Counseling & Disability Services

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What is Counseling & Disability Services?

Mount Aloysius College is committed to providing a variety of services to improve our students’ overall wellness. Our Licensed Counselor offers a broad range of confidential services that address the psychological, educational, developmental, and social needs of our students. Our counselor will help students learn better ways to cope with their stressors and establish goals that will enhance their overall academic and personal experience. Any full or part-time undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled at Mount Aloysius College may use our services. Services are free, voluntary and confidential.

After hours emergency, call:

  • Campus Security (814) 886-6327
  • Cambria County Crisis  24/7 1-877-268-9463
Counseling Services

What Counseling services do we offer?

Individual Counseling

Students can meet with a counselor to discuss any personal concerns they are experiencing. The goal is to help students learn to cope with their stressors so they can focus on their academics and function more effectively and independently in their personal lives. Brief counseling is utilized and outside referrals will be made for longer term counseling needs.

Group Counseling

Students may find group counseling to be very beneficial. Students meet with the counselor and their peers in a confidential group setting to discuss similar concerns and receive feedback. If you have an idea for a beneficial group, please let us know!

Groups Offered:

    1. Coping With Loss Group – Bereavement Support Group
    2. Check back for future groups!



If a student requires additional services, the counselor will make referrals to help him/her to connect with community agencies.

Crisis Intervention

In the event of after hour emergencies pertaining to issues of mental health, we utilize an on-call rotation system to respond quickly and directly to concerns.

For Faculty & Staff

Counseling Services is grateful for the referral’s received by faculty, staff and students at Mount Aloysius College. It is important to work together to identify troubled students, educate them about the resources available to them, and encourage them to seek help. After a referral has been made, the Counselor will follow-up with the student and make every effort to encourage that individual to make a counseling appointment. All information shared by the student with the Counselor will be strictly confidential.

Signs that a student may be at risk:

  • Academic progress has decreased significantly, despite attempts to intervene
  • Abilities and performance appear to be impaired by mental health and/or wellness issues
  • Displaying “disturbing” behaviors and/or expressing violent comments
  • Extreme changes in behavior or mood (i.e. crying, depression, disruptive behavior, attendance, decreased work performance, deteriorated hygiene, lethargic, attention problems, angry outbursts)
  • Excessive preoccupation with morbid themes, violent fantasies, weapons
  • Visual signs of alcohol/drug use
  • Graphic and morbid themes in writing/art assignments (suicide, depression, violence)

For Parents


    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 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects the confidentiality of health information, including mental health. 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 counselors at Mount Aloysius College are 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 counselors are 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.

  2. You want your student to receive counseling?

    It is not unusual for parents to contact the Counseling Department and express concern about the emotional well-being 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 counselors, 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.

  3. Limits of confidentiality in counseling setting

    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.

    • Duty to Warn- Client makes threat against self or others.
    • Child Abuse- Pennsylvania state law mandates the reporting of incidence of suspected incidence of child abuse including physical abuse, sexual abuse, unlawful sexual intercourse, neglect, emotional and psychological abuse. All actual or suspected acts of child abuse will need to be reported to the appropriate agencies.
    • Court Ordered- Counselor is subpoenaed to testify or disclose records by the court.
Counseling FAQs

When should you seek counseling?

The goal of counseling is to help you work through any personal concerns that may occur during the course of your college life. Speaking with our licensed Counselor is a good way to get help and support if you’re dealing with a stressful situation, especially if it’s something that you might not feel comfortable talking through with friends or family. It can also be a good resource if you’re worried about a friend and want advice from an experienced professional about how you can best be helpful. If you are experiencing any of the following concerns, then please make an appointment. Please note this list is not all-inclusive.

How do I make an appointment?

What would an appointment be like?

Students sit down with a counselor to survey the situation and decide together where the problem lies and what is needed. The counselor will listen and prompt you to clarify your own thinking, rather than deciding for you or giving advice. The counselor will make suggestions and recommendations about what course of therapy might be most helpful.

How often are appointments? How long do they last?

Ordinarily, students will see a counselor for a 30 to 45 minute appointment. The frequency of appointments, (e.g. once per week, bi-weekly) will be based on what might be the most practical and helpful way to address the student’s individual needs.

How long can I continue counseling?

Most students find that they have reached some helpful clarity with six sessions. It is certainly possible to return if the problem reoccurs or if another problem presents itself. Counselor Services can also help students with referrals for longer-term counseling with private therapists in the area.

Will Counseling Services tell anyone else that I have used their services?

Counseling Services is a confidential resource; a counselor would only talk with a professor or parent if a student makes a formal written request, or there were an imminent risk of serious injury or violence. No other campus has knowledge of a student’s visits to Counseling Services without his or her explicit permission. Counseling Services records are destroyed 7 years after graduation.

Veterans Counseling Webpage Referral

Is this a crisis?

