FAQ`s

What is Today College Tour?

How Does it all Work?

Why Bring Today College Tour to My Campus?

How Does Today College Tour Benefit the
Entire Campus?


How Does Today College Tour Benefit
Campus Counseling Services?


How Does Today College Tour Benefit Campus
Theater Departments?


How Does Today College Tour Target
Prevention?


What Actual Results has Today College
Tour Demonstrated?


What is the cost of bringing Today College
Tour to Campus?


What are Today Tags?


What is Today College Tour?

Today College Tour is professional campus programming targeting the preemption of campus tragedy. Programming is presented on campus in two parts over the course of about three months. One portion of programming is the implementation of the Today Tags Initiative on campus. For more detail on Today Tags please contact us in order to receive login information to access to the “Today Tags” area of this website.

The second portion of Today College Tour programming includes on campus performances of our acclaimed stage theatre production, “today”, performed alongside your students, and revealed through intense, provocative vignettes of psychotherapy sessions, interspersed with inspired original music. “today” shows perform with student actors from the host theater department, except for the role of “Dr. Sullivan”, who performs in all shows in person.
 
The “today” show structure allows the majority of show preparation to be completed in advance of the arrival of “today” on campus. The script, performance details, training video footage, (see “Training Video” link), and the Psychotherapy Office set design and specs, are seamlessly coordinated in advance of performances between “today” and the host theatre department. Today College Tour performances also include the facilitation of psycho educational, experiential show components developed specifically for student audiences.

How Does it all Work?

After programming dates are selected by the host college, a Today College Tour Programming Specialist will begin work with your campus. The first contact will occur three months prior to the “today” performance dates.  Typically, three “Campus Contacts” represent the college in interactions with Today College Tour. Host college contact points include a theatre contact, the student “today” show director (selected by your theatre department), and a counseling center clinician.  These host college based points of contact work with Today College Tour staff to oversee the various programming.  Today College Tour provides detailed time lines and programming information designed to track progress and ensure timely execution of programming objectives.

Why Bring Today College Tour to my Campus?

While campus counseling center staff sizes are remaining static or even decreasing nationally, institutions of higher education enroll more students with mental health problems today than ever before.  As a result, student, and parent, demand for mental health and counseling services is increasing on most college campuses. Meanwhile, an estimated 1,088 suicides occur among college students each year (National Mental Health Association [NMHA] & The Jed Foundation [JED], 2002). In turn, college and university personnel are regularly asked about how they are managing campus problems.

A number of national trends are contributing pressure to the growing demands on campuses including: increased campus violence, increased public access to information, greater public scrutiny, increased threat of litigation, increasingly diverse student bodies, improved medications which enable increasingly at risk students to enroll and succeed in higher education, increased media attention on mental health issues, increased accessibility of psych educational information, improved non medication mental health treatments, decreased stigma, anxiety provoking international insecurity, increased cultural pressures including increased competition, and increased family dysfunction, to name a few.

A review of a survey of more than 94,000 students and 123 postsecondary institutions, conducted by the American College Health Association National College Health Assessment (2006), reveals that more than half of the students reported feeling hopeless in the past year, more than 35 percent reported feeling so depressed that they could not function three or more times a year, and nearly 10 percent reported seriously considering suicide in the previous year.

Further, according to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, In 2001, more than 1,700 deaths on campuses were caused by addiction related injuries; 97,000 students were victims of alcohol related rape or sexual assaults; and 696,000 students were assaulted by another student who had been drinking heavily.

How does Today College Tour Benefit the Entire
Campus?

"Connecting authentically and deeply with others across all dimensions of life enriches the human spirit.  The sense of community resulting from such connections is a hallmark of a supportive campus environment, which we know is an important feature in enhancing student learning."

- George D. Kuh, Chancellor`s Professor and Director, National Survey of Student Engagement, Indiana University

Today College Tour is a primary intervention in support of the Cube Model of Campus-Wide Strategic Planning for Distressed and Distressing Students. Today College Tour programming targets intervention at multiple levels ranging from the individual to the community. The breadth of Today College Tour`s programming is designed to stimulate campus wide dialogue about a range of issues that are critical underpinnings of successful communities. Today College Tour provides a forum for surfacing and churning these issues by bringing awareness to the forefront of campus consciousness and providing tools for engaging these issues on an ongoing basis.

How Does Today College Tour Benefit Campus
Counseling Services?

"We are always working as psychologists, as psychotherapists, to aquaint people with what help and resources are available to them."

