Warner Robins, Ga. – Services are taking shape at Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC) designed to support student, faculty, and staff well-being.
Counseling Services, and its executive director, Tonja Simmons, have put finishing touches on the Counseling Resource Center in which Simmons and her staff will provide counseling, as well as assistance and guidance in resolving personal, social or psychological problems and difficulties.
“We are thrilled about pioneering the Counseling Services component to our campuses. We are currently 1 of 4, out of 22 Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) schools to incorporate these services to our students. Additionally, we are pleased to announce the formation of our Behavior Assessment and Recommendation Team (BART) which serves as a prevention and intervention tool to our students, faculty, staff, and community to address potential concerns,” Simmons said.
Additional services offered include confidential assistance with issues such as anxiety, stress, emotional problems, relationships, and substance abuse.
Simmons, a licensed professional with more than 20 years of counseling, coaching and leadership experience, is trained to help with reflection, support, and solutions; a foundation to defining this new role.
“My role in Counseling Services to those under my leadership is to guide and enhance them as I nurture their abilities to support our students, faculty, and staff,” she said. “I also identify resources for students with disabilities along with the Special Populations staff to include referrals from some of the TCSG Early Alert Management System (TEAMS).”
“As it relates to the students, my staff and I are to provide and establish a safe and stable environment for them to be refocused as they gain insight into their strengths and abilities to be successful. With saying that, the faculty and staff will be able to focus on providing stellar services to students as they complete this milestone in their lives.”
Simmons’ experience also includes 16 years of K-12 and postsecondary teaching.
“I am aware of the diversity and rich resources and opportunities within our region. Moreover, I bring passion, compassion, and an open mind to those I serve,” she said.
How can Counseling Services potentially improve a student, faculty or staff member’s performance or daily strides in the classroom, work, and social environments?
Simmons said that often individuals within those groups can, “get stuck,” in their thinking and come to a “standstill,” as it relates to behaviors. She added that the Center and its resources aim to increase positive performance, and the enjoyment of a, “fulfilling life.”
“People should know that participating in counseling or speaking with a counselor is not a negative or a bad thing. It is a healthy choice which can lead to a happier life,” Simmons said. “They should know that it is safe and confidential with two primary exceptions: threaten to harm self or threaten to harm others. They should also know that they are not a burden if they speak with someone. We want to help them through their concerns.”
Services are offered in two locations, in Building-A Room 226 on the Warner Robins Campus and Building-J Room 156 on the Macon campus. Appointments can easily be requested in one of two ways: by calling 478-476-5167, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tonja Simmons brings over 20 years of counseling experience to her position as executive director of the newly established Counseling Services at Central Georgia Technical College.