New Associate Dean of Counseling and Advising Appointed at COD

Dr. Nathania Montes Icon

By Mike McKissack

College of DuPage recently appointed new Associate Dean of Counseling and Advising Dr. Nathania Montes.

Montes started her new position as Associate Dean of Counseling and Advising at College of DuPage on the first day of fall semester. A Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (L.C.P.C.), Montes began her College of DuPage career in 2002 and most recently served as a tenured mental health counselor and professor. Montes has also been a lecturer at Northwestern University since 2009.

Montes said she is delighted about her new role at the College.

“I’m looking forward to supporting my faculty in developing and providing exceptional programming and services in student development,” she said. “I’m excited to showcase the expertise of the counseling and advising faculty in the areas of educational, career and personal counseling. I’m also looking forward to collaborating with other departments to help students feel supported and valued during their time at College of DuPage so they succeed in their educational goals.”

Montes earned her B.A. in Psychology from Cornell University and both an M.A. and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern University. She worked as a pre-doctoral intern and a clinical supervisor at the University of Southern California, as well as a site coordinator and family therapist at the Family Institute at Northwestern University prior to coming to College of DuPage.

While Montes has a lot she is looking forward to as Associate Dean of Counseling and Advising, she knows the role will not be without challenges, particularly given the increasing numbers of students seeking support for mental health and the changing demographics of today’s college students.

“More students than ever are outside of the traditional 18- to 24-year-old range,” she said. “Students are also utilizing alternate modes of course delivery such as online and hybrid courses. While this provides opportunities academically, it may also make them feel less connected to on-campus resources. One of our big challenges is to find ways to connect with students who may spend limited time on campus.”

Montes noted that key elements of facing these challenges are communication and student engagement.

“We need to understand the needs and struggles of our students and listen to them,” she said. “Counselors and advisors will continue to work with students and develop programming and services, as well as continue to receive training and professional development. In my role, I will survey the needs of students and also consult and collaborate with other institutions to ensure that College of DuPage Counseling and Advising is aware of trends and best practices.”

Dedicated to the “life-changing power of education,” Montes said her commitment stems from lessons learned from the example of her parents.

“Both of my parents are immigrants from Haiti and one of their first decisions upon arriving in the states was to enroll in their local community college,” she said. “They believed that education was the key to all possibilities for them. This message stuck with me and my siblings, and as I navigated my way through my own college experiences, I realized how meaningful interventions and institutional support made a difference not only for me, but my classmates as well. I still believe in the power of education to transform the lives of individuals and will work diligently to support students as they navigate their own paths.”

Please click here for more information about COD’s Counseling and Advising.

College of DuPage is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.   Serving approximately 27,000 students each term, College of DuPage is the largest public community college in the state of Illinois.  The College grants nine associate degrees and offers more than 170 career and technical certificates in over 50 areas of study. 

College of DuPage

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