Information for Parents
The traditional-age college student is at an "in-between" time of life: not a child but not a fully independent adult. This is a time when students find out more about themselves as people, and learn how to navigate the larger world. There are people at GC whose job is to promote these kinds of growth opportunities for students. We know that learning new things can be uncomfortable at times – after all, who grows in the easy times of life? We also understand, however, that people need support to encourage and enhance their growth.
Some students come to college dealing with barriers that can interfere with their success. Others struggle when they face the inevitable challenges of life. Many students find it helpful, regardless of the source of their difficulties, to have someone who can help them during those tough times. That's when counseling can be valuable. Counseling Services offers a non-judgmental, confidential place for students to sort out problems and come up with solutions. Since the focus is on developing better problem-solving skills, counselors help students understand their difficulties and devise strategies that will help them achieve their goals. It's up to the student to put those into practice, and work toward improving their approaches to situations.
We know that you want your student to grow socially, intellectually, physically, and spiritually while in college. We are able to consider the needs of the whole student, and offer a variety of services to encourage that growth. These include:
- Academic skills development. Many students come to college needing to strengthen their general academic skills, such as time management, note taking, reading textbooks, and test taking. Some can't do as well as they'd like because anxiety interferes with their performance on tests or classroom presentations. Counseling staff members are experienced in helping students understand the source of the problem, and coming up with more effective approaches in the classroom.
- Career planning. Some students know what they want to do with their lives when they arrive at college, and stay on that path. They are, however, a small minority. Most either aren't certain about a major or career direction, or they realize that their initial choice isn't a good fit for them. In Counseling Services, we offer career inventories to help students learn about their interests, skills, and values. Once they have this basic information, we teach them how to find out about various career options that might be of interest. In addition to helping students make an initial choice that fits them well, we want them to be able to continue to evaluate their career development throughout their lives.
- Personal counseling. Some students arrive at college with anxiety or a depressive disorder, or other issues that they need help to manage or resolve. Others find that relationships can sometimes be difficult, or that they want to develop their interpersonal skills. Counseling can help with all of this and more.
- Consultation and Referral. Counseling Services staff members regularly consult with faculty, staff, parents, friends, and others who have concerns about students. While legal and ethical requirements prevent us from revealing information shared during counseling, we can discuss how we typically handle various situations. If you have concerns about your student, we're happy to talk with you about those and suggest options. We also make referrals to off-campus providers when that would best serve the student's needs. For example, we routinely refer students whose primary issues are Substance Abuse or Eating Disorders to off-campus providers, because treatment for these issues tends to be long term and highly specialized. While there are local treatment options for Substance Abuse, there are no licensed Eating Disorder treatment facilities in the local area. Students are responsible for arranging to see off-campus providers and paying for those services.
Emergencies: If we are notified that a student is potentially at risk to self or others, we will complete an emergency assessment as soon as possible. While we try to honor the student's wishes whenever we can, we will contact parents, guardians, or other family members regardless of the student's preference if we believe that doing so is necessary to prevent harm.If you believe that your student could benefit from counseling, encourage him or her to contact Counseling Services at 478-445-5331. We're happy to find a time when he or she could meet individually with a counselor and come up with a plan to address concerns.