Counseling pop-ups bring counseling services directly to students

Counselors at Cosumnes River College are trying new and innovative ways to get students to come in and see them. One of those ways are what they call “counselor pop-ups”

The idea of doing pop-ups was created by Christopher Torres, a Student Success and Support Program, or Triple SP,  counselor. Torres said that when he got to CRC, he saw that the counseling department was just a traditional counselor service, but he wanted to do more.

“I knew Triple SP wanted us to do more,” said Torres. “So I thought, you know what, I’m going to do pop-ups.”

The idea of calling it ‘pop-ups’ came from him watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians with his 15-year-old daughter. He saw an episode of them setting up a pop-up shop and decided to call his idea ‘counselor pop-ups’.

Torres said the point of the pop-ups is to get out there and get students to make appointments to meet with a counselor. Counselors want the students to know that they’re available for more than just academic advice.

“We don’t do just academic counseling. We do personal counseling, crisis counseling, career counseling,” said Torres. “A lot of people don’t know we do these services.”

Torres said he had done one pop-up last semester to get a feel for things.

“It’s a little pilot right now. I did one in the cafeteria last semester to get an idea, a pulse of how it’s working,” said Torres.

So far this semester, he has done two counseling pop-ups, one during welcome day and another during club rush.

Torres said he’s excited to get out there with his team and get the ball rolling. “I’m ready to get it popping and rolling.”

The counseling team consists of Michael Chappell, Crystal Martinez and Paolo Soriano. Torres said he has full support from his team and the campus community including his dean, Shannon Cooper. He said without the team and support of everyone, the pop-ups and any other innovative ideas wouldn’t be a success.

“It’s important that we brand our name and our services,” said Torres.

Students on campus said they think the counselor pop-ups are a good idea.

“I think that it’s a really effective way to reach students and let people know that the counselors are here to help,” said Mary Lu Alcantara, a 19-year-old psychology major.

“I think that any out-reach will help,” said Jordan Cervantes, a student personnel assistant. “With the counselors just in their offices, students feel like they aren’t trying to help.”

Torres said he wants the students to know, ”We got you, CRC Hawks. We got you even if you just need to talk our ear off for 15 minutes, we got you.”

While there are no planned dates for these pop-ups, Torres said he and his team are working with Communications and Public Information Officer Kristie West to put the program in motion.

“Right now we don’t have specific times and dates, but I’m working with my team and it will be coming soon,” Torres said.