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K-State Today

September 23, 2011



Ready to help: Counseling services successful at reaching more students despite resource challenges

By Communications and Marketing

The 2011 annual report for Kansas State University's counseling services shows the agency knows how to cope when it comes to challenges.

According to director Dorinda Lambert, counseling services overcame resource obstacles in the past fiscal year in its efforts to serve the growing population of K-State students.

"Despite the stresses of having fewer staff because of retirement, job changes and other personal decisions, we managed throughout the year to maintain a high level of productivity both in the number of sessions provided in the office as well in our contacts across campus," Lambert said.

Counseling services enhances the overall success of students by offering several forms of assistance, including clinical services, consultations and presentations, teaching and special programs focused on alcohol education, safety awareness and more.

The extra time and effort staff put forth to keep counseling services operating at a high level was especially important in the past year given the increase in handling more crisis contacts and the numerous consultations these contacts require, Lambert said.

A continued growth area for counseling services is use of its online applications to reach students and the campus community. Its online resources include a variety of programs, assessments and its University Life Cafe website, https://www.universitylifecafe.org/.

Created by and for K-State students, the University Life Cafe is an interactive website that promotes emotional wellness, academic success and academic programs, all aimed at retention. A variety of programs offered on the website allow students to upload art, poetry and writing as well as a place to blog. It also contains professional articles that range from emotional wellness and study tips to personal issues.

“The creativity of our University Life Cafe website brought it another national award this year," Lambert said. "The website continues to reach a large number of people."

Counseling services' off-site efforts, specifically a variety of presentations and classes offered across campus, also impacted a large number of students this year. The department's two courses, Career and Life Planning and Stress Management, were taught to 92 students throughout the year. The combination of those class contacts, all online programs, presentations and in-office clinical services totaled 17,931 student contacts over the past year.

Lambert said counseling services will face changes and challenges in the 2012 fiscal year, but she expects continued success in the future.

"I and the staff of the counseling services are proud of our service to the K-State community in the past fiscal year," she said "We're equally excited about our continuing role as a support for students and a resource for faculty and staff as they work to assist students to be successful in college."

Counseling services' annual report is available in a PDF format at http://www.k-state.edu/counseling/.