Online Counseling Etiquette
How to Prepare for Online Counseling Services
Online Counseling provides a way for students to connect with a counselor via email, live chat, and/or videoconferencing. Students should prepare for and treat online counseling services as they would for in-person services on campus. During the COVID-19 pandemic, online counseling services are used in place of traditional face-to-face counseling, and we understand that web-based counseling is new to many. This page will give you an overview of appropriate etiquette when interacting in this new environment. It is important for you to read and understand the information below in order to use online counseling services:
Please remember that standards of student conduct also apply to the virtual campus environment. Students must adhere to district policies and regulations, and college procedures when utilizing online counseling services.
Violations include but are not limited to:
- Dishonesty, cheating, plagiarism, lying or knowingly furnishing false information to the district or college officials performing their duties.
- Forgery, alteration, or misuse of district documents, records, or identification.
- Knowingly accessing and without permission altering, damaging, deleting, destroying, copying, or otherwise using any data, which reside or exist internal or external to a computer, computer system, or computer network in the district.
- Not following established guidelines and etiquette for online counseling.
Failure to adhere to online counseling rules of conduct, etiquette, and guidelines may result in the elimination of online counseling services and/or disciplinary action.
- Live Chat is available for quick questions and general information only (10-15 minute session)
- Treat a chat session just as you were speaking/interacting with a counselor or staff member in person on campus. Avoid use of profanity, offensive and/or discriminatory language.
- A student may be directed to submit a request for an appointment if the question or service cannot be provided in a chat session
Counseling appointments are confidential, therefore, the use of a private computer, tablet or smartphone in a quiet environment is strongly encouraged.
We also recommend the following:
- Wear proper attire
- Make sure there is proper lighting in the room
- Make sure there is little to no background noise
- Have a headset with microphone ready (your cell phone headset will work great!)
- Avoid interruptions – Do not answer phone calls, text, or surf the web during the appointment
- Be respectful when communicating with your counselor
Please do not engage in videoconferencing while you are driving or participating in other activities.
Counseling faculty and staff reserve the right to end a chat or videoconference session if a student engages in behavior deemed inappropriate, offensive and/or discriminatory.
Information about you is confidential. It is important that you supply the most current information about your educational history, plans, and career goals so that a counselor can provide you with the most accurate information specific to your needs.
Please read the following statements regarding your online information:
- Per the Family Rights and Privacy Acts (FERPA), I hereby grant permission for WLAC counselors to release academic information about me via the online counseling form, Cranium Café or other videoconferencing tools.
- I certify that I am the student who submitted an online counseling request, and/or established a Cranium Café account, and that I have provided my accurate personal information, educational history, and educational goals.
- I authorize the counselor to view my academic records.
- I authorize the counselor to provide me with information related to my academic records through email, chat and other online counseling tools.