PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

CAPS to Help About 20 Percent More Students This Year

After receiving $300,000 extra in funding at the beginning of this academic year, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is on track to help about 20 percent more students than in previous years.

In total, CAPS expects to assist 4,000 students this academic year, Director Dennis Heitzmann said.

After it was allocated the extra funds, CAPS hired five extra counselors — about a 20 percent increase in staff — and opened a new office in downtown State College, located at 248 E. Calder Way. These additions helped CAPS start to solve its two main issues: space and staffing.

The new space is home to six CAPS staff members. Students who are seeking services at CAPS still have their initial meeting at the office located in the University Health Services Building, but may be assigned to the downtown location for additional meetings.

Since the new office opened at the beginning of the 2014-15 academic year, students seem to like the downtown location because of its location near off-campus housing, Heitzmann said, but CAPS is searching for an on-campus location for its satellite office since it is currently paying to rent the space for the downtown office.

With the extra funding and additional counselors, CAPS hasn’t eliminated its waiting list for appointments, but Heitzmann said that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

“It’s almost like there was a second level of students waiting who might have been discouraged in the past from even coming in because of waiting lists and so forth,” he said. “Now that there is more availability, it’s almost like the portals been opened and students are knocking on the door and we’re able to serve more students because of it.”

Though the additional funding is a step in the right direction for CAPS, Heitzmann said it isn’t the end of the process. The service, which helps students with problems ranging from homesickness to major psychiatric diseases, is still looking to increase its staffing to “acceptable levels.”

The International Association of Counseling Services suggests that the university’s ratio of professional clinical service providers to students should be about 1 to every 1,500 students, Heitzmann said. Right now, CAPS has about 23 full time staff members to service the 46,600 students on campus — a ratio of about 1 counselor to every 2,026 students.

Heitzmann said he understands the university has important places to spend its money, but he and CAPS believe that their service is integral to make sure students get the most out of their time at Penn State.

“We’re here to provide students with the best opportunity to get all that they are capable of getting from their academic experience,” he said. “If they are not emotionally stable and resilient, they cannot expect to get that from their educational experience.”

About the Author

Mindy Szkaradnik

Mindy is a senior majoring in Print Journalism, Spanish, and Global and International Studies. She is the 12th member of her family to attend Penn State, she loves Bruce Springsteen, and her friends are always making fun of her for talking too much about study abroad. She can be reached on Twitter (@mszkarad) or via email ([email protected]).

Comments

More by Mindy

Thanks, Mom And Dad: Mindy Szkaradnik’s Senior Column

The band finished its set at the Phyrst last semester and “Build Me Up Buttercup” came on over the speakers. Most people continued with their conversations as usual, but I turned and glanced at at the dance floor. There were my parents, dancing in each other’s arms to the song that they used to dance to years ago at the Gaff.

The Most Creative 2015 Bar Tour Themes

Tell Us About Your Bar Tour Theme

Athletics

North Dakota Interested In Playing Against Penn State Hockey In Nashville

North Dakota is working towards an agreement that will see its hockey team play against Penn State in Nashville during the 2020-21 season.

Former Cal Swimmer Says She Emailed Sandy Barbour About Sexual Harassment Claims

Max Sauve Commits To Penn State Hockey

Penn State Women’s Volleyball Releases 2018 Schedule

Penn State Hoops Alumnus Joonas Suotamo’s Journey To Becoming Chewbacca Featured On ESPN’s ‘E:60’

Student Life

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Career Services To Launch Integrated Career Management & Recruiting Platform

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

State Theatre Recognized As A State College Historic Site

As it approaches the 80th anniversary of its opening, the State Theatre has been recognized as a State College historic site.

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Tom Beeby will serve as the 2019 Class Gift Executive Director.

Send this to a friend