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June 4, 2020 at 1:30 PM - Student Affairs Committee

Call to Order
Roll Call/Declaration of Quorum
Information Items
A. Student Counseling Services Implementation of Telehealth
Speaker(s):  Dr. Eric Norman
Background Information:  Student Counseling Services has historically operated in a traditional face-to-face service delivery environment. Appointments for services have been made either by calling or coming into the center, where students are screened for their suitability for personal counseling in the Health and Counseling Center, located in the Ard Building. Both the counseling staff and students receiving services in this traditional manner have consistently expressed a strong preference for such in-person services. Accordingly, telehealth was regarded as a long-term objective to be phased in gradually.

As an initial step, on February 7, 2020, just prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Student Counseling Services administrators met with OIT staff to begin discussing the feasibility of rolling out telehealth in our center in accordance with OIT and data security policies. Our goal was to expand our counseling service delivery options for all of our providers to eventually be proficient in this new modality and, ultimately, to keep pace with trending enrollment in online learning at APSU.
Description:  Proposed Implementation Date: With the rapid disruption of face-to-face encounters caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Student Counseling Services fast-tracked the process of deploying telehealth services, with full implementation targeted for March 30, 2020. This objective was, in fact, achieved.

Item Details: In response to the Covid-19 crisis, Student Counseling Services completely overhauled its procedures for making and keeping counseling appointments, including producing a Telehealth Manual to guide internal operations, notifying existing clients of the continued availability of mental health services, updating our branding and messaging for prospective clients (see Figure 1), and commencing training in best practices in the use of telehealth technology for all counseling providers. In addition, the department has continuously monitored changes in the enforcement of HIPAA laws governing telehealth which are being made at the national level by the Department of Health and Human Services, at the state level, and by state mental health licensing agencies outside the state of Tennessee (applicable in those instances in which students requesting our services reside out of state). As a result, by the end of March, 100% of our counseling operations had shifted to telehealth, including new appointments, continuing appointments, outreach activities, and daily "drop-in" clinical encounters such as Let’s Talk and emergency mental health assessments.

Finally, here is a summary SWOT analysis of our current counseling telehealth setup:
  • The strengths of our counseling telehealth services include how readily stakeholders, including both staff and students, have embraced the technology. Very few have complained about the service or been unable to use it. Telehealth has added a service delivery option that has made mental health services more accessible to a wider range of the student population, both in the short-term and the long-term.
  • The weaknesses of our counseling telehealth services include huge variations in state licensing board restrictions governing the practice. In some states, for example, our counselors, all licensed in the state of Tennessee, are absolutely forbidden from conducting telehealth with individuals residing in their states, Kentucky being a prime example. Another weakness includes limited functionality of the free version of the platform ( we are currently using.
  • The opportunities facing our counseling telehealth services include continuing to optimize the technological aspects of the service, whether that means upgrading our existing service, integrating it with our existing electronic health records system, or both. In addition, we feel that our competent, ethical implementation of telehealth will be attractive to a number of academic counseling programs in the region—programs who might wish to place counseling interns at field placement sites such as ours that are up and running with this important modality.
  • The threats facing our counseling telehealth services include the possibility that some students might resist using telehealth for transactions in light of the personal nature of counseling. Another threat includes costs associated with improving and streamlining our existing service. Our electronic health records system provider, Point and Click, has given us a quote of $7,300 per year for a patient portal module that would allow us to conduct telehealth in a more customer friendly and HIPAA secure manner. Without such integration, with our current setup there exists an added step of having to go outside the (secure) health records system to email students a link to their appointments. If sent to the wrong party, this could constitute a HIPAA violation.
Figure 1. Updated Branding/Messaging for Prospective Counseling Clients is attached.
B. Student Affairs Practice Modifications
Speaker(s):  Dr. Eric Norman
Background Information:  COVID-19 forced a program delivery shift in Student Affairs operations as the campus moved to non-face-to-face instruction.  On-the-ground traditional programming was no longer an option for the vast majority of offices.
Description:  Proposed Implementation Date: March 16, 2020

Item Details:
When the pandemic for COVID-19 accelerated and the city, county and state of Tennessee moved to shelter-in-place orders, the spring Student Affairs programming calendar was, unfortunately, getting ready to move into the more concentrated schedule. The spring career fairs, the campus Big Event, end-of-the-year award and recognition programs, and Peaynk Week were all on the immediate horizon. As a result, major events were canceled or postponed and moved into online mediums.
  • Career Services hosted its first-ever virtual career fair, which included 71 recruiters, 139 students and 280 log-ons.
  • We used Zoom for the WNDAAC African American Graduate Recognition Ceremony, the Student Organization and Leader Awards, and the Greek Awards.
  • University Recreation moved to virtual wellness programming such as Govs Outdoor Bingo, Virtual Zumba and a Virtual Gaming League.
  • Student Housing had to encourage students to return home, which brought on a myriad of questions from students and their families, all while setting up quarantine rooms and moving students to singles. They maintained over 365 students in the residence halls, and dining services was shifted to provide a safer delivery method.
  • The Adult, Nontraditional and Transfer Student Center offered assistance for students who were online education neophytes while holding support groups and tutoring assistance.
  • The Hispanic Cultural Center hosted social hours holding their engagement rate close to the usage rate of on-campus.
  • Student Life and Engagement hosted "Afternoon Tea with SLE," which discussed resources for students to use while non-face-to-face.
  • Student Counseling and Health Services moved to a triage and telehealth model, while still allowing the ability for more high-need students to use the Ard building to receive services.
  • One center had a significant increase in on-campus traffic. The Center for Learning and Engagement, which oversees the SOS Food Pantry and Emergency Loans, distributed $32,100 to 90 students.
  • The Office of Disability Services supported students on the ground through testing accommodations and additional technical assistance, while offering students (who would normally use the library) a place to print.
  • Parent Programs, meanwhile, pressed out weekly notices to family members with a consistently high readership.
Fortunately, the Division of Student Affairs has had a history of providing a variety of on-line programming, while also having an exceptionally strong social media presence. The utilization of PeayLink has proven to be formidable in our on-going engagement.    

Members of Student Affairs have assisted other areas of the institution this spring. We worked with Student Success and called 500 at-risk students to follow up and discuss the transition, its challenges and to provide additional guidance and resources. We also partnered with Enrollment Management and called 1,000 prospective students to encourage them to attend Austin Peay and register for an upcoming R.O.W. session.  We will continue to repurpose our division to best meet the needs of our students now.

We look forward to students returning to campus, and we recognize the division will need to program differently. We look forward to providing the same close feel with social distancing, such as drive-in movies, online Let’s Talk sessions, one-on-one Leadership Coaching and Prize Patrol (which recognizes students for embodying Gov Spirit).
C. Athletics Update
Speaker(s):  Gerald Harrison, Athletic Director
Background Information:  Like many other athletic departments in the nation, COVID-19 has severely impacted the future and financial stability of Intercollegiate Athletics at Austin Peay State University. With season cancellations and office adjustments, the department was tasked to create a new way to continue to function and create a new normal for our student-athletes, fans and other constituents.
Description:  Proposed Implementation Date: June 13, 2020

Item Details:
A brief overview of the NCAA / OVC policy changes and how they positively and negatively affect Austin Peay State University will be discussed. Additionally, the Athletics Return to Campus Strategic Plan will be presented and will detail the preparations made for the safe return of student-athletes and staff. To conclude the presentation will be the summary of the department and student-athlete success/achievements despite recent adversity.
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