Brief History of the Elements of Excellence Task Force

Dennis Heitzmann, then AUCCCD President, convened a task force at Penn State University in July 1995, for the purpose of addressing the threat to college and university counseling services from managed care organizations.  The task force was charged with creating programs for the national conference that would help directors anticipate and develop strategies to address this issue.  The conference programs presented in the national conference in Newport, RI, drew large audiences and reinforced the idea that directors wanted and needed conference programming that helped them address issues of current national concern.  It was decided that the task force would be continued and that subsequent meetings would be sponsored by the immediate past presidents of AUCCCD at their home institutions.

As the E-of-E Task Force continued to evolve, a more stable task force structure and ongoing relationship with the AUCCCD governing board were established.  Standard programs including the New Directors Leadership Institute and the Annual Open Planning Meeting were instituted.  Issues tackled by the E-of-E included managed care issues, benchmarks and comparator standards of quality, a national data collection system, and maintaining counselor center's viability and relevance.  

In 1999, the task force forged a mission statement: The Elements of Excellence Task force is an AUCCCD-supported effort. The mission of the task force is to provide impetus and structure for the organization to address leadership development, management skill development, and creative thinking about current and future issues affecting counseling centers in a coordinated, consistent and collaborative fashion.

The E-of-E has continued to meet mid-year between the national AUCCCD conferences to take stock of the most pressing issues in the field of college and university counseling, to plan the Administrative Institute, and to develop programming for the national conference.  The structure and role within AUCCCD has also continued to evolve: E of E became a “committee” (vs. a task force), and more importantly, to promote broader participation and open communication with the AUCCCD membership, the committee began to invite two to three guest directors to their mid-year meetings; attention to diversity issues was added to the committee’s programming priorities; and a three-year cycle for continuous chairing was put in place (with an apprentice chair, chair, and past chair) as well as a three-year term limit, with one renewal, for committee members. 

The AUCCCD Elements of Excellence Committee is now two decades old and counting and continues to serve as a trend-monitor, think-tank, and program provider for the college and university counseling center directors of AUCCCD.   E-of-E continues to grow, evolve, and change by growing new branches to meet current and future needs, while remaining firmly in our foundational roots.


E-of-E General Information

E-of-E Leadership

Criteria for E-of-E Membership


Questions? Contact the AUCCCD Office.