Chancellor addresses Counseling Center fee

The Counseling Center offers support for students with and without insurance.
Austin Chasse | The Scribe
Nov. 2, 2015

Hannah Harvey
[email protected]

On Oct. 15, the chancellor’s forum “Student Conversation with the Chancellor” raised the topic of the $15 fee charged to students at the Counseling Center.

Mykinthia Ebron, student and senator of Letters, Arts and Sciences for student government, said she was surprised to learn that there is a $15 fee for appointments at the Counseling Center. She brought the topic up at the forum, and later explained her concern.

“I was a little turned off by this and it kinda put me in shock,” said Ebron.

“I think that the first two or three appointments should be free, at least the first one and maybe a follow-up appointment,” she added.

Chancellor Pamela Shockley-Zalabak said she was unaware of the fee and its purpose at the time of the forum, but has since found answers to the question.

“There is a $15 fee. That’s a copay because a student doesn’t have Student Health Insurance or they have another insurance. Most visits of that type have copays,” said Shockley-Zalabak.

If students have insurance provided by the school, they are eligible for free appointments. But this depends on if you are on the Clyde’s Care Plan or Student Health Insurance.

Those with Clyde’s Care receive the first six visits to the Counseling Center for free and then must pay the $15 fee.

“Most students don’t have the school’s insurance,” Ebron said. “For those that don’t, it would be really helpful for them to have a couple free sessions.”

Even if students cannot pay the fee, they will not be turned away.

“We never turn anyone if they cannot pay. We make case-by-case financial agreements”, said Benek Altayli, director of the Counseling Center.

According to Altayli, the fee is not without purpose, as it seeks to provide a high standard of care for those who need it.

“There are several different operational functions the fee helps us to cover. It also helps us to work with disabilities services to provide care for students who may also have a disability,” said Altayli.

The fee also provides funding to purchase tests that are used to diagnose patients. In addition, this fee allows the Counseling Center to hire post-doctoral professionals to help those in need of treatment.

Shockley-Zalabak also explained the different wait times for students seeking counseling.

“(There is a) three to four week waiting period for non-crisis counseling, but crisis counseling (cases) get in immediately.” she said.

Students who want to make an appointment at the Counseling Center can call 719-255-3265 or visit the center at 324 Main Hall.