Community College Counseling Gains

A new study provides evidence of slow and steady recognition that mental health services matter at two-year colleges.

Data from the American College Counseling Association show that even as their enrollments have swelled, community college counseling centers continue to have proportionally fewer resources than do their counterparts at four-year institutions.

But the study by the association's Community College Task Force also reveals that two-year institutions, on balance, are increasing staffing at their counseling centers and providing more and better mental health counseling to students than they were just two years earlier.

The survey of about counselors at about 200 community colleges in 43 states is a companion to the National Survey of College Counseling that the counseling group publishes each year. Data about two-year institutions are harder to come by, and in many ways community college administrators view counseling centers differently from their peers at four-year colleges, expecting them to provide academic and career counseling as well as mental health services.

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