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Document TitleCounseling Center Standards of Care/Policies & Procedures
Document Type
  •  Bylaws
  •  Policy Document
  •  Procedures
  •  Guidelines
  •  Form
Office/UnitCounseling Center
Document Owner
Contact Information

Office Name Phone Email

Approval Date

Approved by
Effective Date

Review Date/Schedule
Revision History



All members of Fredonia Counseling Center staff are required to adhere to the American Counseling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. Additionally, staff members are expected to adhere to the following Standards of Care and coordinating Departmental Policies and Procedures which are based on CAS (Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education) Standards for Counseling Services and Accreditation Standards for University and College Counseling Services (IACS). Furthermore, Professional Counseling staff will be familiar with and abide by the laws, rules and regulations of the New York State Office of Professions for Licensed Mental Health Counselors.



Mission Statement

The mission of the Fredonia Counseling Center (CC) is to promote student intellectual, social and emotional development that fosters academic and personal success within a global and culturally diverse society. The CC offers individual and group counseling sessions, skills workshops, outreach presentations and includes services aimed at preventing substance abuse and violence on campus.

Vision Statement

The Counseling Center aspires to be a highly visible and trusted resource in which skilled and caring professionals empower students to fulfill their potential by imparting emotional regulation and communication skills; by inspiring action, hope and creativity; and by promoting behavior which demonstrates respect, responsibility and compassion for oneself, the local community, the world community and the environment.

Skilled: The CC endeavors to provide high quality services. We adhere to the highest professional standards, embrace innovative clinical services, engage in ongoing professional development, and remain current with new developments in research based clinical practice.

Connected: The CC values collaboration within the center, the Division of Enrollment and Student Services, the Department of Student Support and Success, the Division of Academic Affairs, the University, and the broader community. We seek partnerships and opportunities to work with our colleagues in support of enhanced service to our students.

Creative: The CC values creativity as a gateway to innovation at both individual and organizational levels. We support and encourage creative innovation to foster excellence, to enhance inclusiveness, and to provide dynamic services that are relevant to the ever-changing needs of a diverse student population.

Responsible: The CC is committed to sustaining a healthy organizational climate characterized by honest, direct, and respectful communication and conflict resolution. We endeavor to create a diverse multidisciplinary staff that values different perspectives and professional views. We manifest compassion, mutual trust, and humor in our interactions, actively creating a sense of community that is supportive and respectful of individuals finding balance in their personal and professional lives.


The formal education of students promotes student learning and development outcomes that are purposeful and holistic and that prepare students for satisfying and productive lifestyles, work, and civic participation.

  1. The student learning and development outcome domains are as follows (refer to The Council for the Advancement of Standards Learning and Developmental Outcomes for related dimensions and examples of outcomes related to these domains and dimensions):
    1. Knowledge acquisition, integration, construction, and application
    2. Cognitive complexity
    3. Intrapersonal development
    4. Interpersonal competence
    5. Humanitarianism and civic engagement
    6. Practical competence
  2. Consistent with Fredonia’s mission, CC staff members will identify relevant and desirable student learning and development outcomes from among the six domains and related dimensions. When creating opportunities for student learning and development, CC staff members will explore possibilities for collaboration with faculty members and other colleagues.
  3. CC staff will assess relevant and desirable student learning and development outcomes and provide evidence of their impact on student learning and development. CC staff members will articulate how they contribute to or support students’ learning and development in the domains not specifically assessed.

Services at the CC will be:

  • Integrated into the life of the institution
  • Intentional and coherent
  • Guided by theories and knowledge of learning and development
  • Reflective of developmental and demographic profiles of the student population
  • Responsive to needs of individuals, diverse and special populations, and relevant constituencies

To effectively fulfill its mission, CC staff members will provide directly, through referral, or in collaboration:

  • Individual counseling in areas of personal, educational, career development, interpersonal relationships, family, social, and psychological issues
  • Group interventions (e.g., counseling, support) to help students establish satisfying personal relationships and to become more effective in areas such as interpersonal processes, communication skills, decision-making concerning personal relationships and educational or career matters, and the establishment of personal values
  • Assessment techniques to foster client self-understanding and decision-making
  • Outreach efforts to address developmental needs and concerns of students
  • Counseling support to help students assess and overcome specific deficiencies in educational
  • preparation or skills
  • Psychiatric consultation, evaluation, and support services for students needing maintenance or
  • monitoring of psychotropic medications
  • Crisis intervention and emergency coverage
  • Staff and faculty professional development programs


