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Strategic Plan for University Counseling Center

Mission

To enhance the healthy development of our diverse GVSU community through prevention and education, psychological services, and consultation.

Vision

The University Counseling Center strives to be recognized by students as an essential resource for enhancing individual well-being and academic success and by the university community as a critical, integral factor in achieving the institutional mission. Characterized as dynamic, proactive, and innovative in responding to the needs of a diverse university community, the Center maintains highly competent staff, continually evolving service and training practices, and effective use of resources. Our values include endeavoring to model compassion, caring, and commitment in interactions within the Center, the University, and the broader community.

Value Statement

GUIDING PRINCIPLES • We promote a culture of compassion, respect, and appreciation for diverse populations and perspectives. • We recognize the relationship between mind, body, and spirit and the importance of self-care in maintaining personal health and emotional well-being. • We embrace a community ethic, evidenced in consensual decision-making and mutual support promoting individual and organizational well-being. • We support ongoing professional development as a critical factor in continually enhancing staff competence and the effectiveness of our training and service practices. • We value collaborative, interdependent connections with other members of the university community.

Strategic Priorities, outcomes, and key objectives

Strategic Priority Area 1: Actively engage learners at all levels.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 1.A.1

Evaluate and improve access to services

Baseline

Current wait-time

Progress

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
An evaluation of services demonstrated a wait time of two weeks for first clinician-client contact, thus a triage system was instituted reducing the wait time to within 48 hours of initial request, with the majority of students seen within 24 hours. Client satisfaction survey data suggested no client dissatisfaction with initial contact wait time.

Objective 1.A.2

Explore anxiety reduction programs

Baseline

Current anxiety services

Progress

2017 Status
Achieved
Current anxiety treatment options have been expanded and new group therapy options (e.g., Social Anxiety Group, First Year Success Drop-In Group, Stress Management Drop-In Group) have been added. Staff have attended a number of anxiety-specific treatment conferences.

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
A significant number of evidence-based practices for the treatment of anxiety have been identified for further review and training by the UCC staff. Additionally, a number of programs employed at universities across the country have been identified for further review and possible implementation by the UCC. Research demonstrates that the use of biofeedback and related anxiety programs are likely effective treatment for anxiety disorders among college students.

Objective 1.A.3

Enhance efficiency of group services

Baseline

Duplication of services

Progress

2017 Status
Achieved
A community provider meeting and greet was hosted to secure additional referral resources for students. The community provider database has been updated to be searchable by treatment, cost, and location needs. Research regarding a step model of treatment indicated that it is not feasible with current resources.

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
To improve the efficiency of group services and reduce the use of concurrent services, additional groups for specific populations and clinical needs were added to the UCC Group Services and an additional 12 providers have been added to our community provider listing. There has been a slight increase in the number of students attending group and the group sessions attended and staff have provided positive feedback regarding the referral process.

Objective 1.A.4

Expand substance abuse education to faculty, staff, and students

Baseline

See Strategy Actions a-e below: a. Current offerings b. Establish in first year c. Number of programs in specific academic areas d. Number of other drug programs e. Current offerings

Progress

2017 Status
Achieved
Additional marketing was successful and attendance numbers for recovery meetings and Game Nights drastically increased. Integration of the impact of alcohol and other drugs into regular programming was continued, including the impact of legal charges on one’s career path.

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
Additional educational sessions were added and maintained during the 2016-2017 academic year to improve the frequency and quality of AOD education for staff and staff. In addition to the addition of Game Night as an alternative to alcohol use for students, additional programming has been piloted regarding marijuana use and the impact of substances on career and major futures.

Objective 1.A.5

Develop a recovery community with student groups and connect, as appropriate, to the greater Grand Rapids recovery community

Baseline

Establish in first year

Progress

2017 Status
Achieved
During the 2017-2018 academic year, ACES added SMART Recovery meetings and a more reliable chair sign-up system.

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
During the fall of 2016 GVSU - ACES assisted with hosting space for GVSU’s first Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACoA) meetings as a way to increase support and variety of options/needs for GVSU students. Both student and general community attendance grew and was maintained indicating a growing recovery community at GVSU.

