Longwood’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) was reaffirmed recently as fully accredited by the International Accreditation of Counseling Services (IACS), the premier leader in setting the benchmark for the full range of professional counseling services on college and university campuses worldwide. Through a comprehensive process, IACS confirms the highest standards are being met, validates professional excellence and distinguishes standout counseling centers with its accreditation seal of approval.
CAPS has maintained full accreditation continuously since 2006. Longwood is one of approximately 200 higher education institutions accredited by IACS and one of eight such institutions in Virginia. The purpose of IACS accreditation is to encourage and aid university counseling services internationally to meet best practices and standards, inform the public about services that are competent and reliable, and mitigate risk and accountability.
“Accreditation through IACS is quite a rigorous process and the CAPS team is proud of our ongoing success,” said Dr. Maureen Walls-McKay, a licensed clinical psychologist who oversees CAPS as associate vice president for health and well-being at Longwood. “Accreditation ensures that CAPS is meeting the mental health and well-being needs of Longwood students with evidence-based practices, confirms that our services satisfy the gold standard in the field, safeguards the integrity of the center and enhances public relations for CAPS and Longwood with prospective and enrolled students and their families. Continuous accreditation within this prestigious group is a true point of pride.”
This team of talented providers continues to provide our campus community with a high level of service.Cam Patterson, vice president for student affairs Tweet This
IACS guidelines were developed in 1970 and continue to evolve to reflect and address changes in university and college counseling. Accreditation requires meeting a detailed set of quality standards and calls for institutions to make every effort to maintain certain staff-to-student ratios. Approval by IACS is also dependent on evidence of continuing professional development as well as demonstration of excellence of counseling performance. The reaffirmation process involves detailed annual reports submitted by the director, a comprehensive two-day campus visit and site evaluation, an in-depth review of the CAPS mission and practices and multiple peer reviews in five areas: relationships within the university community, counseling and clinical services, ethical standards, personnel and resources/infrastructure.
“I’m pleased that Counseling and Psychological Services has once again been reaffirmed as fully accredited by IACS. This team of talented providers continues to provide our campus community with a high level of service,” said Cam Patterson, vice president for student affairs. “Our well-being unit and the services offered are an important part of the student experience. We have and will continue to make important investments in these areas as we seek to serve our community and create a sense of belonging that encourages our Lancers to be active, be well and be themselves in all that they do.”
CAPS provides confidential individual and group counseling services. In addition, it provides psychological testing services for ADHD and learning disorders, preventive outreach and crisis intervention. CAPS also offers educational programs to student groups, organizations and classes; trains and supervises future counselors; and provides educational workshops for faculty and staff. In addition, CAPS clinical providers serve as coaches for first-year students and instructors of classes.