11. Mentoring and Referrals

Mentoring: Mentoring is an important function, one which is distinct from disciplinary or general advisement. Mentors act as friends and guides for freshmen who are finding their footing in a new environment; for high achieving students who are exploring challenging new areas; and for students in academic difficulty who need mature counsel and support. Mentoring is a demanding and rewarding activity. All professionals, and teaching faculty in particular, are encouraged to become undergraduate mentors. If you are interested, please contact Dr. Carson Carr in the Office of Academic Support Services.

Referrals from Advisement: Sometimes it becomes clear during advisement or mentoring that a student is having serious difficulties. They may be academic in nature, or they may be personal, involving problems with family, suitemates, or relationships. Sometimes substance abuse is an issue. In all such cases, the following actions are appropriate: first, urge the student to seek help; second, advise the student on where to seek help; and third, make a direct contact with the appropriate office—for example, the Counseling Services Center or Academic Support Services—for advice on how to connect the student with appropriate resources. You should also be aware that the Counseling Services Center has several publications that are available through its Counseling Matters home page on the Web at http://www.albany.edu/counseling_center/. One source that you may find particularly helpful is the Guide for Faculty and Staff, at http://www.albany.edu/counseling_center/faculty.shtml.