Objective 1.A.6

Enhance the professional development of UCC graduate student trainees

Baseline

See Strategy Action below: a. Survey/feedback themes b. Number of current trainee positions

Progress

2016 Status
Achieved
a. Enhancements were made to all three graduate training programs (Psychology, Social Work and CSAL). In addition, the Center added a new staff Coordinator for MSW Training (reporting to the Director of Training). b. After analyzing available office space, it was determined that at present it is not feasible to add any more clinical trainees. However, there is space in our shared Career Center office to add a half-time career practicum student (planned for Winter 2018).

Strategic Priority Area 2: Further develop exceptional personnel.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 2.A.1

Identify and implement a structure that will provide opportunities for staff to develop strong and inclusive relationships

Baseline

Establish in first year

Progress

2020 Status
Substantial Progress
1. Team building exercises and discussion around DEI occur monthly during pre-existing staff meetings; Staff members each take a turn facilitating discussions, trainings, and topics related to inclusion. 2. A series of HR trainings regarding emotional resiliency, positive mental health, and positive communication where attended as a staff in Fall/Winter of 2020-2021.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
The Multicultural Committee and Work Life Enhancement Committee (formerly the Fun Committee) were maintained in order to continue to address workplace inclusion and staff relationships. These committees have maintained additional activities to better understand staff identities and relationships. Additional steps will be taken in the next academic years to continue to have regular team-building activities at various pre-scheduled staff events.

Objective 2.A.2

Improve internal communication

Baseline

Establish in first year

Progress

2016 Status
Achieved
Internal communication within the University Counseling Center has improved with the addition of a brief meeting on Friday afternoons to discuss administrative concerns and distribution of staff meeting minutes. This has improved staff's impression of communication and knowledge of changes within the center.

Objective 2.A.3

Improve external communication

Baseline

See Strategy Action a-d below: a. Message established b. Creation of flow chart c. New content established d. Advisory group formed

Progress

2019 Status
Achieved
1. Additional venues of reaching students via social media achieved by integrating UCC career counseling services in with the Career Center. 2. Focus 2 was eliminated and a new career exploration platform was introduced and integrated with Handshake/other Career Center platforms to provide a more integrated experience to students seeking career assistance.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
Changes made during the 2018-2019 academic year included the roll out of the Handshake system both online and in mobile app form within the Career Center and involved the UCC Career team. This increased the ability to target 1st and 2nd year exploratory students and improved accessibility to online scheduling. The relationship with the CLAS Advising Office was strengthened to improve contact with exploratory students. Objectives related to ACES remain achieved.

Objective 2.A.4

Enhance the professional development of UCC staff

Baseline

See Strategy Actions a-b below: a. IACS, APA and UCC annual reports b. Number of presentations

Progress

2016 Status
Achieved
An significant portion of the budget, including an increase in 2016-2017, is earmarked for staff professional development, continued education credits, and specialty certifications. All staff are required to be licensed and complete 24 continuing education credits every two years. Many additional certifications in new areas have been obtained to better treat students (e.g., trauma, transgendered populations, distance therapy, group therapy, career development, supervision). All staff conduct a brief presentation regarding knowledge gained at conferences to update the Center on the best practices.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 2.B.1

Increase focus on intersecting identities and inclusion

Baseline

See Strategy Action a-b below: a. Establish baseline first year b. ePDP development plans/goals

Progress

2019 Status
Achieved
1. Implemented a more thorough integration of multicultural focus and discussion into pre-existing meetings. 2. Continued the Multicultural Potluck and Summer Series during early summer months. 3. Completed the hiring process for a new Coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
In the 2018-2019 academic year the Coordinator of Multicultural Services began to integrate a multicultural focus and discussion into pre-existing meetings, such as staff meetings, professional development, and case presentation meetings. The Multicultural Potluck and Summer Series were conducted during the early summer months to improve attendance.

Objective 2.B.2

Increase a diverse and multidisciplinary perspective

Baseline

See Strategy Action a-b below: a.Establish in first year b. Committee membership

Progress

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
1. New Coordinator of Inclusion and Diversity Initiatives search was successful in adding additional diverse staff to the UCC. 2. Doctoral intern pool further increased staff diversity.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
1. Targeted diverse populations in hiring for 2018 open positions. Recruited/hired talented diverse personnel. 2. Increased multidisciplinary representation and diversity of the administrative team.

Strategic Priority Area 3: Ensure the alignment of institutional structures and functions.

Strategic Priority Area 4: Enhance the institution's image and reputation.

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