The Counseling Center is a comprehensive service that provides personal, academic, and substance abuse counseling, educational outreach programs, and crisis intervention for the acute. The Center strives to help students identify and solve problems and to assist them in developing more confidence about what lies ahead. The Counseling Center provides services for all enrolled ULM students experiencing day-to-day problems and wishing to make changes. It is to date the primary facility on campus whereby counseling services are designed to serve students. It is an objective organization rendering therapeutic services without direct ties to any particular academic department. In addition, the Counseling Center acts as the point of entry for individuals with learning or physical disabilities.
The cost of these services is included in student activity fees. University personnel are welcome; however, priority is always given to students. Counseling services are confidential and will not be discussed outside the Counseling Center without the client’s written permission. Information can be divulged when a client is in imminent danger of harming themselves or someone else. The Counseling Center adheres to the confidentiality guidelines set by the American Counseling Association. Counseling Center files are not a part of any central University file. Clients have the right to review records at any time.
Whereas, educational counseling is conducted at the Center, this is not to be confused with academic advisement. Those seeking advisement need to contact their respective departments. Students who are undeclared in their major or who are considering a change in major are referred to the Student Success Center for career exploration. The Counseling Center does not provide psychological testing or testing for learning disabilities. ULM’s 504 coordinator is located in the Counseling Center.
The Counseling Center is staffed by full-time professional counselors and counselor interns. Presently the Counseling Center’s hours of operation are 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Friday. Services can be made available in the event an emergency arises. In such cases, the Counseling Center serves as a referral agent to off-campus agencies, hospitals, facilities or private practitioners that are deemed most appropriate. Should this occur, the Counseling Center no longer acts as primary caregiver. (see Mental Health Crisis Emergency Procedure.)
This department is located in the Student Health and Counseling Center, at 1140 University Avenue. Students are encouraged to call 342-5220 for an appointment.
Mental Health Crisis Emergency Procedure
A mental health crisis is described as an event wherein the emotional, behavioral, or mental state of a student is compromised to the extent that the student is of danger to himself or others (e.g. suicide ideation, gesture, or attempt; severe depression, acute eating disorder; experience a traumatic event or loss; and/or sexual assault). When such an emergency occurs, a counselor may take the necessary action to protect the student or any other person in question. The following procedures are provided to serve as guidelines in the event of a mental health emergency.
- The Counseling Center will be notified at 342-5220 when University Police or other University Personnel determine a student is in crisis and requires counseling intervention. If available, the Director will be phoned first and will dispatch a counselor. If the crisis occurs after business hours, counselors can be contacted through the University Police Department at 342-5350. The University Police Department will notify the counselor of the need to respond to the crisis. The counselor has the responsibility to make the determination of the most appropriate method of contact. Methods of contact include telephone intervention or face-to-face counseling. In most cases, an assessment will be conducted in person rather than over the phone. If a telephone intervention does occur, the counselor will document the reason(s) for their decision not to meet the individual in crisis in person. If appropriate, the counselor will contact another counselor to consult or respond to the emergency, especially if the student is in an established counseling relationship with a staff counselor.
- All individuals involved in the incident will avoid leaving the person in crisis alone.
- University Police may accompany the counselor who meets with the person in crisis. If the incident occurs in the residence halls, arrangements will be made for an RA or Hall Director to assist the counselor in gaining access to the person in crisis.
- The counselor will assess the situation and will consult with another counselor from the Counseling Center as soon as possible; the second counselor may be directly or indirectly involved in the assessment.
- A plan for the protection of the person will be developed. This plan may include hospitalization, immediate assessment by the Student Health Services personnel, a written or verbal contract, the arrangement for a family member or friend to stay with the person until a psychological evaluation can be performed, and/or notification of parents. Telephone consultation with the area mental health hospitals or other professionals may be made by the counselor.
