Your privacy, dignity, and confidentiality are very important to us.

Privacy Practices

Iowa State University Student Counseling Services (SCS) is a component of the Iowa State University Health Care Providers. As a Iowa State University Health Care Provider, we abide by the Privacy Practices outlined in the Notice of Privacy Practices for Iowa State University Health Care Providers. When you come to SCS for you initial appointment, you will be asked to acknowledge in writing that you have seen this notice. We recommend you review it carefully as it describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed as well as how to access this information, In addition to the pdf version available on this page, we also maintain copies in our waiting and at the front desk.

Confidentiality Policy

As spelled out in our Privacy Practices we adhere to the recent federal law, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act to guard your “protected health information”. Further, we are also guided by our professional code of ethics, which state that all services of the Student Counseling Service are strictly confidential. SCS staff typically cannot release any information regarding clients, or the services they receive, to anyone outside of the Student Counseling Service without the written permission of the client. In those rare situations in which students indicate a high likelihood of harming themselves or others, SCS staff may be legally required to release client information (with or without written consent) to protect the safety and will-being of the person(s) involved. Further, all counseling staff are considered “mandated reporters” under Iowa law, meaning that in certain situations we are compelled to report suspected cases of child abuse, elder abuse, and depended adult abuse to the proper authorities.

Communication with Student Counseling Services

There are a number of ways in which you may communicate with SCS or request that SCS staff communicate with you. While no method involving modern technology can be guaranteed completely foolproof, SCS staff will be guided by your permissions and preferences for communicating with you and will always attempt to safeguard your privacy. The Client Information Form, which is completed prior to a student’s first appointment, allows you to specify which methods are acceptable to you for SCS to make contact and also which is your preferred method.

In person

Stopping by our office to make an appointment is the most secure way to insure privacy but it may not always be the most convenient for you.


You may always call the SCS main number (515-294-5056) during business hours or leave a message after hours. If you leave a call-back number or give us written permission to call you at a number, be aware that others who could answer that line may see a caller ID or may hear a message requesting you to return a call. SCS staff will use first names only when leaving a message for you.


Most people find email a convenient way to get messages quickly and privately. However, the security of the internet cannot be completely guaranteed either. SCS staff will make every attempt to get your email address correct and will appropriately limit the content of messages.

Automated Appointment Reminders

You may elect to receive automated appointment reminders from SCS. These appointment reminders are typically sent the day prior to your scheduled appointment and may go to the email or phone number of your choice (as a text message). If you would NOT like to receive these reminders, it is important that you discuss your preference with the front desk or a counselor.