Counseling & Advising

The mission of Counseling Services is to assist the citizens in the College’s service area in obtaining educational, vocational, and personal goals. Goals of Counseling Services include:

* interpreting placement test scores and assisting the curriculum student in completing his/her class schedule
* assisting all persons in developing skills in making intelligent decisions regarding vocational, educational, and personal/social plans (these skills complement classroom instruction and are designed to help persons know more about themselves, their strengths, and the world of work)
* providing referral services to institutional and community resources based on student needs
* providing a student activities program
* implementing a college recruitment plan for traditional and non-traditional students; and (6) orienting new students to the College and the educational process.

Counselors are available to assist students who wish to discuss educational, personal, or career planning concerns. Personal and confidential assistance provided by a counselor can often help students

* cope effectively with situations which confront them
* make decisions regarding various life concerns and plans
* gain greater self-awareness.

If a student needs more extensive assistance, the counselor will help the student in making contact with the appropriate referral source. As with all types of counseling, the counselor will assist the student in exploring the possible alternatives and courses of action open to the student, but the final decision is up to the student.

Appropriate tests and inventories and occupational/educational materials (including information on financial assistance and employment) are available through the counseling staff for any person needing assistance with school-related and personal problems. Courses and workshops, which encourage students to develop skills that further their personal growth, are also available.

Career Counseling and Planning
Career counseling is available both on an individual and group basis to assist persons with clarifying their values, developing effective decision-making skills, and setting appropriate life/career goals. For students this service begins when they come in for the first time to fill out a class schedule. At this point, a counselor provides career counseling to assess the student’s interests, values, and abilities as they relate to the programs available at Paul D. Camp and to the world of work. The service continues throughout the student’s program through the program’s advisor.

Several interest inventories and other instruments are available to assist the undecided person in identifying personal interests. Interest testing is usually combined with career counseling by a staff member and may become an important step in a person’s career development. These assessments can be helpful in stimulating thought about abilities and career possibilities that otherwise might not be considered.

Career Information
The College maintains several sources of career and job information for the public’s use. Many of these sources can be checked out for home use. Sources of career information include pamphlets, government publications, career information files, and an up-to-date employer file. The College maintains a collection of resource and referral information for women. A listing of current job openings throughout Virginia is also available.

Job Search Strategies
Persons desiring help with organizing and conducting a job search will find appropriate assistance. Counselors assist persons with assessing their experiences, writing a résumé, filling out applications, determining how to interview well, developing an advantageous credentials file, and collecting information on careers and employers.

College Information
College catalogs are maintained on all the major regional colleges. These may be checked out for home use on a short-term basis. In addition, a microfiche file is kept current on all colleges, trade schools, and post-secondary institutions throughout the southern United States.

Career Workshops
Several workshops are scheduled periodically which deal with specific career-related topics, and tours of local industries are arranged for students.

Study Skills
Success in college depends on many factors: scholastic attitude, motivation, application of ability, and good study habits. Good study habits are necessary for all students to protect investments of time and money as well as to enable them to achieve educational goals.

The primary purpose of the academic advising program is to assist students in the development of meaningful educational plans that are compatible with their life goals. Academic advising is a process by which a student and an advisor jointly explore curricular options and limitations with respect to the student’s personal and academic needs, abilities, interests, and career/life plans. It should result in the student’s developing toward independence and ultimately maximizing his/her educational benefits. The process includes the exploration of life goals, the exploration of career/educational goals, the selection of curriculum, the selection of courses, and the scheduling of classes.

New students are advised by a counselor who interprets their placement test scores and discusses the various programs available at the College. Academic advising of returning students is performed by members of the teaching faculty. Students should consult their faculty advisor before each registration and are encouraged to confer with them frequently regarding academic matters.

In addition to counseling, tests and interest inventories are available for students. These tests and interest inventories are used as a source of information for the counselor and students in the counseling process. They can be helpful in stimulating thought about abilities and career possibilities that otherwise might not be considered.

Student Development Courses
Student development is emphasized through a series of courses including career planning, preparation for employment, and human potential realization. The focus of these courses and other activities is to assist the individual in the exploration and development of values, as well as personal skills; and to achieve an effective life in employment, academic endeavors, and in interaction with others.

An orientation program has been established to acquaint new students with the purposes and programs of the College. The orientation program begins weeks before registration when the student may be asked to meet with a counselor at the College for an interview to discuss the student’s educational interests, determine if additional tests may be needed, and plan the student’s application for admission to a specific curriculum at the College. The student may also meet with an academic advisor in the chosen curriculum.

The College Success course, SDV 100, is required for graduation in all degree programs and many certificate programs. Students are required to take SDV 100 or SDV 108 as part of the first 12 credits enrolled. Because the course emphasizes tools and strategies for college success, students are encouraged to take this course the first semester of attendance at the College. Students who are required to take developmental courses should take SDV 108, College Survival Skills, in place of SDV 100.