A Striving Beach: 4

For the past several weeks I’ve been writing to you about the great services Long Beach State offers students to ensure their success. A Striving Beach: 1 outlined our pyramid of services, and A Striving Beach: 2 focused on universal services available to all. A Striving Beach: 3 described some of our targeted services and opportunities. This final message in the series is about specialized services at The Beach.

Most students can succeed with universal, and targeted services. They thrive with the support of great faculty, engaged staff, and positive peer relationships. They gain special support through affinity groups, learning communities, and coaching for academic success and physical, mental, and spiritual health.

There are times, however, when some students have individualized needs that require special expertise. Many of our targeted programs and services also offer a specialized level of support.

We have developed multiple approaches to make sure students have food. I mentioned our ASI Beach Pantry in my last message, and the pantry run by the Interfaith Center at the Soroptimist House also allows no-questions-asked access to basic nutrition. Beach students who live in our residence halls generously amplify food availability through Feed-a-Need, pledging meals from their own meal plans to guarantee that every 49er has access to quality nutritious meals. And our Student Affairs professionals continue to innovate food access programs and services for those in need through the Student Emergency and Wellness Program. The program also helps homeless students find temporary housing, and provides students in real financial distress a helping hand to fix a car, buy a textbook, pay the rent, and so on.

We are fortunate at The Beach to have a comprehensive health program available to all students. Student Health Services and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offer interventions from every level of our pyramid, including specialized clinical services such as personal counseling and treatments for injuries and disease. To give you some perspective on how important these services are, last year Student Health Services saw 10,871 students for a total of 31,290 clinic visits. Approximately one third of those were walk-in same-day visits. CAPS logged 10,771 individual counseling appointments alone.

The Campus Assessment, Response and Evaluation for Students Team (CARES) provides a centralized structure for early intervention of at-risk students through collaboration with campus departments, faculty and staff. The College of Education supports two important programs: the Community Clinic for Counseling and Educational Services offers counseling, academic intervention, and psycho-educational assessment services for the Beach community at an affordable cost; and the Long Beach Trauma Recovery Center is committed to bringing mental health care, advocacy, outreach, education, and evidence based services to diverse victims of trauma and their families.

In addition, our Women’s & Gender Equity Center is a safe, comfortable, and inclusive environment that offers connections and services at all levels—and is a source for individual counseling in case of sexual assault.

Students with physical and/or learning challenges can get both targeted and specialized levels of assistance at Disabled Student Services (DSS). Does the status of your sight, hearing, mobility, or learning preferences need some accommodations? The DSS team has you covered. Our AIM Center provides computer support for students with differing abilities and maintains a consultant relationship with faculty and staff, among other accessibility services.

The pyramid of services and environments—universal, targeted, and specialized—is one of the foundations of our mission for Inclusive Excellence and success for all. Now let’s put that in context.

Consider that for every dollar students pay in tuition, about 33 cents is directed to State University Grants that give our financially stressed students a chance for a Beach education. Student Fees allow us to upgrade our wireless and other technology across campus and support hundreds of student organizations, classroom upgrades, and instructionally related services including international travel. We offer a record number of scholarships to qualified students—available because of the generosity of alumni, friends of the university, foundations, businesses, and industry. We depend on these investments to excel, just as we depend on excellent faculty, dedicated staff and outstanding students to advance our university. This is the shared commitment to build a healthy environment that optimizes everyone’s potential I mentioned when I started this series of messages.

We are a campus striving to be best in class. Our goal is to be the university that offers unparalleled access and transformational excellence in all we do. So let me know about the gaps and the quality of services and environments you have experienced.

Go Beach!