Counselors Laid Off Due to Minnesota Colleges Budget Cuts
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Due to budget cuts, Ridgewater College has been forced to cut its counseling staff in half, leaving only one counselor on each of the college’s campuses. A recent survey shows that 38 percent of community college students in Minnesota suffer from mental health issues, which is 7 percent higher than the number of mentally ill students at four-year colleges in the state.
The projected budget deficit over the next two years is $3 million, the Grand Forks Herald reports. In addition to two counselors, Ridgewater College was also forced to lay off a theater and a carpentry instructor.
Counselors at the college are responsible for academic and career counseling as well as mental health therapy. Minnesota State Colleges and Universities are now trying to spread counseling duties to other professionals on campus.
A 2009 report suggests that colleges have at least one counselor for every 1,000 to 1,500 student. Very few colleges in the state have the staff to meet that requirement.
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