 - Scott Strader, Ph.D., Director of Counseling Services, Eckerd College

Beyond the inherent mental health related design and value of the Today College Tour program, "today" performances provide a forum for the delivery of additional programming from campus counseling services by organizing a multiple day forum to educate students and staff about varied psychological services offered on campus, while also creating space for a range of counseling center led psycho-educational initiatives, trainings, and/or psychotherapy group formations.

Further, the process of Today College Tour`s programming inherently connects students in the theatre department to Counseling Services, and primes these students to connect Counseling Services to other parts of the campus community.  Meanwhile, by using the campus theatre and other campus locations as host locations that are outside of the walls of the campus counseling center, Today College Tour enables the counseling center staff to engage the campus community in critical mental health related dialogue where the issues are most persistant and alive.

How Does Today College Tour Benefit Campus
Theater Departments?

Today College Tour provides theatre departments with a ground-breaking, turn-key stage production that reduces the use of personnel or facility resources, and that can therefore be produced at low cost to the theater department. Meanwhile, “today” offers your student actors of any level of experience the rare opportunity of participating and performing with a touring stage production (without the hassle of actually touring). Choose a couple or more days that the theater is not booked, and Today College Tour will help you make valuable use of your existing resources while you give your campus the gift of professional theater combined with campus-relevant content. Your students and audience will love this production!  

How Does Today Target Prevention?

A comprehensive approach to suicide prevention on college and university campuses is needed. It should employ multiple strategies targeted at both the general campus population and identifiable at-risk populations” (Surgeon General of the United States, 1999). “Such a comprehensive approach will be more effective when it includes consistent and coordinated activities in all the social spheres in which the target audience live, study, work, and play. A comprehensive approach also needs to engage key players in the college community”                            (http://www.samhsa.gov/grants/2005/nofa/sm05015_campus_suicide.doc).                                               

By integrating programming between student affairs, counseling services, the theatre department and STUDENTS, Today College Tour comprehensively addresses a range of campus mental health and community building efforts. 

What Actual Results has Today College Tour
Demonstrated? 
 

Pre and Post programming assessment measures have been provided to students at Today College Tour events.  Audience responses have demonstrated significant differences between pre and post show responses in the following assessed areas:

·        Increased reported empathy for fellow students and community

·        Increased reported awareness of the range of emotional problems that classmates encounter

·        Increased reported appreciation for the potential influence of diverse backgrounds and histories of fellow students and staff

·        Increased reported appreciation for the connection between a history of trauma and present emotional experience and difficulty

·        Increased reported concern about parents’ life satisfaction

 

Audience and participant interviews documented that these effects had sustained at a two month follow up. Today College Tour Programming conducts similar research on each campus visited and provides results to campus administrators. 

What is the cost of Today College Tour to Campus?

Today College Tour programming can be designed to best fit the needs of your campus.  Please contact us through our “Contact” link and we will provide programming and pricing options. Today College Tour can cost less than the cost of putting on a typical stage theatre production at a campus theatre.

How Does Today College Tour Get Students to Participate?

Because "today " performs alongside student actors from the host college theater department, student interest and turnout is enhanced. Not only is each cast member "required" to account for 10 audience members, but each " today" student cast member also ends up becoming a great asset to it`s campus by distributing "Today Tags" and learning to peer educate around issues of respectful dialogue. While distributing "Today Tags" in the several weeks around the "today" stage shows, cast members are also marketing the production to fellow students on campus.  Beyond this design advantage,  and the word of mouth marketing by the ever-pleased-to-spread-the-word student actors, Today College Tour will assist with marketing the show to the students through advertising on various channels including facebook.com and youtube.com.  Finally, extra credit for attendance from psychology course instructors is a way that campuses can support attendance.  In these various ways we`ve learned to play and active role in getting your students in the seats!

What are TodayTags?

Today Tags are LiveStrong-style band custom made in your school colors. They are distributed to students as well as being placed all around campus. Wearing a Today Tag represents a tangible invitation to others in the campus community to initiate an empathic conversation about issues that the Today Tag wearer feels are important to talk about. The idea is simply to wear a Today Tag in a visible location, and use it to spark a conversation. As a result, Today Tags promote conversation about what matters to the members of your campus community. Meanwhile, through proper distribution and education, a Today Tag conversation will be understood to be constructive, building awareness of and empathy toward varied perspectives. To learn more about how we implement Today Tags on campus, submit our "Contact" form. We will then provide you with login access to view a more extensive Today Tags training area of this website.