- A resistant person can be forced into receiving help. If resistance occurs, the counselor may choose to utilize services provided by the ULM Police Department, a local emergency room (e.g. Glenwood Regional Medical Center’s Behavioral Health Unit, Louisiana State University Medical Center), and/or the Ouachita Parish coroner.
- If the student is admitted to the hospital or is referred to another facility or agency, the client becomes the responsibility of that facility and/or professional. This will be documented in the client’s progress notes or the counselors log to be included with the Emergency Report and kept in the Counseling Center filing cabinet.
- If a physician takes over the case, the doctor will be informed that the University will be requiring a psychological examination indicating the student is competent enough to return to school.
- Pertinent information acquired during the assessment of a crisis may be divulged to any professional(s) who may be of assistance in protecting the person in crisis or other persons involved in the incident. The University Police Department, when involved, will send a report to the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Office of Student Services and/or the Director of Counseling Center. The counselor’s log will be prepared within twenty-four hours following the crisis. Included in the log will be the assessment procedures and reason (s) for the actions taken. The completed log will be placed in the student’s file at the Counseling Center.
Accommodations For Students With Special Needs
The University of Louisiana at Monroe strives to serve students with special needs through compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the ADA Amendments act of 2008. These laws mandate that postsecondary institutions provide equal access to programs and services for students with disabilities without creating changes to the essential elements of the curriculum. While students with special needs are expected to meet our institution’s academic standards, they are given the opportunity to fulfill learner outcomes in alternative ways. Examples of accommodations may include, but are limited to the following: testing accommodations (tests read aloud, extended time, sign-language interpreters, relocation of inaccessible classrooms, permission to record lectures, and note-taking assistance.
The Counseling Center acts as the point of entry for individuals who have documented learning disabilities and psychological or physical special needs. The accommodation decisions are addressed on an individual basis. The Counseling Center professional who serves as the 504 Coordinator, in conjunction with the student, evaluates the effects of the student’s disability in relation to the curriculum and academic standards. During this process, faculty and other campus representatives may be consulted to review the academic environment and its relationship to the student. After reasonable and appropriate accommodations are determined, students are required to complete a Special Needs Accommodation Form. This form authorizes a release of the information supplied by the student. The faculty members who will be provided an accommodation letter by the student which indicates the suggested and requested classroom modifications. The documentation and accommodation letters are retained in the student’s file with the Counseling Center so that the student can return at the beginning of each semester to complete a Special Needs Accommodation Form for that semester which is pertinent to that particular semester’s coursework.
Accommodations do NOT apply retroactively. If students neglect to request accommodations from their instructors, those instructors are under no obligation to retroactively correct for this. Accommodations apply to present and future, not past, events.
Before Classes Begin
- Once class schedules are final, the student must report to the Counseling Center and complete the Special Needs Accommodation Form. This should be done no later than the last day to add classes.
- Students requesting books in an alternative format, contact the Counseling Center as soon as a final schedule is determined.
- For students needing classes relocated to an accessible site, notify the Counseling Center as soon as possible so there is ample time to make these arrangements.
The First Day of Class
- Arrive early to secure the best possible seating.
- For students using interpreters, save them a seat.
- For students using special equipment, arrive early to work with the instructor so that class time will not be taken up.
- Get copies of syllabus, outlines, required texts, and the instructor’s office location and hours. Organize each class syllabus, outlines, notes, and calendar in a notebook.
- For students coordinating their own note-taking services, secure a note taker and arrange to get notes. If a note taker cannot be found, contact the Counseling Center.\
- Provide note taker with carbonless (NCR) paper if needed. Paper is available at no charge at the Counseling Center.
- The student should identify themselves to the instructor before class, or during office hours, and explain that they will be providing them with an accommodation letter from the Counseling Center.
After Last Day to Add Classes
- At this point, the Counseling Center should be in receipt of your Special Needs Accommodation Form so that Accommodation Letters can be written. Students will receive these letters through their Warhawk email account and will deliver to each of their professors.
