Campus and academic resource centers at East Carolina University continue to offer a variety of services and remain available for student use as the Pirates make their return for the spring 2022 semester.
The Center for Counseling and Student Development (CCSD) will operate similar to the fall 2021 semester, CCSD Director Valerie Kisler-van Reede said,and counseling sessions will remain virtual until further notice. However, Kisler-van Reede said the center anticipates a possible return to face-to-face services at some point during the spring semester.
The CCSD has provided telehealth therapy and crisis interventionservices to students and faculty since March 2020, Kisler-van Reede said. She said the CCSD will continue the My Student Support Program which is available 24/7 with live text or phone chat that offers counseling and support options this spring. Kisler-van Reede said students can find more options on the CCSD website.
“To get connected with our services, you make a phone call to the counseling center, our front office staff gathers your information and then passes that along to our urgent support counselors who will call the student back,” Kisler-van Reede said.
In addition to the counseling center, students have access to the Pirate Academic Success Center (PASC) located in the Old Cafeteria Complex. PASC Director Elizabeth Coghill said the center offers free tutoring, study groups, academic skills coaching and other learning opportunities for ECU enrolled students.
During the fall semester, Coghill said that she received several remarks from students that in-person services were preferred. She said this opportunity is expected to return in the spring 2022 semester.
Coghill said the PASC is involved in a few initiatives for the spring 2022 semester, including a sophomore support program for those who did not perform well their freshman year due to the COVID-19 digital environment. She said the PASC offers student journey mapping, a program that looks closely at the freshman year experience starting from the point of admission.
“We’re really first designed to support first and second year students and help them get strong skill sets and strong, great performance so that they’re able to get into their majors and be successful,” Coghill said.
Senior business major Sydney Venezia said as a mentor for underclassmen and an employee in the PASC call center, she has been working at the PASC since spring 2021. Venezia said she enjoys both roles at the center because she can help take the stress off of students.
Aside from academics, Venezia said mental health support is a top priority when she communicates with students, especially considering the stressors freshmen face while they adapt to college. She said it is crucial for her to try and get to know her mentees on a personal level to further ease their transition into their first year.
“So I meet with them (students) once a week and basically just guide them, help them. Like with the freshmen, I give them tips on how to be successful in college and help them get adjusted for the spring,” Venezia said.
Rebecca Johnson, assistant director of the University Writing Center, said the writing center helps enrolled students of all majors and grade levels with their writing. She said the center is not there to edit students' papers, but it is there to guide students through the writing and revision process.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Johnson said the writing center has increased its popularity with online appointments being favored by students. The writing center will return to operation on Jan. 10 and will remain strictly virtual until Jan. 24, on which date the center will resume face-to-face services for students, she said.
The University Writing Center operates in two locations on campus, one inside Joyner library and the other in Laupus library. Johnson said at the beginning of every session the consultant will take time to get to know the student and their class to determine the goals for that particular session.
“We are really here to support the students and whatever they think is most important for that session,” Johnson said.