Department: School of Arts and Sciences
Duty station: Naryn, Kyrgyz Republic
Deadline: Position open until filled
Reports to: Manager of Student Affairs
Summary of Position and Key Responsibilities
The University of Central Asia is seeking a full-time Counsellor to provide a student-centered, inclusive and proactive support system for students of UCA under the general direction of the Manager of Student Affairs, who is part of the Dean’s Management Team. The position will be based on the Naryn campus in Kyrgyzstan. The successful candidate is primarily responsible for the provision of guidance and counselling services to students who are seeking solutions to personal concerns, but the Counsellor will also provide career and academic services to students. He or she will address the full spectrum of student issues at an individual and group level. The Counsellor will work with the Career and Co-operative Education centre to provide career advice to students and work intimately with the primary health care professionals to respond to campus health care needs as one seamless, overall service. The Counsellor will address students’ developmental and personal problems, mental health problems and crises.
Counselling Services directly support the mission of the University of Central Asia by engaging in activities that facilitate the student learning experience and increase student engagement and success. The Counsellor will also assist with residence life, student orientations and other activities that enhance well-being; deliver student support courses such as life skills, career exploration, school life balance and related activities. The Counsellor will oversee a series of programme interventions with an emphasis on prevention and catching issues early on that address the needs and pre-existing issues faced at a remote university campus in Central Asia. The counsellor will need to be the kind of individual who can develop and deliver innovative programmes and support structures that are responsive to the needs of Central Asian students, faculty and their families.
Additional Responsibilities Include:
Health and Psychological Counselling Services
- Offer mental health assessment and counselling to students on a wide variety of issues including suspected or confirmed mental health problems;
- Create awareness among students, faculty and staff regarding mental health and diversity issues;
- Develop and manage support programs for campus crises;
- Offer personal counselling to students adjusting to post-secondary studies and living away from home.
Faculty and Staff
- Provide confidential consultations to staff/faculty and their families on an individual basis regarding matters both personal and professional i.e. stress and mental health problems;
- Offer a variety of educational and training workshops for faculty and their families;
- Work closely with other student services areas (e.g. security, nurse, residence advisors) to ensure a holistic and seamless approach.
Desired Qualities and Capacities:
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills, and the ability to work effectively with a diverse student body, preferably with experience in the developing world and/or in a rural community;
- A capacity to handle sensitive situations and confidential information with discretion and a genuine concern for student success;
- An understanding of issues and cultural norms experienced by Central Asian students;
- An ability to establish a cooperative work environment and create strong collaborative relationships;
- Proven ability to engage students, staff and faculty in developing a healthy campus culture that supports well-being;
- Experience working with health care professionals to offer integrated mental and health services such as critical incident training;
- Proven ability to work collaboratively with academic personnel and leadership;
- Willingness to build expertise in career counselling;
- Strong computer skills in Microsoft Office
Minimum Qualifications and Relevant Experience
- Graduate Degree in Counselling Psychology from a reputable graduate program;
- One year of supervised clinical counselling training;
- Minimum of one-year psychological counselling experience;
- Preference will be given to applicants with two years of personal, mental health, crisis and student success counselling at a post-secondary institution within the past five years;
- Professionalism, tact, accuracy, timeliness, and sensitivity are required to effectively advise students and to maintain and enhance relationships with students;
- Experience with group and/or workshop facilitation including development of seminars;
- Specialized training and credentials in any areas of critical incident training, mental health training, and/or diversity training is an asset.
- Advanced English is required, Russian fluency is strongly preferred;
- Working knowledge of Kyrgyz, Tajik, and Kazakh would be an asset.
Reports to the Manager of Student Affairs, works closely with the Dean of Arts and Sciences, the Cooperative Education Office, Faculty and Staff.
Salary and Package
Salary and package to attract the best candidate.
How to Apply
Please send a cover letter, CV, and contact information for three references to AKDN Career Centre.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.