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Increasing Student Access to Support Resources

Student Life has continued to increase the availability of virtual services and support, following the initial onset of COVID-19 in 2020. Ensuring that all students can access services and classes has become a top priority so that they can thrive, no matter if they are located near campus, across the state or nation, or even worldwide.

Student Disability Services (SDS) ensures classes and all parts of campus are accessible to all students. SDS continues to serve more students by providing accommodations such as note taking services, test proctoring, interpreting and transcribing services, among many others. The staff also present to student groups, campus partners, and faculty about accessibility and advocacy. More than 1,000 students became newly registered with SDS in 2021–22, an increase of 20 percent from the previous year, leading to an increase in nearly all of the services provided by SDS staff.

“Thank you for making me feel validated, giving me resources, and helping me troubleshoot to actually fix problems instead of just alleviating symptoms. I feel confident that these accommodations should help me, and I truly appreciate you advocating for me.”

—student receiving accommodations through SDS

The Student Counseling Center and the Student Health Center (SHC) have enhanced the way students access critical services, whether they are on or off campus. The Student Health Center and the Student Counseling Center quickly adopted new HIPAA-compliant technology to reach students through telehealth appointments. Virtual appointments allow campus providers to meet with students for one-time or regular appointments whether that student is in their residence hall, at home, or even in a designated space for a telehealth appointment in the Student Counseling Center if they need a secure space but don’t want to be seen face-to-face. 

92% of students surveyed were pleased that the Student Counseling Center offered both in-person and telehealth sessions.

Since 2020, the mental health support needs of college students shifted drastically. This shift has also been seen on our campus, with the Student Counseling Center experiencing a drastic increase in demand for appointments. More than 12,416 appointments over 12 months were made by 3,193 unique students through telehealth and in-person sessions during the 2021–22 academic year. Telehealth and virtual appointments expanded capacity and allowed staff to meet with more students who were seeking out mental health services. To meet the higher demand, the center increased its team, leading to more manageable wait times for student appointments. The Student Counseling Center continues to partner with other departments on campus, such as the Student Union, to provide students with quiet and private locations to have their appointments if they didn’t otherwise have a space to do so.

The staff of the Student Health Center played a significant role during the year, continuing to serve as the main health authority on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Student Health Center staff continued to provide students and staff with education about the ongoing pandemic, delivering guidance on minimizing the risk of potential transmission, and leading the campus response for quarantining responsibly in order to reduce the risk of transmission of illness to others. As a result of these efforts, 98 percent of students surveyed indicated they were satisfied with the Student Health Center’s ability to treat and provide COVID-19-related education and services. 

98% of students surveyed were satisfied with the Student Health Center’s ability to treat and provide COVID-19-related education and services.

Similar to the Student Counseling Center, the Student Health Center was able to expand its services to students by implementing a telehealth option over the past few years. More than 95 percent of students surveyed after receiving expanded telehealth services at SHC reported they were “greatly satisfied” or “satisfied” with the center’s online accessibility to healthcare providers. Making healthcare accessible to students leads to more students being seen and served, and helps create a healthier campus for everyone.