1) What services does the Counseling Center offer?
The Counseling Center offers a range of services to AU students. All current AU students are eligible for Intake and Emergency appointments. These appointments can be scheduled by calling 202-885-3500. Students are asked to arrive 30 minutes early to their scheduled Intake or Emergency appointment time to complete paperwork, after which students meet with a counselor one-on-one for about 45-50 minute to discuss current stressors and determine together which next steps they should take. For some students, the best next step is continuing in individual counseling at the Counseling Center, which is offered on a short-term basis to full-time AU students. Due to the nature of some students’ concerns and/or length of services they might benefit from, off-campus resources are sometimes recommended. In this case, counselors help students find the most appropriate services off-campus, taking into consideration factors such as location, insurance coverage, specialty, etc. The Counseling Center also offers group therapy to current students. Students can learn more about group therapy by asking their Intake counselor or calling the Counseling Center at 202-885-3500. For more information about the Counseling Center and its services, you can visit us at: http://www.american.edu/ocl/counseling/index.cfm
2) What services does the Academic Support Center offer?
The Academic Support Center (ASC) staff take pride in the support we provide to any student who would like help in developing the tools necessary for success in college. Our goal is to help students achieve their full academic potential.
The ASC offers individual appointments with professional academic counselors, individual Writing Lab appointments, study skills workshops, peer tutor referrals, group tutoring in Supplemental Instruction sessions, services for international students, academic support for student-athletes in the Department of Athletics, services for students with learning disabilities and ADHD.
3) What services does Disability Support Services offer?
Disability Support Services (DSS) ensures that students with physical, medical, sensory, or psychological disabilities have equal access to university programs and services. If a student has a documented disability--- whether the student is an undergraduate or graduate, in a degree program or nondegree, enrolled in credit or noncredit courses—they are eligible for services through DSS. DSS provides or coordinates a range of services and accommodations that meet the individual needs of a student based on the impact of the specific disability. Examples of reasonable accommodations in the classroom include exam accommodations, use of a computer, and peer note takers. Additionally, students can request individualized sessions with a DSS counselor for support, advocacy, and to facilitate appropriate delivery of accommodations across campus.
4) Where should my student go if he/she is experiencing academic difficulties?
The Academic Support Center is a good place to start for any academic difficulties. There may also be emotional issues contributing to problems and the Counseling Center could also be helpful.
5) What services are available if my student is experiencing an emotional stressor?
The Counseling Center is available to help students who are experiencing emotional stressors. If a student would like to talk with someone about their current stressors, he/she can call the Counseling Center to schedule an Intake appointment (202-885-3500). If a student needs to be seen urgently, Emergency appointments are available each day at the Counseling Center.
6) My student has a documented disability. Where should he/she go to register for accommodations?
As a qualified individual with a physical, medical, or psychological disability, students should register with DSS as early as possible in advance of when accommodations will be needed. The registration process includes an intake appointment at which time a DSS counselor will review appropriate documentation of your disability, discuss specific accommodation requests, and identify the range of services that will be provided to accommodate the student’s needs. We encourage students to call or visit our office so that we may get to know them and plan whatever services they may require while a student at AU. Timely requests for accommodations are important since delay may affect the availability of particular services.
7) Are there academic tutors available on campus?
The Academic Support Center's peer tutor referral service matches students who need a tutor with peer tutors who have proven success in the discipline requested. When a student requests a tutor, Tutoring Services provides names of possible tutors, typically within 48 hours. If a tutor is not available for the course requested, Tutoring Services makes every effort to identify a qualified tutor. On average, Tutoring Services fulfills nearly 500 requests for tutors per year. Students may contact Tutoring Services at 202-885-3365 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . You can also find additional information at http://www.american.edu/ocl/asc/Tutor-Services.cfm.
8) What off-campus support services are available to my student?
We have compiled a list of local psychologists, social workers, and psychiatrists who specialize in working with students on the spectrum. This list can be found at the following link, https://cms.american.edu/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&pageid=3247579 .
