Understanding the transition to college
This section is designed to help parents understand some of the important transitions that take place as a part of the college experience. As students begin college, parents and families can be greatly influenced by the adjustments that students go through. Included in this section is information to help you anticipate these changes and prevent potential problems. By providing this information, we hope that parents will be in a better position to support the efforts of their students.
Changes you might expect.
Most parents report the experience of sending a son or daughter to college as one filled with anticipation, anxiety, confusion and hope. By opening day of the freshman year, many changes have already begun to happen. The student becomes more independent, gains competence in new areas, and learns to develop healthy peer relationships. The college years are a time for a student to continue maturing and learning how to manage oneself and life in general. What does that mean for you as a parent?
Here are messages you may hear:
What the Center for Counseling and Student Development offers.
All students are eligible for psychological counseling and/or psychiatric services. Both the counseling and psychiatric services of the Center are intended to provide short-term assistance to students in dealing with personal and educational concerns which may be barriers to their academic progress.
After an initial assessment of a student's concerns, the psychologists and/or psychiatrists will determine if an individual's needs may best be met by the Center's services or are beyond the scope of those services. In the latter cases, such individuals will receive a referral to other sources of assistance, on or off-campus.
If you know your son or daughter will need counseling.
It is not unusual for a student to come to the university having already received counseling at home. Others may not have previous counseling experience but might have a difficult time in making the transition to college. In either of these circumstances, students and parents are advised to use the consultative services of the Center to get information about the best options available to them. Parents are also reminded that continued support and involvement by them is often crucial to the well being of the student. While the university aims to provide a supportive environment for students, it cannot replace the essential role of family.
What about confidentiality?
Counseling often involves the disclosure of sensitive personal information. Professional ethics and state law protect any information a client shares with Center staff members. As such, information about the counseling a student receives is not released, except upon a student's written permission, in circumstances, which would result in clear danger to the student or others, or as may be required by law.
What does confidentiality mean for parents? It is understandable that you may wish to be involved when your son or daughter seeks counseling, but the confidentiality issues described above do not permit such involvement without the consent of the student. Often, the best source of information for parents about the counseling process is the student. Beyond that, if more information is desired, the student must sign a written release specifically permitting us to communicate with you.
Why might counseling be suggested to a student?
People seek counseling for many reasons, ranging from a wish to solve a long-standing problem to a desire to enhance their personal growth. To address the personal and educational concerns of the students, the Center offers both group and individual counseling. Students come in to discuss issues such as: roommate conflicts, anxiety and stress management, depression, eating disorders, and family concerns such as divorce and alcoholism. Students may also receive psychiatric services if medication is considered essential to the treatment of their concerns.
Here are some of the common instances when counseling might be recommended to a student: