Four Essential Counseling Skills for Entry-Level Student Affairs Professionals

Course Length


Four Essential Counseling Skills for Entry-Level Student Affairs Professionals

Learn how to apply essential counseling skills while assisting students with mental health concerns.


Recognizing students who are in crisis or who are exhibiting mental health concerns is one thing; being comfortable assisting these students with the skills you possess in this area is another. We will explore these skills as well as those needed to properly work with current social justice issues presented in higher ed today. Join Dr. Ann Marie Klotz, Dean of Campus Life at New York Institute of Technology, to learn and practice counseling skills that will help you address a broad spectrum of mental health concerns. Case study scenarios and resources for practice will be shared!

Who should attend?

  • Entry-level student affairs professionals
  • Supervisors of entry-level professionals
  • Student Affairs graduate preparation program faculty
  • VPs of Student Affairs



  • Why are counseling skills important for entry level SA pros?
    • How SA grad prep programs have shifted away
    • How are folks getting referred to us
  • Understanding mental health on college campuses
  • Essential skill #1: Recognizing serious mental health issues before they become too serious
  • Essential skill #2: Understanding your limitations and capabilities
  • Essential skill #3: Listening, empathy, and asking good questions
  • Essential skill #4: Debrief with supervisor and follow-up with community
  • Resources for practicing these skills


Why This Program? Why Now?

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) shares that nearly 75% of students will experience a mental health crisis while in college, and roughly 25% of students on campus live with a diagnosable mental health condition. A gap in training may exist for those who have not had formalized graduate counseling skill training, or for those who have had a few years away from this training. In entry-level student affairs work, 25-50% of your time may be spent working with students who are experiencing a variety of mental health issues. This in mind, it is critical that all entry-level student affairs professionals are comfortable assisting students with mental health concerns.