Career Counseling

ACC Career Counselors are licensed professionals with expertise and training in career development who hold graduate degrees in various counseling disciplines such as social work, vocational rehabilitation counseling, or counseling psychology.  

While the majority of students’ needs are effectively served by ACC Career & Transfer Specialists, ACC Career Counselors are available to serve individuals who need further exploration and guidance navigating life’s journey and its associated challenges.

Appointment Request

ACC Career Counseling may benefit individuals experiencing any of the following:

  1. Reconstructing their professional identity
    Individuals who are entering/re-entering the job market after an extended absence (such as following divorce/death of a family member) or whose existing career is no longer viable due to labor market changes, serious injury, or disability may benefit from career counseling. In these situations, career counselors support an in-depth examination of one’s past and present personal and professional identities to help gain insight in discovering viable future possibilities.
  2. Considering a significant career change
    Career counselors help individuals reassess their needs and values while exploring career possibilities and developing a plan of action.
  3. Needing something beyond help choosing a major or finding employment
    Career counseling is an introspective approach that helps identify underlying reasons an individual may experience difficulty deciding on a major and why he/she may be experiencing barriers to developing a career plan.
  4. Repeatedly changing their college major
    Career counselors help students explore the many factors influencing career choice and identify career goals.
  5. Needing something more than the FOCUS2
    Career counselors have access to in-depth assessments and methods which expand an individual’s awareness and assist in making informed career decisions that encompass abilities, interests, values, and labor market information. The result is often identification of career opportunities that otherwise may have remained undiscovered.  (Note: FOCUS2 is a career exploration tool available for all ACC students through ACC Career Services.)

To request ACC Career Counseling services insert career counseling in the ASSISTANCE REQUESTED box next to OTHER when submitting the Career & Transfer Services Appointment Request form.

Limitation of Services

If unaddressed mental health challenges are impacting career development, ACC Career Counselors will refer individuals to community mental health services or to ACC Mental Health Counseling Services. ACC Career Counselors do not provide clinical mental health counseling services as a component of career counseling. However, ACC Career Counselors may work in cooperation with ACC Mental Health Counselors for students desiring the partnership of a licensed counseling support team.


Career counseling is confidential except for the following circumstances:

(a) when an individual is in danger or at risk of harming self or others, and

(b) when required under Texas SB212 to inform a designated ACC official of an occurrence of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking committed by/against a student enrolled at ACC, or an employee of ACC, at the time of the incident.

Meet the Counselors

Dawn Allison - MSSW, LCSW, BC-TMH, GCDF

Hello, my name is Dawn Allison and I am the Career Counselor for the North Region of ACC. I have the honor of assisting individuals who are seeking growth and purpose in their work. My philosophy is that a career is an important, but not the only, aspect of our identity and that is why I approach counseling with a strengths-based and holistic lens. Believing that everyone has a desire to contribute to their community and feel fulfilled, I help students identify their interests, unique experiences, values and potential to create a life plan that reflects their best self.

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Global Career Development Facilitator with over 10 years of professional experience in community non-profit organizations helping adults, children, and families heal from trauma and navigate difficult life circumstances. Since 2005, I have had the pleasure of working in higher education as a counselor and faculty member supporting students as they achieve their academic and career goals.    

My personal educational journey has led me to be a proud Miner, Longhorn, and Riverbat! When I’m not on campus, I can be found torturing my family with recipes gone wrong, walking our dog, traveling to new places, and running in the Texas heat. 


  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
  • Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF)
  • Board Certified Tele-Mental Health (BC-TMH)
  • Master’s of Science (MSSW, UT-Austin), Social Work
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA, UT-El Paso), Psychology
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA, UT-El Paso), English

Shun-Heng (Henry) Tsai, M.Ed., LPC, GCDF, BC-TMH

Hello, my name is Shun-Heng (Henry) Tsai and I am the Career Counselor for the Central Region of ACC. I am also an adjunct faculty who teaches freshman courses to help students build effective learning skills for college success.

Career development is a continuing journey that we are all engaged in throughout our different life stages. We learn more about ourselves, explore the world of work, and search for the match that will bring us happiness and fulfillment.   

My role as a career counselor is to help individuals who need support and assistance in the process of exploring career interests, examining personal needs and values, identifying the underlying reasons causing stress, constructing (or reconstructing) personal and professional identities, and making informed decisions.

I have a great passion for serving students with diversity. Veteran, LGBTQ, international/ESOL, and socio-economically disadvantaged students are the population that I especially have had the privilege of getting to know and working with. My work experiences at different agencies and at ACC have increasingly advanced my professional knowledge and skills to better understand the specific challenges diverse groups face.

 In my leisure time, I enjoy cooking, playing piano, swimming, and walking/playing with our dog.

I am trilingual in Mandarin Chinese, Taiwanese, and English.


  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
  • Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF)
  • Board Certified Tele-Mental Health (BC-TMH)
  • Master’s of Education (M.Ed., UT-Austin), The Counselor Education program, 
  • Master’s of Education (M.Ed., Brock University, Canada) Curriculum Studies: Teaching English as a Second Language
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA, Soochow University, Taiwan), English

Melissa Victor Totah, MA, LPC-S, NCC, CIMHP

Hello, my name is Melissa Victor Totah and I am the Transformative Interventions Programs Manager here at ACC. In this role, I collaborate with career counselors, transformation coaches, and student life specialists to provide support and guidance for programs that make a positive impact within students’ lives. I am available to provide career counseling, coaching, and mentorship to current and prospective students, as well as serving as an internal coach and liaison between various departments. Prior to my current position, I was an instructor for the Strategies for Today’s Jobs class at ACC (which you should consider taking if you haven’t yet)!

I am fascinated by all things related to careers, personality, and holistic wellness. I love to administer and interpret career assessments, to help people discover their innate strengths, and to guide individuals on aligning their unique talents with opportunities. I believe that a career is more than just a job or a series of jobs—it’s often an extension of one’s identity. While a career alone does not define us, it plays a vital role in our sense of happiness and well-being, and our sense of purpose within the world. I love my work and feel honored to support others in navigating how to successfully integrate their lives, careers, and academic goals.

With over 15 years of experience in the career development field, I have held positions with Workforce Solutions, Wolfgang Career Coaching, and UT Austin. I have worked with traditional college-aged students, mid-career professionals, career changers, stay-at-home parents returning to the workforce, and people transitioning into retirement. In addition to my work at ACC, I hold a part-time position with a local private practice where I work as a clinical psychotherapist. 

When not at work, I enjoy walking, reading, yoga, spending time in nature, and hanging out with my family, friends, partner, and dog. I’m a huge animal lover and even though I don’t currently have a cat, I love spoiling my feline “nephews and niece” whenever I visit my sister and her husband. 

I currently meet with people virtually, so feel free to bring your furry friends to our meetings!


Licensed Professional Counselor – Supervisor (LPC-S)

National Certified Counselor (NCC)

Certified Integrative Mental Health Provider (CIMHP)

Master of Arts (MA) in Professional Counseling, Texas State University

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology, The University of Texas at Austin

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