EDITORIAL: Counseling not always helpful

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Delta College provides many services that promote and support student success. The counseling staff inside the DeRicco Student Services Building are part of those services.

Every student should meet with a campus counselor. Counselors can be helpful assets in helping us succeed, whatever the path may be at Delta or in life.

Delta’s counselors are more than qualified to help us on our educational journeys.

But, as students, we also know the struggle of even getting into the door to see one of them.

In a recent story pitching session, many members of the Collegian staff vocally complained about not being able to get prompt counseling appointments.

Clearly there is an issue.

The consensus was clear: The counselors do a solid job in helping us along, but many students find it impossible to make an appointment for even a first visit.

When we do get appointments, we’re often told we can’t graduate in two years. A former Collegian staff member was told to “aim for three.”

This is supposed to be a two-year school. That sort of proclamation is defeating.

More defeating, though, is the process to set up a meeting. It should be easy. There is a page on the website leading students to a list of counselors and available times.

In theory, this should be a quick few clicks to a meeting.

Far from it.

A student picks a counselor and a meeting time, but then the website rejects the appointment. This is because of the volume of students trying to set up a meeting. Unless it is at 2 p.m. and you are one of the first to access the website, it’s probable that you will not get the time you want.

Students on this campus have priorities other than school, including work and childcare scheduling. While we understand an “ideal” time may not be available, we also know that some students will likely never meet with a counselor on this campus because of this.

Appointments are almost always two or more weeks after scheduled.

Too many times has a student missed a class due to a counselor meeting, because the time is the only one available.

Counseling is important. Delta College has an extensive, well-educated counseling staff. Yet, in many ways, we’re falling short.

The bottom line is that students need to be more active participants in their own education and futures. If you get one of the coveted meeting spots, do your research, know where you want to go and what the requirements are for a particular major.

There are many first-generation college students attending Delta who know little about what classes to take, how to transfer or even how to add classes. We know that, But everyone should still do a little prior research so you are prepared to tell your counselor what you are really looking for.

Understand your counselor may not have all the answers. Listen to what your counselor advises, but also be active in the process.