- Discuss accommodation(s) with the professor. If he/she cannot provide the accommodation(s) needed, please contact the Counseling Center for further instructions or if there are questions as to what procedures need to be followed.
During the Semester
- Keep the Counseling Center informed of dates for exams or major projects if requesting special assistance (i.e. interpreting/reading/special testing/out of class assignments) from the Counseling Center. REMEMBER, tests must be scheduled with the Counseling Center at least three (3) days before the test date.
- Make appointments to talk to professors to monitor notes and progress. Do this at least once before an exam and again after the exam.
- If special need related problems arise, please report them to the Counseling Center as soon as possible!
Special Need Parking
An Application for Special Needs Parking Pass is to be picked up by the student at the ULM Police Department or on line at www.ulm.edu/~police/parkreg.html. The form must be completed and signed by your licensed physician accompanied by adequate medical documentation of the student’s disability. With the validation of the student’s need for special assigned parking, a Special Needs Parking Pass will be completed by the ULM Police personnel.
The student is then responsible for presenting the pass to the University Police Department personnel who handles the allocation of parking permits. The student will receive the appropriate Special Needs Parking Decal. The student will affix the mirror tag to his/her vehicle to be displayed throughout the academic year of active enrollment at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
In the event that the Application for Special Needs Parking Pass requires more extensive professional verification, please refer to the Grievance and Appeal Procedure listed below.
Students with temporary injuries who apply for special needs parking will be assigned parking privileges for the anticipated length of recuperation from the injury. Re-application for the permit is necessary if the condition persists. Please note that pregnancy is not considered to be a disability. Students who are diagnosed by their physicians as having a high-risk pregnancy must have documentation which states specifically how their pregnancy qualifies as high-risk. Students who have permanent disabilities will need to apply for special needs parking only once in their academic career. The ULM Police Department changes the mirror tag each Fall semester. All students are required to replace invalid mirror tags with valid ones for the current academic year. To do so, the student is required only to provide proof of identity to receive the replacement -parking tag.
The ULM Police Department will assign two types of Special Needs Parking Passes to students with special needs. Level I - Assigned to students who are severely mobility impaired including those who require the use of wheelchair transportation, walkers and prosthetic crutches (as those used by persons with hypotonic muscle tone as a result of injury or disease). These students will receive passes to access the designated special needs parking areas in close proximity to classrooms, dormitory facilities, and other University buildings.
Level II - Assigned to students who have moderate mobility disabilities and those who require reasonable accommodation to parking and access because of special physical limitations or disabilities. These students will receive passes to access parking located in the designated faculty parking lots substantially closer to University lecture halls and activity buildings than those designated as “student parking” elsewhere on campus.
Testing Accommodations Procedures
The Counseling Center provides testing accommodations for students with special needs in cooperation with each instructor. These alternative testing services are available between hours of 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Friday. The Counseling Center provides testing accommodations (extended time, readers, scribes, computer use, large-printed, and minimal distraction environment) for ULM students who have documented disabilities, are eligible for testing accommodations, and are registered through the Counseling Center.
The Counseling Center strongly encourages faculty to provide testing accommodations within their own departments. When testing accommodations cannot be provided by the instructor, the Counseling Center provides the service as a convenience for faculty and students. If the student and their instructor decide to coordinate testing accommodations without assistance from the Counseling Center, there is no need to complete the Testing Accommodations Request Form.
Test Accommodation Process
The Counseling Center is committed to providing a secure and conducive testing environment for students and faculty. All tests are proctored. Tests are secured in a locked file cabinet. Also, all students must have on file, in the Counseling Center, a signed Contract Agreement for Testing Accommodations.
