Academic advising professionals know that there may be times when they are called upon to work with students who are frustrated or angry. The American College Health Assessment survey in 2017 reported that in a 12-month period 44% of college students surveyed said they had felt overwhelming anger. Not all students are able to express their concerns and frustrations openly or in a safe manner. Some may communicate hostility in a passive way; others may express themselves in a way that feels threatening to the advisor. How can advisors recognize warning signs, even if passive, that a student is angry? How can advisors help a student while defusing their frustration?
In May 2017, this team brought their presentation of When Students are Sad and Stay Sad: Best Practices in Advising Students with Depression to the NACADA Webinar audience. Enthusiastic participants described it as “the best webinar I have attended” and requested to hear more from this team. In response to popular demand, our Presenters return to share their ideas and expertise for strategies to help advisors stay safe when working with a student who is openly or passively angry. Video clips of advising sessions will be shown, and the Presenters will offer suggestions for recognizing angry students. They will provide strategies to calm a student and share possible plans to keep both advisor and student safe in the advising situation.
This webinar will assist viewers in developing Academic Advising Core Competencies from both the Informational and Relational components. For example, advisers need to know, understand, and have a plan to implement the rules, procedures, and regulations of their institutions when it comes to advisor and student safety (I-3). Being aware of the behavioral proclivities of students and issues that may lead to closed or open aggression involves core competencies I-5 (knowledge of the characteristics, needs, and experiences of major and emerging student populations), as well as R-6 (the ability to facilitate problem solving, decision-making, meaning-making, planning, and goal setting). The skills an advisor may need in order to calm a student and/or defuse an angry student may fall within the scope of R-2 (the ability to create rapport and build academic advising relationships), R-3 (the ability to communicate in an inclusive and respectful manner), and/or R-4 (the ability to plan and conduct successful advising interactions).
Julie E. Preece, Licensed Psychologist and Clinical Professor, Academic Support Office, Brigham Young University
Julie Preece currently holds a joint appointment with the Counseling and Career Center, coordinating and teaching class, and the Academic Support Office where she works with students who are struggling in school. Julie has worked in several areas of the university including as a counselor for Services with Students with Disabilities, as a psychological consultant for Residence Life, as a therapist and clinical training supervisor for Counseling and Psychological Services and Director of the Academic Support Office. Julie has also taught and continues to teach undergraduate, graduate students, and supervises peer coaches and counseling doctoral students in training.
Scott D. Hosford, Licensed Psychologist / Associate Clinical Professor and Director, Academic Support Office, Brigham Young University
Scott Hosford currently works primarily with students struggling academically. He also provides psychotherapy to students at BYU’s Counseling and Psychological Services. He was previously a senior staff psychologist at Washington State University (WSU) Counseling and Testing Services for six years where he also served as the testing coordinator, supervising and training doctoral students in the assessment of learning disabilities and psychological disorders. He also has previous clinical experience with veterans, older adults, children and adolescents in various settings. He holds advanced degrees from the University of Texas at Austin (Ph.D., Counseling Psychology) and Brigham Young University (M.S., School Counseling Psychology; B.S. Psychology).
Michael P. Brooks, Forensic Psychologist, Utah State Hospital
Michael Brooks is a forensic psychologist currently practicing at the Utah State Hospital in Provo, Utah. He earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology (with an emphasis in neuropsychology) and his law degree from Brigham Young University. His varied professional practice has included competency to stand trial evaluations of criminal defendants as well as advisement of college students with disabilities.