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Monday, May 29, 2017

Counseling Block Schedule by Ray Wong

My name is Ray Wong, and I am the Co-Chair of Counseling at San Diego City College with Edwin Hiel. I started counseling at City in 1994. Since the beginning of my tenure, counselors have met with students on “1-Hour Appointments” for planning and 10-Minute “Walkin” to answer short questions. The problem has been that we have not been able to provide enough Appointments to meet the student demand during registration time. So students try to get their needs met on Walkin. Counselors cannot do effective career or educational planning in a 10-minute timeframe, and we have too many students to provide an Appointment to every student who needs one at registration.

So what generally happens is students sign up for Walkin because Appointments fill up so quickly. The line for Walkin extends to two hours or longer, and students wind up seeing a counselor for 10 minutes to help select classes. I have long felt this to be an ineffective counseling model because it leaves students without a plan and counselors are not able to provide the kind of comprehensive career and educational planning that really helps students. This is frustrating for both students and counselors.  

In an attempt to address this problem, the counseling department is piloting a "block schedule" for “Appointments” and “Quick Questions” this summer in order to provide more Appointments. More Appointments means additional comprehensive services to more students, but it also means we have to limit “Quick Questions” to certain times of the day. We hope that you will be patient with us because we believe providing more appointments will lead to better service delivery.

What we have been doing in the past hasn’t been working, so we’re going to try something different. We owe it to our students to at least try. Here is our "block schedule" for summer 2017:

Mondays and Tuesdays
  8:00am to 10:00am   Appointments
10:00am to 11:30am  Quick Questions
11:30am to   2:30pm    Appointments
  2:30pm to   4:00pm  Quick Questions
  4:00pm to   6:00pm  Appointments
  6:00pm to   7:00pm  Appointments & Quick Questions
Wednesdays and Thursdays
  8:00am to 10:00am   Appointments
10:00am to 11:30am  Quick Questions
11:30am to   2:30pm    Appointments
  2:30pm to   4:00pm  Quick Questions
  4:00pm to   5:00pm  Appointments
  5:00pm to   6:00pm  Appointments & Quick Questions
Friday Schedule Only
  8:00am to 10:00am   Appointments
10:00am to 11:30am  Quick Questions
11:30am to   2:30pm    Appointments
  2:30pm to   3:00pm  Quick Questions

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