Counseling office updating services
As part of the Lilly Endowment Comprehensive School Counseling Initiative grant, the counseling staff created a new schedule for the school week regarding office appointments and counseling, which will hopefully increase effectiveness and involvement of the department.
By limiting walk-in appointments and offering group counseling sessions, the counselors can simultaneously create more time to work on projects, programs, and reports and more effectively aid students who would otherwise not seek help.
“We have already held an SAT/ACT registration day to help students get registered for the tests, and we had about 35 students take advantage of this opportunity,” Ms. Ulloa said. “While this may not seem like a lot, in reality, that’s 35 students who may not have completed the registration had we not offered this session.”
While this new agenda does bring more diversity and inclusion into the counseling department, it sparks some controversy among the student body. “It is kind of an inconvenience when I want to see my counselor in person,” said senior Sarah Work. “But I do realize that if I were to email [my counselor] I would get a response in an appropriate amount of time.”
Many students appreciated the ability to walk in to see their counselors if they had an immediate concern, so the concept of having to schedule most appointments worries some students. One such student is senior Leslie Ketchum. “It’s cool that they’re helping people with group counseling,” Ketchum said. “But you never know what will happen, so I hope they can work around that.” She added that many issues students have are time-sensitive, making scheduled appointments somewhat of an obstacle.
The counseling staff assured that “if it is a true emergency/crisis, a student will NEVER be turned away.” Ms. Ulloa compared the situation to having the common cold and visiting a doctor. “If you have a cold, and you need to see the doctor, you can’t always get an appointment that same day,“ she said. “You may have to wait until the next day to be seen, and while it may be a little rough for a while, that’s okay, because it’s not a true emergency.”
Group counseling, now available on Fridays for students who sign up in advance, will cover issues that range from academic life to personal concerns, such as mental health. Keep an eye out for group counseling sessions that appeal to you to take full advantage of the counseling department’s resources.