The University of Maryland Counseling Center, located in the Shoemaker Building, is expected to start renovations to its upstairs offices near the end of September.
The upcoming renovations will mainly create space for a new program called an initial access team, where clinicians will offer low barrier treatment modalities for students.
The center previously saw major renovations in 2010 — when it was located in Susquehanna Hall — and some smaller changes in 2019.
“I’m really looking forward to having the new space and being able to house these new clinicians,” Chetan Joshi, the director of the Counseling Center, said. “[It] will bring some much needed important stability to the functioning of the clinical system.”
Before the pandemic, the Counseling Center was divided into four parts, according to Joshi. The Shoemaker Building held sections for counseling services, accessibility disability services, research offices and testing offices that administered tests like the LSAT, Joshi said. The testing center closed in 2021 due to its lack of use during the pandemic.
Space in the Counseling Center during the renovation will be more limited, meaning more appointments will become virtual, Yi-Jiun Lin, assistant director of the Counseling Center, said. These include initial assessment appointments where students meet with a counselor for the first time to discuss their goals and reasons for seeking counseling.
Students at this university said they welcome the improvements the renovations will bring.
“It would only improve the quality of the opportunities for the students and their resources that they can use,” junior hearing and speech sciences major Claire Bowler said.
The Counseling Center does a good job providing resources and accepting walk-ins, Bowler said. But she added it can expand its reach to more students who want to seek help.
The renovations will help the Counseling Center maximize its space and expand its services, Ted Pickett Jr., the center’s associate director, said.
“Ultimately, this is about allowing the [center] to be able to accommodate staff to provide the services that we want to provide the students,” Pickett said. “I’m excited about that opportunity.”
Once renovations are complete, the center will have more hybrid appointments and more availability for in-person appointments, according to Pickett.
The proposal for the fall’s renovations will be accepted sometime in the late summer, Joshi said. He said he looks forward to having more resources and services for the campus community.
“[This] kind of represents an important milestone in the continued development and growth of the Counseling Center,” Joshi said. “The ability to have the space [to] house clinicians and implement a stable clinical system that will be able to serve students effectively is something that is really exciting.”
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated that the Counseling Center’s initial access team will administer cognitive behavioral therapy, eye-movement desensitization and art therapy. The team will administer low barrier treatment modalities. A previous version of this story also misstated that a classroom in the Shoemaker building will undergo renovations. The classroom will not be renovated. This story has been updated.