A student on academic probation informs me that they have been seeing a counselor. Can I reach out to that counselor to obtain more information regarding the student’s needs?
Yes. You can reach out to a counselor, but the counselor cannot provide any information (or even confirm or deny that they are seeing/ have seen a student) unless the student has signed a release of information specifically designating the type of information to be shared.
A teacher complains to me that a student is creating a problem in the classroom and the teacher would like help with the student. Can I request that a counselor come to a meeting to discuss this specific student’s needs, and academic plan?
Yes and no. If the student has signed a release of information and requested that the counselor attends a meeting to advocate for the student then it is appropriate for a counselor to attend the meeting as a student advocate. A counselor can still attend the meeting and provide general consultation regarding potential general classroom management strategies and accommodations but the counselor cannot discuss a student or provide information about a student without a specific release.
A student is having a behavioral problem in class. Can I refer the student for counseling?
Yes, but counselors cannot perform disciplinary actions and counseling should not be part of a disciplinary consequence. Follow up regarding a student’s participation and progress in counseling will only occur at a student’s explicit request, once a release of information has been signed. A student has the right to refuse to release this information. Please note that this is also a situation where a B.I.T. report should be submitted.
A student is currently acting out in class and is creating a safety hazard for the teacher and the other students in the class. Can I contact a counselor to come handle this situation?
No. In a situation involving the immediate safety of students and staff/faculty campus security or 911 should be immediately contacted. According to Washington State law, counselors are prevented from practicing outside of their areas of competence.
A student tells me that they are fantasizing about suicide. Should I refer the student to a counselor?
Yes. Immediately. Our counselors can offer resources and support to assist students with these feelings.
So what exactly is the role of a counselor?
First and foremost our counselor’s role is to support the mental health and academic well-being of students at Seattle Central. Additionally, counselors provide consultation to teachers regarding general and effective classroom management strategies, they can advocate for students (with permission) at individual education plan meetings, student study teams, review boards, etc.
Communicating with counselors via electronic communication
If a faculty member would like to consult with a counselor regarding a student they have concerns about in their class, please do not send an email with student identifiers in the message. Our counselors will not respond. Please send a generic message without identifiers, as email is not a confidential form of communication.
Referring a student in crisis
If there is a student in crisis, please contact the front desk of the Counseling Center for immediate response rather than contacting your department counselor directly. Admin will be able to dispatch messages accordingly. If for any reason you are not able to reach our front desk, please walk the student over to the Counseling Center or contact security at 206.934.5442.
Counseling Center, Room BE 3166
M – F, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
For emergencies after hours, please call 911, campus security at 206.934.5442 and/or the King County Crisis Connections at 866.427.4747.