Counseling Resources for Faculty

Teachers in the classroom are often in the best position to observe when a student is experiencing difficulties that warrant intervention.  The Counseling Department strongly supports teacher-student dialogues that identify problem areas and solutions. However, sometimes these dialogues uncover more serious problems than the instructor feels prepared to handle.  At these times, the best assistance a teacher can offer to a student is a good referral. View our Faculty Welcome Video.

What Is Counseling?

Counseling is a helping process that takes place between a student and a professional counselor. In an atmosphere of acceptance, students develop trust in a counselor as a person who is there to promote growth and self-direction. A counselor does not tell a student how to live his or her own life. It is through a sharing of ideas in a caring, respectful relationship that students can make important decisions in their lives.

The role of a counselor is to help students examine their lives by talking about their experiences. This way both the student and the counselor can gain a clear understanding concerning the student’s strengths and life difficulties. The counseling relationship can provide help in building upon the student’s strengths and working on his/her problems. Counselors are readily available for collaboration with faculty. Counselors provide class visits and offer Student Success Workshops.

Confidentiality

Students should understand that both counseling and higher education laws prevent the Counseling Department from sharing counseling records without written permission from the student. There are a few exceptions to confidentiality, and it is important that you understand them. Counselors may have to turn over records for a court order or subpoena. Counselors are also legally-mandated reporters of abuse or suspected abuse of a child, elder, or disabled person, as well as threats made to your life or the life of another. Therefore, if a student chooses to share such information with a counselor, he or she may be required to break confidentiality about the counseling visit in order to protect the safety of the student or others. 

If a student demonstrates behavior that would indicate that she/he is a danger to her/himself, or if she/he is a danger to another student, staff or faculty member, faculty should immediately contact our Security Office at x8111. Subsequently, emergency services (911) and the Counseling Department will be notified if intervention is deemed appropriate by security.

COUNSELING CENTER SERVICES

1.   Individual counseling:  Available by appointment and on a drop-in basis in the areas of personal, academic, career, transfer and social concerns.

2.   Group counseling:  Offered in areas such as curriculum planning, career and transfer decision-making, time management, stress management, academic probation, and peer support.

3.   Educational Planning:  Helping students make course and curriculum choices consistent with their goals.

4.   Academic Counseling:  Helping students who are on academic probation and/or having difficulty with course work, study habits, managing school and other responsibilities, etc.

5.   Career Counseling:  Assisting students in evaluating their interests, abilities, and values and relating them to career choices.

6.   Transfer Counseling:  Helping students identify schools where they can continue their education to reach their goals, and providing information to maximize credit transfer.

7.   Crisis Intervention:  Assisting students who are in personal crisis.

8.   Workshops:  Classroom visitations and peer support groups in areas such as career exploration, transfer planning, stress management and cultural diversity.

9.   Consultation:  Meeting with faculty regarding students' learning, behavioral and emotional needs.

10.  Resource and Referral:  Providing internal and external resource and referral information to students and the broader College community.

11.  Registration and Advisement:  All new transfer students, readmit students and students on academic probation must make an appointment with counselors to register. 

12.  Special Programs:  Counselors assist with ESL, Center on Disability, International students and other special programs.

Identifying the Student Who May Benefit From Counseling Center Services

  1. Student is consistently late or has excessive absences.
  2. Student seems excessively inhibited or withdrawn.
  3. Student shows marked inconsistency between classroom performance and test performance. This may indicate excessive test anxiety or a learning disability.
  4. Student is usually demanding or dependent (requests many conferences, stays after class with no special purpose).
  5. Student tells you he/she is troubled, tense, unable to study or preoccupied with external difficulties (money, family, relationships).
  6. Student shows signs of drug or alcohol use.
  7. Student is at risk for academic failure (on probation or on verge of being dropped).
  8. Student has difficulty managing competing responsibilities (work, school, and family).
  9. Student shows inappropriate behavior (outbursts, crying, and excessive hostility).
  10. Student appears troubled by career indecision or needs transfer information and help planning the future.

HOW TO REFER A STUDENT TO COUNSELING

When you wish to refer someone, we suggest that you meet with the student privately to help him or her explore the need for counseling. When a student agrees that he/she could benefit from talking to an experienced counselor, there are several ways to proceed.

  1. Tell student to go to the reception desk in the Counseling Center in Room BG-07 to make an appointment that fits his/her schedule. The student may request to see a specific counselor, or can be assigned to one by the receptionist. Counselors are also available at the three Regional Centers. Call:
    Main Campus: Bonnell, BG-07 — (215)751- 8169
    Northeast: Room 102 — (267)299-5980
    Northwest: Room 102 — (267)299-5982
    West Campus: Room 132 — (267)299-5981
  2. If the student is willing to see a counselor but is hesitant to take the first step, offer to make the appointment while he/she is in your office. You can also use Starfish Connect to complete a Counseling Referral. This will initiate the Counseling Department staff to reach out directly to the student.
  3. If the student needs immediate assistance or has concerns that can be addressed briefly, counselors are available on a drop-in basis from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Friday in the Counseling Center (BG-07). Counseling hours vary at the Regional Centers and during Summer Sessions.
    Drop in counseling is designed to allow students to see a counselor for a brief session without an appointment. It is handled on a first come, first served basis and is usually limited to fifteen minutes.  More time will be made available to students in crisis.
  4. If you would like to discuss a potential referral before you speak to the student, please call at any time. If you don’t know a specific counselor to call, contact the Counseling Department Head at extension 8167. You can arrange to be present at a meeting with the counselor and student if all agree it would be appropriate.
  5. Sometimes a student may refuse your suggestions for help. At that point, it is best to drop the subject since no amount of coaxing will make the person more amenable to counseling until he/she is ready.
  6. After making a referral, you can contact the counselor for follow-up and to ask how you might help in your capacity as a teacher. Of course, personal issues the student discusses with the counselor are kept confidential.

STATEMENT ON DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR

Faculty have the right to hold students to standards of behavior that are conducive to a positive learning environment. It is hoped that situations may be mediated by a counselor, division chair or other appropriate college staff. Mediation can often resolve behavioral problems before disciplinary action is warranted.  However, when mediation is inappropriate, or does not work, the student should be referred to the Office of the Dean of Student Life in S1-10, Ext. 8161. The Code of Conduct and other appropriate College policies and procedures including Student Rights and Responsibilities are outlined in the Student Handbook. Faculty should use the Behavioral Reporting Form to indicate when student incidents involve behavior mentioned in the Student Code of Conduct.