CC leaders with organization authority for the programs and services are responsible for the following:

  • Articulating a vision and mission for CC programs and services
  • Setting goals and objectives based on the needs of the population served and desired student
  • learning and development outcomes
  • Advocating for CC programs and services
  • Promoting campus environments that provide meaningful opportunities for student learning,
  • development, and integration
  • Identifying and finding means to address individual, organization, or environmental conditions
  • that foster or inhibit mission achievement
  • Advocating for representation in strategic planning initiatives at appropriate divisional and
  • institutional levels
  • Initiating collaborative interactions with stakeholders how have legitimate concerns and
  • interests in the functional area
  • Applying effective practices to educational and administrative processes
  • Prescribing and modeling ethical behavior
  • Communicating effectively
  • Incorporating sustainability practices in the management and design of programs, services, and
  • facilities
  • Managing human resource processes including recruitment, selection, development,
  • supervision, performance planning, and evaluation
  • Empowering professional, support, and student staff to accept leadership opportunities
  • Encouraging and supporting scholarly contribution to the profession
  • Being informed about and integrating appropriate technologies into programs and services
  • Being knowledgeable about federal, state, and local laws relevant to the programs and services and ensuring that staff members understand their responsibilities by receiving appropriate training
  • Developing and continuously improving programs and services in response to the changing needs to students and other populations served and the evolving institutional priorities
  • Recognizing environmental conditions that may negatively influence the safety of staff and
  • students and propose interventions that mitigate such conditions


The CC will be staffed by individuals qualified to accomplish the mission and goals. Within Fredonia guidelines, the CC has established procedures for staff selection, training, and evaluation; set expectations for supervision; and provides appropriate professional development opportunities to improve the leadership ability, competence, and skills of all employees.

  • Counseling functions at the CC are performed by professionals from disciplines such as counseling and clinical psychology, counselor education, psychiatry, and clinical social work, and by others with appropriate training, credentials, and supervised experience.
  • CC professional staff members hold an earned graduate or professional degree in a field relevant to the position they hold or will possess an appropriate combination of educational credentials and related work experience.
  • Degree- or credential-seeking interns will be qualified by enrollment in an appropriate field of study and by relevant experience. These individuals will be trained and supervised adequately by professional staff members holding educational credentials and related work experience appropriate for supervision.
  • Employees and volunteers will receive specific training on institutional policies and privacy laws regarding their access to student records and other sensitive institutional information (e.g. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  • The CC will have technical and support staff members adequate to accomplish its mission. All members of the staff will be technologically proficient and qualified to perform their job functions, be knowledgeable about ethical and legal uses of technology, and have access to training and resources to support the performance of their assigned responsibilities.
  • All members of the CC staff will receive training on policies and procedures related to the use of technology to store or access student records and institutional data.
  • The CC will ensure that staff members are knowledgeable about and trained in emergency procedures, crisis response, and prevention efforts. Prevention efforts will address identification of threatening conduct or behavior of students, faculty members, staff, and others and will incorporate a procedure for responding, including but not limited to reporting them to the appropriate campus officials.
  • Salary levels and benefits for all staff members will be commensurate with those for comparable positions within the institution, in similar institutions, and in the relevant geographic area.
  • The CC will maintain position descriptions for all staff members.
  • The create a diverse staff, the CC will institute hiring and promotion practices that are fair, inclusive, proactive, and non-discriminatory.
  • The CC will conduct regular performance planning and evaluation of staff members. The CC will provide access to continuing and advanced education and professional development opportunities.
  • The Director of the CC will have an appropriate combination of graduate course work, formal training, and supervised experience.
  • The CC counseling staff members will have an appropriate combination of graduate course work, formal training and supervised experience.
    • In cases where counseling staff members are responsible for the supervision of colleagues or graduate interns, the counseling staff member should have doctoral degrees or hold degrees commensurate with those being supervised.
    • Counseling staff members should participate in appropriate professional organizations and should have the budgetary support to do so. Counseling staff members should be encouraged to participate in community activities related to their profession.
    • Practicum students and interns, as well as paraprofessional assistants, may perform, under supervision, such counseling functions as are appropriate to their preparation and experience
  • The level of CC staffing will be established and reviewed regularly with regard to service demands, enrollment, user surveys, diversity of services offered, institutional resources, and other mental health and student services that may be available on the campus and in the local community.


