According to the Chabot website, we currently have 20 counselors available to the 13,875 registered students on campus. This number includes adjunct counselors and counselors assistants. Students have had to wait weeks, or longer, to see a counselor. Though satisfaction is reportedly moderate, suggestions for improvement have been made, and the need for additional resources is apparent.
Student Senate SSCC Student Trustee Juliet Garcia says, “I’ve always been in Puente. So I’ve never had to use the counseling in 700. Special program counseling is better because counselors in 700 give a lot of general information, they don’t have the time. Special program counselors really get to know you.”
Chabot’s Office of Institutional Research (OIR) coordinated by Dr. Carolyn Arnold, conducts a student satisfaction survey biannually. The results are based on a sample of our student population, 1,702 “student course enrollments,” providing 3 individual aspects of counseling in 2 different categories.
According to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office website, cccco.edu, we have 13,875 students enrolled at Chabot College. The OIR survey sample results available online will indicate the opinions of just above 12% of our student population.
One category relevant to counseling was for the facilities. The other category was “experience and satisfaction with student services.” Facilities, “Bldg. 700 upstairs (Counseling, Career/Transfer Center, Special Programs),” collected 1,488 responses, totaling 71% either satisfied or very satisfied, 8% either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied and 21% neither dissatisfied or satisfied.
Within “experience and satisfaction with student services,” students were asked about, “Front Desk Counseling (quick counseling),” and, “Counseling Appointments.”
From the sample of a potential 12% of the student population, 75% were either satisfied or very satisfied, and 25% are not satisfied with their experience with counseling appointments. Out of the 1,679 students who answered this specific part of the survey, 22% have heard of but never been to a counseling appointment.
When asked about his experience with a counselor, Reid Alexander, a returning Chabot student says, “she was good…I didn’t follow her plan, that’s why I’m still here.”
SSCC President Zaheer Ebtikar, conscious of those he represents is aware that, “Many students aren’t able to capitalize on their education early enough because of the lack of counselor availability.”
Ebtikar, Alexander, and Garcia all reference the online option to get an appointment. Unfortunately, following the instructions on chabotcollege.edu to schedule an appointment, when instructed to, “Click on Find Appointments to select a date & time,” selecting “Find Appointments,” a new page loads displaying the message, “Appointments for the current allowable time frame are Filled.”
“We need more counselors, says President Ebtikar during the January 29 SSCC meeting, but with the deficit, there won’t be any money spent on additional counseling faculty for a while.”