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Student Services - Counseling Center

Catalog and Student Handbook

A professional counseling staff is available to assist students in solving problems which may interfere with their academic progress at Germanna. Contact Counseling Services at Germanna’s locations for availability and hours of operation. Students may make appointments with a specific counselor or walk in and be seen by the first available counselor. Online counseling is accessible from the home page on Germanna’s web site by clicking on the "Online Chat" link. Please visit the Counseling Services’ web site on Germanna’s home page for additional information.

Orientation – Students are required to complete an Orientation session before registering for classes. Orientation sessions are designed to introduce students to the College, provide essential information on programs and course selection, and present available support services necessary for student success. Students may complete Orientation in person or online. Dual Enrollment students are not required to complete Orientation until after they complete their secondary program. Students who intend to enroll for 15 credits or less are not required to complete Orientation. Students who have already completed an Associate Degree or Bachelor’s degree are not required to complete Orientation. Transfer students who can demonstrate that they transferred in academic good standing from their previous institution are not required to complete Orientation.

Academic and Career Planning: Academic and vocational plans, goals, and opportunities may be discussed and explored with a counselor. Careful consideration is given to motivation, abilities, aptitudes and past achievements, when assisting a student to select a program. Appropriate assessments and inventories, including Virginia Educational Wizard, and other computerized career guidance programs are also available to help in decision making.

Career Development Services: Counseling Center Services provides resources for students who are seeking assistance with career development concerns. College Central Network is a web-based resource which can allow students to develop resumes, search for jobs in the local area and learn ways to develop an effective career plan for the future. All career services are available free of charge to employers, currently enrolled students, alumni and community members. Students are encouraged to make an appointment to use these services to ensure that personnel are available to provide assistance and direction. Contact Counseling Services to schedule an appointment. Additional information on career development may be found on the Counseling Center’s web site on Germanna’s home page.

Personal: Sometimes college students may be confronted with new and perplexing situations which create pressures and anxieties that require professional assistance. The counselors are trained to give individual help on a strictly confidential basis. Appropriate referrals are made when necessary.

Early Alert/Academic Intervention: When students encounter difficulty in keeping up with their courses, or struggle with assignments, attendance, or performing on tests, Counselors are there to help. Germanna uses an early alert system which allows faculty to refer struggling students to Counseling services for support and assistance. Counselors reach out to these students to offer to provide motivation, offer practical suggestions, refer students to resources, and assist students in developing an academic improvement plan. Students are urged to frequently check their Germanna email for early alert follow-up messages to help them be successful and ultimately reach their goals.

Support Groups: The counselors provide group counseling experiences for students when there is interest and when this type of experience is considered beneficial (for example, test anxiety, Disabilities Support Group, Veterans’ support, etc.). Students may contact the Counseling Center if they are interested in initiating and/or participating in a support group.

Veterans’ Support Counseling: Germanna is proud to support our military students and their families. College can be a wonderful opportunity for Veterans but it can also present challenges that students should not have to face alone. Germanna has established a Veterans’ Center where the Counselor for Veterans’ Support is located. The Veterans’ Counselor is on staff to answer questions, provide support and help students successfully maneuver through their program at Germanna.

Student Development Course requirement: All curricular students, except those in career studies certificate programs, must take a Student Development course in their first semester of enrollment at Germanna Community College. Student development courses are designed primarily to foster student success. The courses assist students in developing and practicing skills and strategies which promote a successful college experience. The requirement may be met through course substitution for students who hold an Associate Degree or Bachelor’s Degree from a regionally accredited institution. Transfer students who have completed a minimum of 24 credit hours may gain credit for SDV 100 by taking the SDV Assessment by Local Examination (ABLE) test.

Testing: A variety of tests, inventories, and assessment tools are available in Counseling Services By recommendation of a counselor, tests are used as a resource tool in the counseling process. Tests for determining career interests, for measuring study habits and attitudes, as well as educational ability levels are available. These tools can help students better understand themselves, their interests, motivations, abilities, and occupational and life goals. Frequently, tests are recommended by the counselor during conference, but they are also available upon request.

Academic Advising: The counseling staff provides assistance in program selection for new students and academic planning for undecided and non-degree students.

Transfer Planning: Counselors are available to help students plan for transferring to another college. The transfer webpage on the Germanna website includes links to transfer guides and information regarding Germanna’s Guaranteed Admissions Agreements. In addition, a transfer timeline is available to assist students in the planning process. Materials and books which provide profiles of American colleges, and computers to utilize the Virginia Education Wizard, are also available in the Counseling Center. These materials will allow the student to carefully plan a transfer program. The counselors can help weigh factors to be considered in making transfer choices (for example, admissions standards, school size, application deadlines, number of hours and courses accepted for transferring, etc.). A "College Tour" is scheduled annually in the Fall Semester. Representatives from most Virginia four year colleges and some from other states will visit Germanna to discuss their colleges with interested students. Many four-year schools also offer individual advising sessions at Germanna and even on-the-spot acceptance decisions.