All CC professional counselors will adhere to the highest principles of ethical behavior. CC staff will review relevant professional ethical standards and develop or adopt and implement appropriate statements of ethical practice. The CC will publish these statements and ensure their period review by relevant constituents.

  • The CC will orient new staff members to relevant ethical standards and statements of ethical practice.
  • CC staff members will ensure that privacy and confidentiality are maintained with respect to all communications and records to the extent that such records are protected under the law and appropriate statements of ethical practice. Information contained in students’ education records must not be disclosed except as allowed by relevant laws and institutional policies. CC staff members will disclose to appropriate authorities information judged to be of an emergency nature, especially when the safety of the individual or others is involved, or when otherwise required by institutional policy or relevant law.
  • CC staff members will be aware of and comply with the provisions contained in Fredonia’s policies pertaining to human subjects research and student rights and responsibilities, as well as those in other relevant institutional policies addressing ethical practices and confidentiality of research data concerning individuals.
  • CC staff members will recognize and avoid personal conflicts of interest or appearance thereof in the performance of their work.
  • CC staff members will strive to insure the fair, objective, and impartial treatment of all persons with whom they interact
  • CC promotional and description information will be accurate and free of deception.
  • CC staff members will perform their duties within the limits of their training, expertise, and competence. When these limits are exceeded, individuals in need of further assistance will be referred to persons possessing appropriate qualifications.
  • CC staff members will use suitable means to confront and otherwise hold accountable other staff members who exhibit unethical behavior.
  • CC staff members will be knowledgeable about and practice ethical behavior in the use of technology.
  • CC staff members will conform to relevant federal, state, and local statutes which govern the delivery of counseling services.
  • CC staff members will be familiar with and adhere to relevant ethical standards in the field, including those professional procedures for intake, assessment, and case notes.
  • Client status and information disclosed in individual counseling session will remain confidential, unless written permission to divulge the information is given by the student.
  • Clients will be made aware of issues such as the limits to confidentially during intake or early in the counseling process so they can participate from a position of informed consent.
  • When the condition of a client is indicative of clear and imminent danger to the client or to others, CC staff will take reasonable personal action that may involve informing responsible authorizes, and when possible, consulting with other professionals. CC staff members will be cognizant of pertinent ethical principles, state or federal statutes, and local mental health guidelines that stipulate the limits of confidentiality.
  • Information should be released only at the written request or concurrence of a client who has full knowledge of the nature of the information that is being released and of the parties to whom it is released. Instances of limited confidentiality should be clearly articulated.
  • The CC will maintain records in a confidential and secure manner adhere to CC procedures to monitor access, use, and maintenance of the records.


CC staff members will be knowledgeable about and responsive to laws and regulations that relate to their respective responsibilities and that may pose legal obligations, limitations, or ramifications for Fredonia as a whole. As appropriate, CC staff members will inform users of programs and services, as well as officials, of legal obligations and limitations including constitutional, statutory, regulatory, and case law; mandatory laws and orders emanating from federal, state, and local governments; and SUNY Fredonia’s policies.

  • The CC will have written policies on all relevant operations, transactions, or tasks that may have legal implications.
  • CC staff members neither participate in nor condone any form of harassment or activity that demeans persons or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive campus environment.
  • CC staff members use reasonable and informed practice to limit liability exposure of the institution and its officers, employee, and agents. CC staff members will be informed about institutional policies regarding risk management, personal liability, and related insurance coverage options.


CC services will be provided on a fair, equitable, and non-discriminatory basis in accordance with institutional policies and with all applicable state and federal statutes and regulations. CC staff members will maintain an educational and work environment free from discrimination in accordance with law and institutional policy.

  • Discrimination will be avoided on the basis of age; cultural heritage; disability’ ethnicity; gender identity and expression; nationality; political affiliation; sex; sexual orientation; economic, marital, social, or veteran status; and any other bases included in local, state, or federal laws.
  • Consistent with the CC mission and goals, the CC administration will take action to remedy significant imbalances in student participation and staff patterns.
  • The CC ensures physical and program access for persons with disabilities.


Within the context of Fredonia’s mission, the CC will create and nurture environments that are welcoming to and bring together persons of diverse backgrounds.

