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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Counseling Services is here to help

Cynthia Baker and Terri Zeilenga.

by Christina Delgman
When school-related or personal stress gets to be too much, students don’t have to suffer. Columbia College has counseling services available to students and faculty.
The counselors at Columbia College are here to help. Two counselors are available: Terri Zeilenga, licensed professional counselor and director of Counseling Services, and Cynthia Baker, licensed clinical social worker. Zeilenga has been in the counseling field for 22 years and has been at Columbia College for 10 years. She loves working with the students, she said.

Baker said she has been practicing for 10 years and has been at Columbia College for four years. She said the best part of her job is that Columbia College offers her an opportunity to work with diverse groups. Baker said she sees a wide age range from just out of high school to non-traditional older students who are parents as well. In addition, she gets to work with veterans and different ethnicities. Baker said there is always something new and different with the non-traditional student population.

The new waiting area in counseling services.
Some of the issues the counselors can help with range from very serious issues to those that may not seem as serious, Baker said. The counselors are able to help students deal with anxiety and depression, Zeilenga said.

Jimmy French, area coordinator of Residential Life said Counseling Services is “extremely necessary.” When something serious happens that affects the students, such as a death of a student, Residential Life and Counseling Services work hand in hand to help the students, French said.
Other issues that the counselors may help with are self-management, planning and balancing life and school work and anything else the students need help with, Baker said. As well as counseling students, the counselors also offer a variety of workshops covering relationships, psycho-education and time management, Baker said. If students cannot attend a workshop, “The library has resources,” Baker said. 
Zeilenga said students can access help in several ways:
  • They can call Zeilenga’s office at 875-7423. If she is unavailable, students can leave a message. Either Zeilenga or Baker will call back to arrange an appointment.
  • If students need immediate assistance, a crisis line is available at  (800) 395-2132 that provides counseling assistance 24 hours a day.
  • Students can visit the Counseling Services' Web site at The site provides information about their services.
  • In an emergency, students should call 911.

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