The Harding counseling center has hired adjunct counselors to account for the surge in students seeking appointments.
Dr. Lew Moore, director of the counseling center, said there are currently six resident counselors on staff and four adjunct counselors that have been added this semester. Moore said they do not want anyone on a waiting list, which they have accomplished at the moment. He said appointments are difficult to fit into students’ schedules when they are specific with their requests of when and whom they would like to see.
“We have a large number of students moving through our systems, but we try to get everyone matched up,” Moore said.
Executive Vice President Dr. David Collins told the center to hire as many adjuncts as needed to match the needs of students, according to Dr. Sherry Pollard, assistant director of the counseling center. Pollard said she has noticed that counseling is becoming more popular, and she does not know if it is because seeking counsel is less stigmatized or if people are becoming more aware of the services Harding can provide.
It is recommended by the American Psychological Association that a counselor see only 25-30 patients a week. Pollard said the counseling center is more worried about the quality of care they provide than the quantity of students they see.
“We could technically pack more students in if we saw them for 15- or 30-minute sessions, but we are not willing to go that route,” Pollard said. Due to the added faculty, the counseling center is taking steps to ensure that the needs of the student body are met.
Sophomore student worker Lauren Devlin said the counseling center faculty wants to ensure every student receives the help and love they need. She said it is not often that people cannot be seen.
“Sometimes the counselors even skip lunch or important family events to be there for [students],” Devlin said.
The counseling center is confidential as required by the Harding University Student Handbook. Students can go to the counselors for personal issues and access support groups and other resources.
As a part of the university’s mission to promote student success in all areas of life, professional help is readily available for anyone in need according to the counseling center’s website.
The counseling center is located on the third floor of the McInteer in room 313. The center is open Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.