The Student Development Center, located in Joan Weill Student Center #017, provides students with confidential counseling, personal development, substance abuse services, prevention information and health education at Paul Smith’s. All services are free to students of the College.
The Counseling activities of the office are designed to help students better understand themselves, deal with important decisions, and resolve personal, social, career and academic problems that can interfere with their educational goals. Services include counseling (for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationships, family concerns, grief, academic concerns, etc.) Crisis intervention, referrals, choosing majors, setting career goals, and making career changes. The office works with Health Services or off-campus providers should the student require medication. Support and educational counseling for alcohol and other drugs is available. Additional services include workshops such as stress management and freshman transition, support groups (eating disorders, gay/lesbian/bisexual awareness, mindfulness and personal growth) prevention campaigns, a newsletter, and residence hall programming. The office provides a reporting source, advocacy, and support for rape and sexual harassment, and will help students to file charges if they wish to do so. If students would prefer to use counseling services off campus, the Center provides referrals.
The Student Development Center also coordinates non-academic services to students with special needs. It aids in obtaining documentation and accommodations for psychiatric concerns, working closely with the Center for Accommodative Services to provide counseling and/or any non-academic accommodations that might be required. It is a point of contact for requests for medical accommodations for housing and for medical withdrawals.
The office provides health education information and programs on issues such as substances, safer sex, mental health issues, and stress, as well as facilitating the College’s chapter of Bacchus and Gamma peer educators. This group conducts workshops on issues such as harassment, sexual health, rape, substances, relationships and communication. They also encourage wellness and healthy activities, and work to build community at the college. Peer Educators receive special training which enables them to become Nationally Certified Bacchus and Gamma Peer Educators.
The SAFE Program (Substance Assessment for Education) is a program of individual assessment and education for students who have had at least one alcohol or other drug violation. The purpose of the program is to keep the student enrolled if possible, and to prevent substances from interfering with the student’s academic and life goals. Neither an AA program, a punishment, nor an assumption that the student has a serious problem with drugs and/or alcohol, SAFE is an assessment with a counselor which helps students to look at their decisions to use substances, evaluate that use, make informed decisions, recognize abusive behavior, and give them information. The program may be individual or in a group setting and may involve outside evaluation. If long-term treatment is required, the student usually deals with this concern at home.
*Note: Entering students with counseling or documented special needs are encouraged to contact the Student Development Center as soon as possible after admission for assistance in obtaining counseling and any non-academic accommodations required. Questions of a confidential nature may also be addressed to the Center before admission.