REFERRING STUDENTS: A GUIDE FOR FACULTY & STAFF
(Download this Guide [PDF])
The Counseling Center is one of several units
within the Division of Student Affairs & Enrollment Management. We offer
individual and group counseling to the Baruch community. Our services are
all confidential and free of charge. We are
located on the 9th Floor at 137 East 25th Street (Annex building -
west of the Library building). To schedule an appointment, you
can call the Counseling Center at (646) 312-2155 or e-mail us
We are open Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 8:30 pm and
Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Please call during regular business
hours to schedule an evening appointment.
Services offered by the Counseling Center
The Counseling Center is staffed by licensed psychologists,
supervised trainees, and psychiatrists. Our staff helps students
define and achieve their personal and academic goals. Personal
problems can range from common struggles such as difficulty establishing
social supports, difficulty adjusting to a new country, difficulty
meeting academic demands, time management, test anxiety, frequent
absences, to more sever mental illnesses such as aggressive behaviors,
depression with suicidal ideation, panic attacks and other anxiety
disorders that can seriously impair a person's functioning. Our
psychiatrics provide consultations on students who present with
sever mental illness and prescribe medication to these students
In addition to one-on-one counseling sessions, group sessions,
and psychiatric consultations, the Counseling Center offers workshops,
video screenings, and discussion groups. Topics of previous workshops
have included Assertiveness, Procrastination, Stress Reduction,
Test Anxiety, Asian Students and Cultural Adjustment.
Who can use the Counseling Center?
The Counseling Center offers professional services to anyone
who is currently enrolled and registered as an undergraduate
or graduate student at Baruch College. Baruch faculty, staff
and alumni may be seen for consultation and referral. Non-degree
and non-matriculated Baruch students are also seen for consultation
If you are concerned about a student, please contact
Dr. Cheng or Dr. Kasnakian at 646-312-2155 for a consultation.
We will help you assess the seriousness of the student's behavior,
guide you on how to approach the student to voice your concern,
and explain how you can refer them to the Center. Your attention
to the student can have the most favorable impact on their decision
to get help.
Basic Guidelines for a Referral:
The following are basic guidelines on assessing a student's
need for counseling and the steps you can take to refer them
to the Center.
1. Be alert to signs of difficulty:
- Mood: Extreme sadness, anxiety, anger, mood
- Physical signs: Deteriorated grooming or
physical state; pronounced weight changes; signs of substance
abuse: dilated pupils, unsteady gait, slurred words, liquor on
- Performance: Concentration difficulties,
deteriorated performance, unexplained lateness or absences.
- Social behavior: Extreme or inappropriate
withdrawal or dependency
- Speech: Irrational or unusually rapid or
slow speech; alludes to problems, worthless or guilty feelings,
death or suicide
- NOTE: You don't have to pry to detect such
difficulties. Usually students signal their distress quite clearly.
2. Take such signs seriously. Don’t disregard what you've
3. If possible, meet privately with the student. Allow sufficient
time for the meeting.
4. Point out specifically the signs you've observed. Say you’re
concerned, and ask what's wrong:
"I want to talk to you because I notice you've been late
recently, you never participate in class anymore, and you seem
troubled. I'm concerned about you. What's wrong?"
5. Discourage quick dismissals ("I'm fine—it’s
nothing.") Say you really want to know what's wrong.
6. Listen to the student's explanation. Be open-minded about
what you hear.
7. Decide if the problem is a false alarm, an "ordinary" problem,
or an emergency:
A false alarm means that the student apparently
doesn't have a problem, or already is in treatment to work on
the problem. With false alarms, you needn't do anything further.
An "ordinary" problem is anything
that troubles the student but falls short of an emergency—the
student’s basic safety is not endangered. With ordinary
problems follow these steps:
a) Inform the student about College Counseling Service:
"Did you know we have professional counselors on campus
to help with problems like yours? The Counseling Center is located
at the Annex building on the 9th floor. You can call or stop
by to schedule an appointment."
b) If necessary, address the student's fears about counseling:
"Going to a counselor doesn't mean you’re crazy
or weak. It's a sign of health to recognize and get help for
"All sessions at the college Counseling Center is confidential
and free of charge."
"The counselors at the Counseling Center are trained
professionals. They've worked with thousands of students."
"If you don't like the counselor you saw last time, I'm
sure you can see a different counselor this time."
c) Respect the student's decision about counseling. If the
student doesn't go now, he or she may reconsider later.
An emergency means that the student's basic
safety is jeopardized. Examples are severe eating disorders,
severe substance abuse, and suicidal urges. Follow these steps:
a) If possible, make an appointment with the student in your
office or walk the student over to Counseling.
b) Whether or not you can set up an appointment, call Dr.
David Cheng (Director) or Dr. Caroline Kasnakian (Assistant Director)
at (646) 312-2155 to explain the problem.
8. If you have questions about referrals or about a difficult
student, don't hesitate to call Dr. Cheng or Dr. Kasnakian.
9. To find out if a student kept an appointment, ask the student
to report to you afterward. (Usually students are honest about
this.) Since counseling is confidential, Counseling can't tell
you about appointments—unless of course it's an emergency.
Baruch Counseling: Your well-being is our first priority.