BOONE, N.C. — Students at Watauga High School will continue to have access to high-quality mental health services through Appalachian State University’s Assessment, Support, and Counseling (ASC) Center thanks to support from Watauga County Schools.
Dr. Kurt Michael, Dr. John Paul Jameson and Dr. Jon Winek received $30,000 in funding from the school district for the continued operation of the ASC Center.
Michael is professor in and assistant chairperson of Appalachian’s Department of Psychology; Jameson is associate professor in the Department of Psychology; and Winek is professor in the Department of Human Development and Psychological Counseling at Appalachian, as well as director of the university’s marriage and family therapy program.
The ASC Center in Watauga High School was formed in 2006 by then-principal Angela Quick, along with Dr. Lauren Renkert, associate professor in and chair of Appalachian’s Department of Social Work, Michael and Winek. The university-school partnership is in its 12th year of operation.
“The ASC Center partnership is an agreement between Appalachian and Watauga County Schools to provide students with high-quality mental health services under the supervision of licensed, doctoral-level faculty in concert with professionals at Watauga High School and the Appalachian students involved in the project,” Michael said.
Students and their families do not incur the direct costs of the mental health treatment, according to Michael. Instead, the costs of the supervision, oversight and management of the project, he said, “will be addressed, in part, by this grant contract and by release time given by the constituent academic departments (psychology and social work departments at Appalachian, as well as the university’s marriage and family therapy program).”
The program includes a primary emphasis on training and preparing Appalachian graduate students to become skilled school mental health practitioners and to increase their competitiveness for employment in similar settings once they complete training.
Alumna Brittany Kirschner ’14 ’17, staff clinician in Appalachian’s Psychology Clinic, is involved with the project, along with three graduate students majoring in psychology at Appalachian: Becca Schenk ’16, Rebekah Smith ’16 and Jamie Kirkpatrick ’16. Schenk and Kirkpatrick are both practicum clinicians in Appalachian’s Psychology Clinic.
About the Department of Human Development and Psychological Counseling
The Department of Human Development and Psychological Counseling in Appalachian State University’s Reich College of Education is responsible for organizing and providing instructional programs in counseling and other human development functions for public schools, colleges and universities and various agencies. The department offers Master of Arts degrees in clinical mental health counseling, professional school counseling, student affairs administration and marriage and family therapy. Learn more at https://hpc.appstate.edu.
About the Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology
Appalachian’s Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology serves more than 1,000 undergraduate majors seeking the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, as well as 80 graduate students in the master’s degree programs in clinical psychology, experimental psychology, school psychology, and industrial-organizational psychology and human resource management. Its new Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) program began admitting students in fall 2019. Learn more at https://psych.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.
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