The student should obtain a Test Accommodation Request Form. One form must be completed and returned for every exam taken though the Counseling Center. The form can be downloaded from the Counseling Center website or can be obtained from the Counseling Center. Students may take as many forms from the Center as needed. The student completes Part I of the Test Accommodations Request Form and submits it to their instructor during their office time at least one week before the scheduled test. The instructor is responsible for completing Part II of the form. In collaboration with the student, the faculty member determines a test date and time and any approved test aids (calculator, periodic tables, texts, notes, etc.) that can be used during the testing session. If a scantron or blue books are required, they should be included with the test or supplied by the student. These items are not available in the Counseling Center. THE STUDENT MUST PRESENT THE COMPLETED TEST ACCOMMODATIONS REQUEST FORM TO THE COUNSELING CENTER AT LEAST THREE DAYS BEFORE THE DESIRED TESTING SESSION. On test day, the student must be prepared to present their ULM Student ID or another photo identification card.
Faculty members are encouraged to deliver the test at least 24 hours in advance of the scheduled testing session. Tests can be delivered to the Counseling Center by the instructor, campus mail, fax (318-342-5228), email, or the student. If delivered by the student, ensure the test is enclosed in a sealed envelope with the instructor’s signature across the seal.
Completed tests are returned in sealed envelopes, via courier, to the appropriate department. The test must be signed by the appropriate department representative before release. Faculty may personally pick up tests if they prefer. This preference should be noted on the Test Accommodation Request Form.
Testing Accommodation Guidelines
- A three day advance notice is required for all exams, except finals. All finals are to be scheduled with the Counseling Center at least one week prior to the beginning of finals.
- Only one late Test Accommodation Request Form will be accepted each semester. Late test forms receive a stamp denoting the lateness and are kept on file.
- If a student has already turned in one late test form, the Counseling Center will make an effort to provide the accommodations, but is not obliged to do so.
- All exams are administered by the Counseling Center during the class time. Any variations must be approved by the instructor and then coordinated with the Counseling Center.
- Tardiness for a testing accommodation will be treated as tardiness for a regular test. The time will be deducted from the allotted test time. After 20 minutes, the test will not be administered.
- If a student does not take the test with the Counseling Center as scheduled, they must contact their instructor immediately. The Counseling Center is not responsible for rescheduling a test or determining if a test may be rescheduled.
- If the instructor allows the student to reschedule the exam, the Counseling Center may be contacted for assistance in regard to providing accommodations. However, the Counseling Center still requires a three day notice. Therefore, it may be necessary for a student to making testing arrangements directly with their instructor.
- Students taking their exam through the Counseling Center are encouraged to report distractions or noises to the proctor or testing coordinator as soon as possible. It is encouraged for them not wait until after the exam is complete!
- Academic dishonesty is a serious charge with serious consequences if responsibility is found. If you take exams through the Counseling Center, and you are found responsible of any academic misconducts (cheating), you will permanently lose the opportunity to take tests at the Center.
- In addition to the consequence set forth by the Counseling Center, any incidence of academic dishonesty will be reported to your instructor. Your instructor may choose to follow the ULM Cheating and Plagiarism policy as listed in the ULM Student Policy Manual.
Grievance and Appeal Procedures (for Special Needs Accommodations)
Any student who disagrees with the academic accommodation( s) that have been determined should first speak to the Counseling Center Director. The student should express his/her concerns and be prepared to offer alternative solutions. If, after consulting with the Director, there still is not satisfaction on the part of the student regarding the proposed accommodations(s) or the provision of the accommodation( s), the student should speak with the Dean of Students located in the Office of Student Services. If the student still is not satisfied with the proposed or provided accommodation(s), the student may file a formal grievance with the Chair of the Council on Students with Special Needs. The Counseling Center will assist with this process. The Chair, with the assistance of the Disability Determination subcommittee of the Council, will evaluate the eligibility of the student to receive the requested accommodations. Upon validation of the student’s request, the Chair will notify the Counseling Center professional in writing of the decision.
For questions and concerns about disability procedures and other disability issues, contact:
ULM Counseling Center