Last month, the Online Counseling Network invited me to present in a series of webinars about how colleges are using ConexED to increase student access to online counseling and advising. As a counselor/instructor for the Disabled Student Resource Center at Chabot College, I shared the following insights about how my department is using the ConexED platform.
For students who have a disability or illness, coming to campus can be a barrier. Online counseling makes it possible for students of all abilities to participate in college support services.
ConexEd enables a more robust experience than emailing back and forth or discussing needs over the phone. The platform has many features that allow counselors to not only interact meaningfully with students but to facilitate learning. They include the following:
Counseling students with disabilities online can be intimidating because you have to learn how to navigate e-learning tools while still meeting students’ unique needs. Many of us have a style for conducting face-to-face counseling sessions, and it takes time to establish a style using a virtual platform.
With practice and intentional effort, you can easily replicate methods used for face-to-face appointments in an online environment. Here are three steps you can take to start adapting your on-campus style for online advising:
When I started at Chabot College, only two counselors were using ConexED to counsel students. Since then, I’ve had the privilege of working with my DSPS director to expand our online counseling services.
I’ve recently been working on proposals for conference presentations to demonstrate this new way of working with our student population online. I’ve also presented at campus-wide committee meetings, Flex-day, training activities, and have collaborated with other campus departments that want to start using ConexED.
My goal at Chabot College is to help the whole campus replicate on-campus services for an online environment. This will expand services for every student, while providing more equitable access to students of all abilities.
As an educator in post-secondary education, I understand that technology is the way of the future. With ConexED, I can eliminate barriers and do more to help students with their personal and academic growth.
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