The members of the counseling staff value and respect each individual student's privacy. Counselors at Northampton Community College keep information learned about a student during counseling strictly confidential according to the guidelines of the American Psychological Association and the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Records of visits to a counselor are protected and are kept separate from academic records. To the extent possible counselors will not disclose information to anyone outside the counseling conversation or relationship without the student's explicit written permission, However, disclosure may be necessary when it becomes evident that the student presents a clear and imminent danger to him or herself or others, when the counselor is mandated to report the abuse of a child, or when the court has ordered disclosure.
In order to provide the most effective services possible, individual counselors may consult with members of the counseling staff. Consultation with personnel within the student affairs division that may be necessary to better assist the student should occur with the student's prior knowledge and consent, with the exceptions noted above.
The counseling staff is pledged to uphold the important obligation to safeguard confidential information according to these guidelines and to work to insure that all staff members within the counseling office maintain privacy and confidentiality for those students seeking services. Students can feel free to ask their counselor for more detailed information about confidentiality and its limitations.