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Counsellors in academic buildings will increase student access to services

By Communications Staff,

Queen’s is expanding its leading ‘hub and spoke’ counselling model by placing professionals in academic buildings across campus to help encourage students to seek support if they need it.

Three new positions, funded by an anonymous donor through the Initiative Campaign for at least two years, are being established in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, the Faculty of Education/West Campus and the School of Graduate Studies.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to bring counsellors directly to academic buildings to provide students with the option of receiving support in a familiar environment,” says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs. “We want to try to reach students who may not otherwise seek assistance.”

The counsellors will be available for one-on-one appointments, and will run group programs. They will also consult with faculty members and develop educational programs to address the specific circumstances of students in the faculty. Each counsellor will be physically located in the faculty in which they will work, and will be a member of the Counselling team in Heath, Counselling and Disability Services.

Ashley Vanstone is the counsellor based in Gordon Hall, working with graduate students and the School of Graduate Studies.

“This is a cutting edge model of service delivery,” he says. “There are still obstacles that prevent people from coming to get counselling, so these new positions provide us a great opportunity to expand access and to fine-tune the suitability of our services to different student constituencies. It has been rewarding to learn more about the culture of grad school and to become more familiar with the common struggles faced by students in different programs.”

Queen’s already has outreach counsellors in residences, the John Deutsch University Centre and in the Queen’s School of Business. The university continues to seek further support to extend the outreach councilor program. An evaluation of the success of the ‘hub and spoke’ service model will be an integral part of the program.

The Initiative Campaign is the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the university’s history. The goal is to raise half a billion dollars to ensure Queen’s future as a destination for exceptional people. The campaign will nurture a supportive campus community, enhance the student learning experience, and secure a global reputation in discovery and inquiry.