There are times when parents call the College and request information from various offices about their student. They might want to ask about grades, whether or not their student is attending classes, or whether their son or daughter has scheduled an appointment with Counseling Services. Even though parents may be making substantial financial contributions to their student’s college education, information cannot be provided to them.
Since college students are fully emancipated adults, they are entitled to their right to privacy. It is against the law for our office to give out information to anyone without that student’s written permission. The Family Educational Right and Privacy Act (FERPA) protect the privacy of student records. The College cannot simply disclose information unless the student consents to such disclosure. The best idea is for parents to seek the information they want directly from their son or daughter.
The counselor at Mount Aloysius College is not permitted to disclose any information about a student. In fact, they cannot even acknowledge whether or not they have met with any particular student because that would violate their right to privacy. However, the counselor is very willing to listen to information you believe to be important about your student. Please know that without a Consent to the Release of Confidential Information form signed by your student, it will necessarily be a one-sided conversation. Talk openly to your son or daughter about this kind of situation, and they might be willing to allow communication between you and the counselor.
It is not unusual for parents to contact the Counseling Department and express concern about the emotional wellbeing of their son or daughter. We recommend that they talk to their student and encourage them to contact our office to schedule an appointment. The student should take responsibility to call our office to schedule the appointment.
Some students may not be aware of the on-campus counseling services available to them, so parents can be helpful in informing them of our services and encouraging them to schedule an appointment. Parents can also reassure their student that there are no fees charged for our services.
There are circumstances when a student refuses parental requests to schedule an appointment for counseling. If they do not want to meet with our college counselor, we can suggest appropriate community mental health resources.
If the student simply refuses the parental request that they seek counseling, there is little recourse. We can make a final effort by contacting the student ourselves; explaining that their parents have asked us to do so, and sometimes they may schedule the appointment.
Confidentiality and privileged communication remain the rights of all clients of professional counselors according to law. However, there are limits to such communication, some of which are mandated by state law. It is very important that you and those seeking counseling carefully read and understand the following limits of confidentiality.