The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Dorms get embedded counselor


Currently, counseling services are offered at Westlawn, but University of Iowa officials are looking to get them closer to the student body — by embedding them in a dorm.

The UI Counseling Service is working to make its help more readily available to students with the implementation of embedded counselors in the residence halls.

“The general idea is having a counselor that works for University Counseling Service but works in a residence hall,” said UI Vice President for Student Life Tom Rocklin.

The UI is searching for a new embedded counselor to be housed in one of the residence halls. Embedded counselors are individuals placed in specific college departments in a university to address the needs of people in those divisions.

“We already have an embedded counselor in the College of Dentistry, and we’re hiring one in the Department of Athletics as well,” said Barry Schreier, the director of the UI Counseling Service.

He said the newest embedded counselor will most likely be housed in an East Side residence hall.

“Counseling Service will finally have a staff person on the East Side of the river as well, which is nice,” Schreier said.

Rocklin said the new embedded counselor would be more convenient for students who are unable to seek help from the University Counseling Service.

“The counselor might have different hours than [University Counseling Service] does currently,” he said. “They might be particularly skilled in working with first-year students.”

The new position must be qualified as a licensed psychologist or a soon-to-be licensed psychologist and must have completed an internship, Rocklin said.

Schreier said Counseling Service has had an increase in first-year students utilizing its services.

“The residence halls had the foresight and interest to ask Counseling Service about getting an embedded counselor,” he said.

UI freshman Diane Gayley said she would love to have a counselor in her residence hall during her first year.

“It’s hard to motivate yourself to go all the way over to Counseling Service,” she said. “In times of crises, a counselor here would be much more convenient.”

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Gayley said from her experience, students are encouraged by Counseling Service to schedule appointments, which can be a hassle. She said students are sometimes required be on a waiting list.

“It can be stressful to go through an in-take appointment, then be on a waiting list, and then see the same person each time you go back,” she said.

Other Big Ten universities, such as the University of Michigan, have started to use the embedded-counseling model.

“I’m not exactly sure which, but there are universities moving toward this,” Rocklin said. “We are definitely not the first.”

Schreier said the embedded counselor would be a full-time placement.

“This person will work for the residence halls and the University Counseling Service, so it’s a joint venture,” he said. “They will follow Counseling Service guidelines.”

Rocklin said there are some considerations for hiring another counselor.

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