The SCS is committed to excellence in training within the context of our comprehensive service delivery system that offers clinical, career, training and developmental/preventive services to a diverse university community while honoring the mission, vision, and values of the agency.
The philosophy of the SCS reflects the belief that the delivery of high quality counseling services, the professional development of staff, and the formal training of pre-professionals are intimately intertwined. The historical commitment to training is extensive, and occurs at several levels, including masters and doctoral-level practicum trainees, doctoral psychology interns, new staff supervision for licensure, and the ongoing professional development of our staff.
In mid-March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated changes to clinical service delivery, outreach/programming initiatives, and administrative operations at Student Counseling Services (SCS). All clinical (except group therapy) and outreach services were transitioned to online delivery using a HIPAA compliant Zoom platform. In addition, all meetings, training seminars, supervision sessions, case conferences, and professional development activities were also transitioned to an online format. Illinois State University has been closely following the State of Illinois five phase Restore Illinois plan for guidance regarding the safe re-opening of campus for the fall 2020 semester. Provided that the state of Illinois meets the requirements for transitioning into Phase Four of the plan during the summer of 2020, it is anticipated that the university will utilize a hybrid (mix of online and in-person classes) model for the 2020 fall semester. Some students will return to campus while others may choose to stay home and take classes online. Nevertheless, Student Counseling Services will continue to deliver both clinical and outreach services via a HIPAA compliant Zoom platform as the default modality. The group therapy program is expected to resume in the fall 2020 semester. One change to the training program is that the elective crisis rotation may not be available as it requires in-person contact with students and university personnel. Many SCS staff (those without personal risk factors or family-related concerns) will return to the office in the fall of 2020, but will continue to deliver services through Zoom. All meetings, supervision sessions, training seminars etc will also be conducted via Zoom with staff remaining in their individual offices. In any common areas, cloth face coverings must be worn. If staff members wish to remove their cloth face covering while in their own offices, they are permitted to do so. Commonly used areas will be subjected to additional cleaning measures, disinfecting wipes and one cloth face covering will be provided to all staff and trainees, and certain high-touch areas will be restricted. Illinois State University will continue to follow the benchmarks for the Restore Illinois plan. This means that if infection rates climb the state may revert to prior phases, which may necessitate more staff and trainees working from home. In that case, University-issued laptops and access to all clinical applications will be provided to staff and trainees. However, internet access will not be provided by the University; therefore, individuals are responsible for ensuring they have a reliable and secure Internet connection. During the uncertainty caused by COVID-19, there have not been any budgetary threats to our internship, externship, or postdoctoral residency programs and at this time, we do not expect there to be.