As More Students Seek Help, Counselors Look for Ways to Lighten the Load

Counselors Look for Ways to Lighten Their Load 1

Steven Bridges for The Chronicle

Kathleen B. Douthat, at Pellissippi State Community College, counsels a student on graduation requirements. She and other counselors at the college also talk to students about personal and mental-health problems.

Cosumnes River College has 21 counselors on its staff, and every day they turn away students.

"Our lines are longer, wait times are longer, but we had to cut our hours," says Teresa Aldredge, a counselor at the 16,000-student community college in Sacramento, Calif.

As community-college enrollments soar as a result of the recession, budgets for student services have not kept pace. There are fewer counselors to go around at a time when students need them more than ever, as they