TAMIU Initiates Support Services for Women, Returning Adult Students

Whether one is returning to higher education, or entering college for the first time, obstacles and decisions can be daunting. Texas A&M International University's Office of Student Counseling hopes that two new support groups will help ease the way for many students.

Dr. Terry Hannigan, director of the Office of Student Counseling, explained that TAMIU will be offering a Women and Relationships support group as well as a Returning Adults support group. Both will have their first meeting on campus next week, with the women's group meeting Tuesday, August 26 at 12:15 p.m. and the returning adults meeting Thursday, August 28 at 12:15 p.m. Both groups will use the Student Center room 124 and will meet once a week for about 10 weeks.

Dr. Hannigan explained that there are no classes scheduled at that time, which was important in ensuring the most number of students could attend. He said both groups were created with the idea of providing support to students who might face a few additional problems than traditional students.

"The idea for a Returning Adults Group developed from conversations with a number of TAMIU Student Services personnel. Currently, there is no student club for this population and although they receive services available to all our students, they are unique and experience specific concerns and frustrations as college students. Group discussions may include support from family members when an adult enrolls in college classes, concerns about being the oldest or one of the oldest students in a class, managing multiple roles of college student, parent and employee," Hannigan explained.

He said the women's support group will be run by Adriana Blasco, counselor, and Joy Simpson, licensed professional counselor intern.

"Both Ms. Blasco and Ms. Simpson have extensive experience in working with women and women's issues. Possible topics of the group include but are not limited to: Healthy and unhealthy relationships, making a good relationship better, intimacy, being alone, and sexual issues," said Hannigan.

He said that members in either group will be encouraged to raise other concerns they have and hopefully will gain insight and ideas on how to manage these concerns from the other group members. Participants must be currently enrolled as TAMIU students.

For more information please contact Student Counseling at 326-2230 or visit offices in the Student Center, room 124. University office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, Tuesday and Friday and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu