Campus Counsellor

Naryn, Kyrgyzstan
06 Dec 2018
End of advertisement period
03 Jan 2019
Academic Discipline
Social Sciences, Psychology
Contract Type
Full Time

School of Arts and Sciences
Duty station: Naryn, Kyrgyzstan
Deadline: Position open until filled

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, and starts in  September, 2018. 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, increase student engagement and success. The Counsellor will be committed to accessible, professionally delivered services that are responsive to the needs of all students. The Counsellor will also assist with residence life, recreation programs, student orientations and other student activities; liaise and work with staff and administration on behalf of students through committees and on an individual basis; deliver student support courses such as job search training, school life balance, peer mentorship 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.  UCA is an entrepreneurial institution and the Counsellor will need to be the kind of individual who can develop and deliver innovative programmes and support structures for students. A critical role of the Counsellor will be to steer the development and implementation of a new counselling department and services at UCA. He or she will need to balance experience and first-hand knowledge of best practices with an entrepreneurial sensibility.    

Additional Responsibilities Include:

Health and Psychological Counselling Services 

  • Offer mental health 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, well-being and  diversity issues. 
  • Develop and manage support programs for on campus crises. 
  • Develop and facilitate life skills classes on a variety of topics that help students develop social/emotional intelligence, autonomy, leadership and resiliency skills.
  • Work closely with Student Life Team to help create a healthy campus culture that supports student health and development.

Faculty and Staff 

  • Provide confidential consultation to staff/faculty and their families on an individual basis regarding matters both personal and professional   (i.e. cultural adjustment, stress and mental health problems).
  • Offer a variety of educational and training workshops that support staff and faculty well-being.

Career and Academic Counselling Services 

  • Offer academic counselling to students including but not limited to: academic and learning difficulties (e.g. note-taking, reading comprehension etc.), assessment and intervention for students on academic probation, plagiarism, procrastination, test anxiety and technology addictions; some of this counselling will also be handled by the Registrar’s Office
  • Provide counselling to students regarding employment expectations and career choices by integrating their academic strengths, competencies, values and vocational interests as well as co-op work experiences and labour market opportunities

Desired Qualities and Capacities 

  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, and the ability to work effectively with a diverse student body, preferably 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 and the appropriate support structures and coping mechanisms that are needed 
  • 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
  • Strong computer skills in Microsoft Office 

Minimum Qualifications and Relevant Experience

  • Graduate Degree in Counselling Psychology from a reputable graduate programme
  • One year of supervised clinical counselling training 
  • Registered with a recognized and relevant professional body 
  • 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
  • Specialised training and credentials in any areas of critical incident training, mental health training, and/or diversity training is an asset


  • Advanced English and Russian is required; however, for very experienced counsellors Russian may be considered optional 
  • Working knowledge of Kyrgyz, Tajik, and Kazakh would be an attractive asset


  • Reports to the Manager of Student Affairs, works closely with the Dean of Arts and Sciences on mental health concerns among faculty and staff, and works very closely with 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 or apply through the AKDN Career Centre. As your application e-mail subject, please write: “Campus Counsellor” and indicate how you heard about us. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until position is filled.   

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.