New Counseling Program Offered
An estimated 11 percent of college students in America have learning disabilities, according to a recent article in the *Denver Post*. But when you are a busy young person living in New York City, it's difficult to know if you're among that 11 percent or just having trouble focusing.
The New School psychological assessment services, a joint project of New School counseling services and the NSSR clinical psychology department, launched in February, is prepared to help students make this distinction. “Before the program started, we were receiving calls from students who said that they need[ed] psychological assessment", said Ozlem Bekar, a psychology Ph.D. student who is coordinating the project. "They may [have needed] some special accommodations from school, and we were referring them outside," to other universities or private services.
The trouble with this referral process was that most students couldn’t afford outside assessments. “Our services," approximately six hours worth of tests, "are $300, and usually it’s between $3,000 and $4,000 in New York City,” Bekar said. Psychological assessment services is able to charge a discounted fee because students carry out the assessments.
“This is done by students and for students,” Bekar said. Students seeking help get access to services that they might not otherwise have, and the students providing the help get the benefit of experience in their field of study, overseen and advised by clinical psychology professors.
Assessment services may still refer students elsewhere after their assessments, but the organizers of the new program hope to save time and money by figuring out exactly what kind of help the students may need. “We have a very large database of referrals, so we can pick places they can benefit from,” Bekar said. Where available they can also provide special accommodations through student disability services, such as extra time to complete exams.
The program is still new. To date, only four students have completed assessments. But so far, Bekar said, “It’s going very well.”