Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Carol Kuechler


Social Work


The purpose of this study was to identify key factors associated with students’ use of college counseling services. Six common factors were seen throughout the available related research: stigma, gender, culture, experience & knowledge, fear and accessibility. In order to ascertain if and to what extent these factors influence college students’ decision to seek counseling, students at an urban Catholic university were invited to take part in an anonymous online survey through their school-sponsored daily e-news. The survey included questions related to the six factors drawn from the literature, and was completed using Qualtrics, an online survey tool. There were 46 students who completed the survey, and the data collected from the surveys was analyzed primarily using descriptive statistics. Each of the six factors had an impact on students’ use of counseling services, however the manner and extent to which each one affected an individual was not always congruent with previous research. The qualitative data consisted of voluntary comments and illustrated participants’ personal experiences and points of view. Given the findings from this and previous studies, college counseling centers may need to consider increasing their hours of availability, offering more information about their services online, staffing the center with counselors who match the student body demographically, and increasing education about counseling and therapy to students. It would also be valuable for more comprehensive research to be done on each of the six factors presented here, specifically the change in stigma over time.

Included in

Social Work Commons