College creates new counseling position

Allegheny College opened a search for a multicultural counselor, a new position, to work in its Counseling Center, posting the job opening on its website on Oct. 21. Applications will be accepted through Nov. 15.

Director of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access and Social Justice Center justin adkins said colleges like Allegheny have been creating similar positions in recent years.

“There’s a need in counseling services—not just here, but everywhere—of people who have more specialty in dealing with some of those issues,” adkins said.

There’s a need in counseling services—not just here, but everywhere—of people who have more specialty in dealing with some of those issues.

— justin adkins

Jacquie Kondrot, associate dean of students, said the college opened a search for a general counselor over the summer and offered the position to somebody who declined. Kondrot said she could not say why the counselor declined.

The decision to tailor the job title and description to attract a counselor who specializes in trauma faced by historically marginalized groups sprung out of student desires, adkins said.

“Students wanted better access, students wanted people with some specific knowledge base, et cetera,” adkins said. “And so it’s all in reaction to really hearing from students and addressing the needs that students are telling us exist.”

Those interested in the position, according to the job posting, should be able to provide general counseling in addition to their speciality in dealing with students from diverse backgrounds.

“The person provides counseling, crisis intervention and consultation taking into account students (sic) racial and ethnic diversity, sexual orientation, spirituality, ability and any disabilities, class and socioeconomic status,” the posting says.

The goal of hiring such a counselor is to allow people of diverse backgrounds to feel welcome at the Counseling Center, Kondrot said.

“We’re always trying to do more to reach different groups of folks,” Kondrot said.

Kondrot said the college is looking for somebody with experience and expertise in working with a diverse group of people.

“We are deliberately looking for someone with that speciality … and background and experience and also interest,” Kondrot said.

Darnell Epps, associate director of the IDEAS Center, said he looks forward to a partnership with the new counselor once one is chosen. He said he hopes the counselor will communicate broad issues students bring to the Counseling Center so that the IDEAS Center can better its programming.

“If there are things they’re seeing, certainly we can partner together,” Epps said.

The Counseling Center currently has three counselors as opposed to the four it normally has, adkins said.

“We’re down a counselor right now and this is a problem,” adkins said.

Adkins said the addition of this position is just one initiative from his office resulting from student suggestions.

“I want to continue to hear things that are services and issues and things students need. I want to hear that from all of our students,” adkins said.

Kondrot said she wants students to appreciate the work of the Counseling Center.

“I just would hope that students would pay attention at the work that’s coming out of the Counseling Center and know that we try to offer the best service we can,” Kondrot said.

Correction: In an earlier version of this story, The Campus stated that the IDEAS Center was the Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, Access and Social Justice Center. It is the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access and Social Justice Center. Updated Thursday, Nov. 14, 2016, at 9:20 p.m.