  • The CC will promote environments that are characterized by open and continuous communication that deepens understanding of one’s own identity, culture, and heritage, as well as that of others. The CC will recognize, honor, educate, and promote respect about commonalities and differences among people within their historical and cultural contexts.
  • The CC will address the characteristics and needs of a diverse population when establishing and implementing policies and procedures.


To promote student learning and development outcomes, the CC will be structured purposefully and managed effectively to achieve stated goals. Evidence of appropriate structure must include current and accessible policies and procedures, written performance expectations for all employees, functional workflow graphics/organizational charts, and clearly stated program and service delivery expectations.

  • The CC will monitor websites used for distributing information to ensure that the sites are current, accurate, appropriately referenced, and accessible.
  • Evidence of effective management will include use of comprehensive and accurate information for decisions, clear sources and channels of authority, effective communication practices, procedures for decision-making and conflict resolution, responses to changing conditions, systems of accountability, and evaluation, and processes for recognition and reward. The CC will align policies and procedures with those of Fredonia and provide channels within the organization for regular review.


The CC will reach out to relevant individuals, campus offices, and external agencies to:

  • Establish, maintain, and promote effective relations
  • Disseminate information about our own and other related programs and services
  • Coordinate and collaborate, where appropriate, in offering programs and services to meet the needs of students and promote their achievement of student learning and development outcomes
  • The CC will have procedures and guidelines consistent with Fredonia policy for handling threats, emergencies, and crisis situations.


The CC will have adequate technology to support our mission. The technology and its use will comply with Fredonia policies and procedures and be evaluated for compliance with relevant federal, state and local requirements.

The CC will maintain policies and procedures that address the security and back up of data. Technology will be accessible and will meet established technology standards for delivery to persons with disabilities.

When the CC provides student access to technology, we will provide:

  • Access to policies that are clear, easy to understand, and available to all students
  • Access to instruction/training on how to use the technology
  • Access to information on the legal and ethical implications of misuse {see standards page 30}


The CC will have adequate, accessible, suitably located facilities and equipment to support our mission and goals.

  • CC staff members will have work space that is well-equipped, adequate in size, and designed to support their work and responsibilities. For conversations requiring privacy, staff members will have access to a private space.
  • The design of CC facilities will guarantee the security of records and ensure the confidentiality of sensitive information.
  • The location and layout of the CC will be sensitive to the special needs of persons with disabilities as well as the needs of constituencies served.
  • The CC will ensure that staff members are knowledgeable of and trained in safety and emergency procedures for securing and vacating the facilities.
  • The CC will maintain a physical and social environment that facilitates optimal functioning and insures appropriate confidentiality.


The CC will establish systematic plans and processes to meet internal and external accountability expectations with regard to program as well as student learning and development outcomes. The CC will conduct regular assessment and evaluations. Assessment will include qualitative and quantitative methodologies as appropriate, to determine whether and to what degree the stated mission, goals, and student learning and development outcomes are being met. The process will employ sufficient and sound measures to ensure comprehensiveness. Data collected will include responses from students and other affected constituencies.

  • The CC will evaluate regularly how well we complement and enhance the institution’s stated mission and educational effectiveness.
  • Results of these evaluations will be used in revising and improving programs and services, identifying needs and interests in shaping directions of program and service design and recognizing staff performance.


It is the policy of the State University of New York to provide equal opportunity in employment for all qualified persons, to prohibit discrimination in employment, and to participate in the promotion of the full realization of equal employment opportunity through outreach programs as reflected in affirmative action plans.

To support organizational excellence, the university conducts background screens on applicants. An affirmative action/equal opportunity employer, SUNY Fredonia encourages and actively seeks applications from minorities, women, and people with disabilities.


After-hours Coverage
Expectations of Staff On-call
After-hours Hospitalizations
Mandated Clients
Sexual Assault and Interpersonal Violence Referrals
Suicidal Students
Paperwork Expectations of Staff
Staff Interns
Paperwork Expectations for Clients
Crisis/Scheduling – Absence
Medication Requests
Appointment types
Campus Emergencies
Time Off Requests / Coverage
Group Therapy
Continuing Education
Scheduling Appointments



  •  Academic Affairs
  •  Advancement
  •  Financial
  •  Governance
  •  ITS
  •  Operational
  •  Personnel
  •  School/College
  •  Student Life