9) My student is having roommate difficulties. How might he/she proceed in dealing with this issue?
Living with a roommate or roommates is a new experience for most students. During the first weeks of school, students will fill out a Roommate Agreement Guide with the assistance of their Resident Assistant. This document will be a helpful tool to allow students to communicate with each other about lifestyle preferences and assist students who are experiencing conflict in their rooms throughout the semester. Additionally, the In-Hall Mediator program offers mediation services and conflict coaching for individuals or groups who may be experiencing a conflict within the residence halls. Residential Education professional staff members including Resident Directors are a strong resource for high-level conflicts or concerns that may require more formal support or judicial action.
10) I am concerned that my student may not be connecting to peers on campus. Is there anything I can do to help out?
There are a variety of ways that students can connect to peers on campus. AU students frequently connect to peers in common areas on resident hall floors, in their courses, or through internships or part-time jobs. Joining a club or activity can also be a great way to meet peers with similar interests. For more information about the clubs and activities that are offered on campus, contact information of club presidents or administrators, resource fairs, and calendars of activities can be found on the Student Activity webpage: http://www.american.edu/ocl/activities/index.cfm . Students are also welcome to reach out to their Resident Assistant and the Counseling Center for support.
11) My student is not going to class, is there anyone that can help?
There may be a variety of reasons why a student is not going to class, and depending upon the reason different student support services may be of help. If your student is experiencing an emotional obstacle to attendance – such as feeling anxious about peers or the professor, or feeling depressed and unmotivated – the Counseling Center may provide assistance in understanding and addressing the problem. If your student is feeling overwhelmed by academic assignments and is avoiding the classroom because of this, Academic Support Services could be a helpful contact, to help your student more actively problem solve about how to complete assignments. In many cases of students not attending class, the Dean of Students Office is a useful place to start: they can work with students to understand the source of the problem and refer the student to appropriate additional resources on campus.
12) Are there any books I can read about helping my student transition to college?
We have compiled a book resource list that can be found at the following link, https://cms.american.edu/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&pageid=3247585 .
13) My student is having a crisis and is feeling overwhelmed. S/he needs to talk to someone today – what should s/he do?
The Counseling Center offers same-day Emergency appointments for students who are experiencing a crisis and need to speak with someone immediately. These appointments are offered on a first-come/first-serve basis and can be scheduled by students by calling the Counseling Center at 202-885-3500 and asking for a same-day appointment. If this is an after-hours crisis, students should contact their Resident Assistant, who can put them in contact with the appropriate support systems on campus. If living off-campus, a student can call Public Safety at 202-885-3636. In any emergency involving physical harm or a threat to life, call AU Public Safety at x3636 if you are on campus or, if off campus, call 911.
14) What resources are available for parents of students with ASD?
The College Autism Spectrum organization is geared towards supporting both parents and students in higher education. For more information about this outside service, please visit http://www.collegeautismspectrum.com/. Additionally, counselors at the Academic Support Center, the Counseling Center, and Disability Support Services are also available to discuss concerns and help identify resources.
15) Who can I talk with if I have questions or concerns about my student?
There are a variety of individuals at AU who would be happy to speak with you. DSS, ASC, or the Counseling Center all work collaboratively. An important question to consider is who your student feels most connected to or who has worked most closely with your student.
16) My student has a history of taking medication or I believe that this might be helpful for him or her. Are there resources available for this? Yes. There are several options available. Limited psychiatric services are available at the Student Health Center. For more information about their services you can contact the Student Health Center, located on the first floor of McCabe Hall, at 202-885-3380 or visit their website at www.american.edu/ocl/healthcenter . If your student would like to see an off-campus psychiatrist, he/she can also contact the Counseling Center (202-885-3500) to inquire about referrals. You can also find a list of off-campus mental health practitioners, including psychiatrists who specialize in working with individuals on the spectrum, by clicking on the following link, https://cms.american.edu/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&pageid=3247579 .