations of professional counselors in the world. We have 273 chapters in the USA, Europe, and the Philippines with more added almost monthly in recent years. 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.