Student Affairs

Counseling Basics for Student Affairs Professionals: Updated for the New Realities

Duration: 1 hour
Facilitator: Dr. Aaron Hughey
Price: $50.00

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This webinar is designed to give participants a greater appreciation for the complementary nature of the student affairs and counseling professions within both an in-person and virtual environment. In addition to enhancing communication, fostering consensus, and augmenting conflict resolution, a working knowledge of basic counseling concepts and applications can help student affairs professionals recognize the warning signs of unhealthy emotional states, make more effective referrals, and consult more productively with mental health professionals and other administrators.

Even though they are not responsible for the provision of direct counseling services, student affairs professionals need a working knowledge of basic counseling skills. These skills complement the educational and developmental aspects of student affairs work and help practitioners to be more effective in their overall delivery of student services. Recent events, however, have forced student affairs professionals to modify the way they go about meeting the needs of the students they serve.

When interacting with students in-person or remotely, through platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, counseling skills are still integral to the ongoing process of developing students to their maximum potential. But it does require additional insight and effort to implement effectively, efficiently, and especially empathetically.


  • Student Affairs Professionals and Counselors: On the Same Team
  • Basic Counseling Skills All Student Affairs Professionals Need
  • Microcounseling: The Key to Effective Interventions
  • Symptomology: Knowing When to Intervene Directly and When to Refer
  • Effective Referrals: How to Motivate Students to Get the Help They Need
  • Consultation: How to Speak the Language of Professional Counselors
  • Virtual Environments: How to Adapt When Interactions are Remote

Learning Outcomes:

Those participating in the webinar will learn:

  • The basic counseling skills necessary to be more effective as student affairs professionals.
  • To use a variety of microcounseling skills to be as responsive as possible to student needs.
  • How to recognize the basic symptomology associated with emotional problems.
  • How to make effective referrals to appropriate mental health professionals.
  • How to effectively consult with mental health professionals and other administrators.
  • How to adapt these skills to a virtual environment, while retaining all the traditional advantages associated with face-to-face interactions.

Who Should Attend:

This webinar would be of benefit to student affairs professionals at all levels, especially those on the front lines who are in direct contact with students on a daily basis.


Dr. Aaron W. Hughey is a Professor in the Department of Counseling and Student Affairs at Western Kentucky University, where he oversees the graduate degree program in Student Affairs in Higher Education. Before joining the faculty in 1991, he spent 10 years in progressive administrative positions, including five years as the Associate Director of University Housing at WKU. He was also head of the department of Counseling and Student Affairs for five years before returning to the faculty full-time in 2008. Dr. Hughey has degrees from the University of Tennessee at Martin, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Western Kentucky University, and Northern Illinois University. He has authored (or co-authored) over 70 refereed publications on a wide range of issues including leadership and student development, counseling, standardized testing, diversity, legal issues, and educational administration. He regularly presents at national and international conferences and consults extensively with companies and schools. He also provides training and professional development programs on a variety of topics centered on student success; integrating basic counseling skills into student affairs practice is one of his specialties.

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