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Personal and Career Counseling

Counseling Services

Bldg. 599 (pink bldg. across from Storke Tower)
phone: 893-4411

Counseling Services is committed to helping students increase their skills and resources in meeting their academic and interpersonal challenges and in becoming responsible and productive adults. The professional staff consists of psychologists and advanced graduate students from Ph.D. level counseling and clinical psychology programs.

Services include individual, group, and couples counseling as well as numerous workshops on stress management, assertion skills, and so forth. Staff also offer training and consulting services to student organizations, academic departments and other university agencies that have a high degree of contact with students.

Counseling Services brings together both personal resources to help students with a variety of personal issues.

Personal Counseling
Many students realize that stress is interfering with their personal and academic goals and seek counseling services on their own. However, faculty and teaching assistants are often the first to recognize that a student may not be functioning well academically and/or emotionally. Students may turn to you because of your position and the respect they hold for you as a faculty/TA. Many faculty/TAs handle these difficult situations themselves. While the number of such contacts may be small, their significance is not. The student's behavior, especially if it is inconsistent with your experience of him/her, could well constitute an inarticulate attempt to draw attention to his/her plight: "a cry for help."

Referring Students
If you feel that professional counseling might be beneficial, refer the student to Counseling Services. Be direct in letting the student know that you believe a counselor would be of help in this situation. Inform the student that the service is both confidential and free of charge. A mutual decision is best. Don't force the issue if the student takes a defensive posture‹simply restate your concerns and recommendations.

If the student is receptive, you can suggest that s/he call for an appointment at 893-4411. You may even offer to contact a counselor and provide background information. If the situation seems urgent, you can call Counseling Services and request to speak with the on-call counselor. Suggestions will be made for approaches you can take with a student. When needed, the counselor can assist with the referral process.

Guidelines For Talking With A Distressed Student
Openly acknowledging to the student that you are aware of his/her distress, that you are sincerely concerned about his/her welfare, and that you are willing to help explore alternatives, can have a profound effect. Whenever possible, speak directly to a student when you sense that s/he is in academic and/or personal distress. These guidelines may help you in dealing with a distressed student.

1. Request to see the student in private.

2. Briefly acknowledge your observations and perceptions of his/her situation and express your concerns directly and honestly. Be specific (e.g., "In class you appeared confused during lecture; you're not turning in assignments...").

3. Listen carefully to what the student is troubled about and try to see the issue from his/her point of view without necessarily agreeing or disagreeing. This can be difficult when the issue is about the class, assignments, or teaching style.

4. Strange and inappropriate behavior should not be ignored. The student can be informed that such behavior is distracting and inappropriate.

5. Your receptivity to an alienated student will allow him/her to respond more effectively to your concerns.

Career Services
Some students will come to faculty or TAs for career direction. For more specific assistance with career availability, career planning, and resume writing you may want to refer students to Career Services (x4411). The service provides individual and group counseling and advising for self-assessment, values clarification, decision making, career planning, interview skills, applying to law school and graduate school, and creative job search strategies. An in-class presentation on a career topic related to a course assignment can be arranged upon request by faculty or TAs, staff time permitting (x4411).

consultation contacts

George Michaelsexecutive director2130 Kerr Hall
work805-893-2378
lisa berrysenior instructional consultant1130 Kerr Hall
work805-893-8395
mindy colininstructional consultant1130 Kerr Hall
work805-893-2828
Mary Lou Ramos database and ESCI administrator1130 Kerr Hall
work805-893-3523
Aisha Wedlaw ESCI assistant1124 Kerr Hall
work805-893-4278
Breana Barakoffice manager 1130 Kerr Hall
work805-893-2972
faxfax: 805-893-5915