Enhancement of Student Counseling Services
Accreditation of counseling services is preferred on college campuses because of its emphasis on the competency and reliability of professional services provided to currently enrolled students. One of these professional services includes effective risk assessment for students presenting with crisis concerns. This activity will serve a twofold purpose: (1) enhance the services of Student Counseling Services (SCS) in order to receive accreditation from the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS) and (2) improve the risk assessment program of SCS.
The purposes of IAC accreditation are to assist counseling services in meeting high professional standards, to inform the public about those centers that are competent and reliable, and to further the visibility of the counseling profession and improve its quality, which increases its purpose to the university community. Approval by IACS is dependent upon evidence of continued professional development as well as demonstration of excellence in counseling performance. It is the only accreditation association which accredits counseling services on university and college campuses with more rigorous standards than the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) (Aiken, 1985).
Enhancing the primary functions of Student Counseling Services in order to acquire IACS accreditation will increase the number of students getting help with their concerns in the center because the ratio of professional counselors per student will change and an assessment of student problems will be implemented more efficiently. In addition, SCS will acquire internships from doctoral students who search for accredited sites for longer term training. Lastly, obtaining IACS accreditation will establish a means of demonstrating public accountability and the parameters within which counseling services should be offered.
Bernadine Duncan, Ed.D., LPC-S, NCC
Director, Counseling Center
Phone: (936) 261 –3564
Fax: (936) 261-9716