In the fall all counselors will move into a centralized space with the creation of a counseling center. The idea behind having a center is to give students the space to visit with privacy and confidentiality as well as more of an opportunity to meet with a counselor of their choosing rather than the one suggested based on their degree. Within the space there will be offices for all of the counselors as well as a reception area so that counselors will no longer need to personally schedule students.
Seattle Central’s counseling system consists of 7 counselors with the majority working around 20-30 hours per week. When speaking with Kimberly McRae she expressed that it is meant for students to use in the short term, typically aiming for students to stick to 3-5 meetings. This is due to the fact that counseling is funded and meant to prevent students from dropping classes or withdrawing from school.
Currently counselors have offices spread throughout the school and control their own schedules in a decentralized system. Students are routed to a particular counselor depending on their area of study. Student’s seeking support for medical or learning disabilities can find help at the Disability Support Center. The Disability Support Center can also help students get accommodation forms for specific classroom/ test taking needs.
Yoshiko Harden, the Vice President of Student Services, discussed the center from an administrative standpoint to explain why SCC is unable to provide more extensive counseling services to students.
While we have the most counselors in the district, we also have the largest student body and 5 locations with the Central campus, SVI, Wood Tech, Allied Health and Maritime. It is difficult for more funding to be allocated towards increasing the number of counselors or the time that they can work when both North and South have fewer counselors.
Harden also spoke about the type of students attending Seattle Central, who may need additional support including those attempting to re-enter the workforce after graduating or international students far from familial support. With Seattle Central being at the center of a drastically changing city dealing with increasing costs and drug addiction counselors are a key component to some students’ success.
If you are dealing with extra stresses you can find your suggested counselor or choose from our seven counselors by searching counseling on Seattle Central Colleges website. While the system might not be the long term solution it is a free program that is available to you on campus.