The UW Oshkosh Counseling Center has been accredited by the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS), which is considered the highest standard available for campus counseling centers.
UWO Counseling Center director Sandra Cox said accreditation is a formal process that provides awareness of the work done by the counseling center staff.
“Accreditation means we have guidelines and standards to ensure we provide quality services and best practice programs and services,” Cox said. “IACS provides those standards and peer reviews to ensure we are meeting the highest standards of university counseling services and to provide feedback and support to continue to grow.”
Cox said they began transforming their services a few years ago to be in-line with the best practices and standards and completed an extensive application for review.
“After the application approval, we were approved for the second step of a site visit by IACS accreditors to delve deeper into how we function, the services we provide students and the outcomes of our work with students at UWO,” Cox said. “After we passed the site visit, we were reviewed by the IACS board and received approval for accreditation.”
Cox said accreditation is valuable because a widespread association supports the work of the counseling center.
“This is important because it means that the national organization that creates the standards and best practices for university counseling centers endorses the work of the counseling center at UWO,” Cox said. “It also provides important ongoing feedback for national benchmarking and best practices and standards.”
Cox said the counseling center has a positive impact on the well-being and success of students.
“An accredited college counseling center ensures that we continue to grow in our services, validates the good work we do and assists in accountability for the work we do with students,” Cox said. “This is all very good for students for quality services at our center.”
UWO staff counselor Kristine Campbell said she is proud of the Counseling Center for this achievement.
“I can say that I’m very happy with our accreditation and the services we’re able to provide to our students,” Campbell said.
Cox said the IACS was pleased with the Counseling Center’s techniques and invited them to share their methods.
“I think it’s important to note that the feedback we received indicated that they were very impressed with our team and encouraged us to promote our wellness approach and services to other university counseling centers,” Cox said. “They viewed us as a model for new best practices in a wellness approach.”
UWO acting Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Art Munin said this is another accolade that indicates how much thoughtful planning goes into creating services that help enable student success.
“This should communicate to students that the services offered at the Counseling Center are of the highest quality,” Munin said. “Our staff of counselors are dedicated to offering the absolute best care and support to our UW Oshkosh community.”
Munin said the accreditation indicates the staff provides excellent resources for students.
“This incredible achievement reflects the stellar leadership of Sandy Cox as the director of the Counseling Center,” Munin said. “Under her leadership and with the hard work of her amazing staff, the Counseling Center has become a vital support service for students at UW Oshkosh.”