Students give, receive counsel

Students participate in an Ice Breaker activity at the Multicultural Dating workshop presented by the Counseling Center Paraprofessionals on Tuesday evening at the Union. The Ice Breaker had people list things such as their favorite foods and activities, Troy Stanger

By Roshni Rana

‘Students helping students’ is the motto for the University’s Counseling Center Paraprofessionals program. The CCP program was started to help University students and give them a problem solving resource during their time at the University. The program is vital because it gives students an opportunity to learn and seek self-development.

The paraprofessionals are trained extensively so they are able to do their job in the best possible way. The CCP program is a three semester-long program, which begins in the spring. Students who want to be part of the CCP program must apply in the fall of their sophomore or junior year. The CCP program is open to all students who are interested in applying, but the majority of students are psychology majors.

Every fall about 100 students apply and only 20 make it. Students must also fulfill 30 hours of coursework when they apply and must take either Psychology 100 or 103. After the September application date, students go through a series of interviews and then begin the program during the spring semester.

In the first semester of the program, students learn how to be helpful by working on skills such as listening and solving simple problems. However, the workload increases as the semesters go on.

In the second and third semester, the CCPs begin hourly outreach programs about alcohol and different drug usages. They also have a program called Project Aim, where the CCPs help students get off academic probation. The CCPs also work with cultural houses and other social organizations.

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Since the program is so involved, many people might be a bit hesitant when it comes to applying for CCP, but there are many benefits. The program completes 12 hours of upper-level classes.

“It is a different kind of learning experience from large lectures because students are able to connect with others through the small community and actually know the professors,” CCP course instructor Janice Lines said.

Being able to work with such small groups and obtain so many different skills will really benefit the CCPs when they are in search of future careers.

Being part of the CCP will be very beneficial to those majoring in psychology because it will give them hands on experience of what they will be doing when they establish a career. It also looks good on graduate school and internship applications.

“The CCP program will help me become a better counselor, therapist and listener since I will have familiar experience,” Joe Hammer, junior in LAS and third semester member of CCP, said.

People will love to see that the person applying to their school or workplace is entering with great amounts of experience through such a prestigious program.

CCP workshops are held on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in room 209 at the Illini Union. The workshops are open to both the faculty and students attending the University including a number of others who might be seeking any sort of help. CCP course instructor John Powell is very proud of the three-semester program.

“I’m not sure there’s another program like this in the country,” Powell said.