Student Name:

Student Phone Number:

Email Address:

Referral Source:

Reason(s) seeking help:

Severity of current stressors: 1(lowest) – 10 (highest)

Have you sought counseling before?

What did you find helpful/not helpful?

Relaxation Corner

Do you take time to relax?

Relaxation and trying to effectively cope with stress is essential to your mental and physical health. Sometimes it’s nice to take a break. Enjoy some of these pictures (click on them) to help clear your mind.
Photo of Clouds   Black and White Photo of Hands Holding a Book and Turning Page   Photo of an Owl in the Snow   Photo of Water   Image of Grass Blowing in the Breeze

Photo of Rain Running Down a Window   Graphic of Motivational Quote   Photo of   Motivational Photo of a Mouse    Illustration of Optimism

Quote about Laughing    Motivational Quote on Overcoming Struggles    Photo of     Photo of Rocks stacked in a Serene Setting

Quote of the day!

100 Random Fun Facts!

Tips for Relaxation

Want to clear you mind?? Try these mindfulness and stress related apps!

Graphic of Chakra Meditation      Photo of Mindfulness Coach     Azumio Logo   Breath2Relax Logo

What is mindfulness?

Photo of Fog on the Beach          Photo of Clouds and the Moon in the Nighttime Sky
(Click water for guided meditation)                (Click clouds for sleep meditation)


Photo of Path in the Woods                             Photo of person on the summit of a mountain celebrating

(Click woods for anxiety meditation)                 (Exam Success/Clear Mind Meditation)

Photo of Light Shining      Photo of a Creek

Photo of Rocks in the Water


Disability Services
Download/View the Disability Services Interactive PDF. Downloadable forms are available below.

Test Anxiety

Test Anxiety and ADA
-Test anxiety has been determined by the courts to NOT be a disability under ADA unless it clearly can be shown to be associated with a mental “anxiety disorder.”

-Non-specific diagnoses such as “individual learning styles, learning differences, academic problems, computer phobias, slow reading, and test difficulty or test anxiety” do not constitute a disability or impairment.

What constitutes a disability?
-A disability is defined in the Americans with Disability Act of 1990, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities. Learning is an example of a major life activity. If you have a mental or physical condition, a history of such a condition, or a condition which may be considered by others as substantially limiting, you may have a legally defined disability.

What does substantially limiting mean?
-According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, substantially limiting is defined as being unable to perform a major life activity, or significantly restricted as to the condition, manner or duration under which a major life activity can be performed, in comparison to the average person or to most people.

What is a major life activity?
-According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a major life activity is defined as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working.

-The ADA Amendment Acts of 2008 expanded this list to also include eating, sleeping, standing, lifting, reading, bending, concentrating, thinking and communicating. In addition, it also includes major bodily functions (e.g., “functions of immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions”).

What is test anxiety?

Tips for test anxiety

More tips for test anxiety

Overcoming test anxiety

Information on how to apply for accommodations/documentation necessary

Note Taking Services

What is the note taking service?
Students at Mount Aloysius College with documented disabilities can receive a variety of academic accommodations, which are determined on a case-by-case basis.  A common accommodation gives the student access to notes taken in class by a fellow student.

Please read the “Note Taking Handbook” for additional information.

Click Here to Access the Note Taking Handbook


Note Taker Application Form
Faculty Note Taker Recommendation Form 
Note Taker Feedback Form  (Completed by student whom received notes)

If you have a documented disability and need a note taker, please contact Disability Services or complete a website referral form.

Disability Parking Placard

In order to obtain a Pennsylvania Parking Placard for a documented disability, please print a copy of the
Parking Placard Form, submit it to your medical professional and mail it to the address stated on form.

Once you receive your parking placard in the mail, please provide Disability Services with a copy of your parking placard.

Disability Services will then notify the Campus Safety Office of your placard.

You cannot park in handicap accessible spaces until a copy of your placard is on file and Campus Safety is notified. Otherwise, you may receive a parking violation.

General Medical Conditions
General Medical Condition Form will need to be completed if you are applying for medical accommodations due to a documented medical condition. 

Please have your medical professional complete and return to the Disability Services office.

Asthma and Allergy Conditions
Asthma and Allergy Form will need to be completed if you are applying for housing or meal plan accommodations due to a documented medical condition. 

Please have your medical professional complete and return to the Disability Services office.

Forms, Downloads & Links Disability Service Webpage Referral

Student Name:

Student Phone Number:

Email Address:

Referral Source:

What type of difficulty is the student/you experiencing:

Do you have current medical documentation to support your request:

Severity of current stressors: 1(lowest) – 10 (highest):

What type of accommodations are you requesting:



Meet the Counseling & Disability Services Department

Photo of Marisa Schuster, M.A.,LPC, NCC, BC-TMH

Marisa Schuster, M.A.,LPC, NCC, BC-TMH

Director of Counseling and Disability Services

No Photo

Michele Leamer

Medical Secretary in the Health, Counseling and Disabilities Department

Photo of Alumni Hall