how now is a good time to seek such services to make
• Some 10 percent of an institution’s student body use
campus counseling services each year. Take 10 percent of
your campus enrollment and inform the student of the
number of students who probably visit the counseling
service annually at your institution.
• Share with the student that counselors help students
help themselves. It is comparable to taking a class on
• Remind the student that he or she need not have a deep
dark problem, nor does the problem need to reach crisis
proportions to benefit from counseling. A reluctant
student might be relieved to know he or she may see a
counselor on a one-time basis without committing to
ongoing therapy. Counselors would rather see someone
with what is perceived as a small problem than wait for
• If you want to offer extra support, suggest the student call
the counseling center from your office or offer to accompany the student to his or her first session.
• Remind the student that he or she does not always have
to know exactly what is wrong before asking for help. If
the student expresses concern that a problem is too big or
too small to seek such services, remind him or her that
the counseling center staff will assess the problem and
direct them to the right place. LE
Dan Jones is director of counseling and psychological services at
Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C.
Online Opportunities for Student Affairs
For years, SSAOs have placed great value on cultural awareness and culturally appropriate communications. Interaction
with today’s cyberconnected students requires a similar sensitivity. Instead of being judgmental or critical about students’
preferred modes of communication, administrators might best
familiarize themselves with the world of cyberspace: Log on,
explore, learn the lingo, and ask questions.
In various ways, even the most hesitant student affairs
professional can step into the world of social networking.
After observing student postings, the nature of student interactions, and the potential psychological implications of their
words and behavior, administrators will be better able to
educate students about healthy and unhealthy uses of the
Internet, to caution them about long-term ramifications of
their postings, and to hold them appropriately accountable.
Finally, administrators can learn to utilize social networking sites and other online outlets to their advantage in student
affairs endeavors. Some of today’s most effective advertising
of campus events occurs on walls and in chat rooms. Because
administrators and their staff can open their own Facebook
sites, the cyberspace arena holds great potential for promoting
student learning outcomes, such as diversity, inclusion,
If college personnel are to truly respond to students in
a holistic fashion, then they must reach across the digital
disconnect. Rather than feel like outsiders pressing their noses
against the window of cyberspace, they can strive to build
awareness and use this new mode of information-gathering to
transform their professional world much like social networking has transformed the world of students. LE
Dianna K. Rangel, a licensed psychologist, is the director of the
Counseling and Psychological Services Center at Weber State University
in Ogden, Utah.
Ian Birky, a licensed clinical psychologist, is the director of counseling and
psychological services at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Penn.
New NASPA Online Opportunities
Need a safe space to “log on, explore, learn the lingo,
and ask questions?” NASPA’s updated members-only
section of the website is now an interactive environment
designed to foster networking and knowledge sharing.
Join an existing group or form one of your own; join
discussions; track your professional development; find
professionals with similar interests at similar types of
institutions or with similar primary job functions; and
much more. Log into the members-only section of the
NASPA website ( www.naspa.org) today, update your
profile, and get connected.
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