The Calandra Institute is unique among the centers and institutes at CUNY in that it has provided counseling services to Italian-American students and the community since 1979. Specialized counselors are trained in and sensitive to the history, culture, and experience of Italians in America, and they bring this awareness to the counseling encounter. Calandra counselors understand the importance of a comprehensive and contemporary model of counseling. Within the process, their holistic approach examines, among other things, cultural values and family relationships.
The counselors are licensed clinicians who provide an array of services that include academic advisement, career development, and personal/psychological counseling. Services are available at the Calandra Institute, at select CUNY campuses, and at high schools in the outer boroughs.
Calandra Center for Career Development
Originally established in 1985, the Center for Career Development was newly reconstituted in 2015 to provide individual career counseling and assessment to current students and members of the Italian-American community who may want to enroll at CUNY in order to pursue continuing education, return to college, or enter college for the first time. Services may include multiple counseling sessions, the administration and interpretation of career inventories, and the dissemination of information regarding the academic majors, degree options, and certificate programs offered at CUNY. Although the services do not include job placement, those who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or career changers are welcome to explore new goals and strategies through individualized counseling sessions designed to explore life goals/roles/purpose. Counselors may also assist clients to develop coping methods regarding stress caused by work-related matters including work/family balance, work/life boundaries, and the transition into retirement. Through the different phases of the career-development process, whether entering a new field, advancing with your current profession, or changing directions, the counselors at the Center will help you identify and develop the skills and resources to achieve your career, educational, and life goals.
Counselors work on a number of select CUNY campuses, providing support to Italian-American students navigating the maze of higher education. The retention and development of these students is of prime concern to the Calandra Institute, and it is accomplished by several means. Academic, career, and personal/psychological counseling is provided, as is information on scholarships and study abroad opportunities in Italy. Counselors assist students to develop and refine plans for continuing their studies, from the associate’s degree level to the doctoral and professional levels.
High School Counseling
Outreach services are offered at high schools that have high concentrations of Italian American students and/or where there is a strong interest in Italian language and Italian American culture. Counselors are generally based in the college office or guidance suite, and their primary mission remains the promotion of interest in higher education through the vehicles of career exploration and college advisement with an emphasis on promoting the programs of the City University of New York. High-school outreach services are offered in the outer boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island.
Seminars and Workshops
For the last several years, Calandra counselors have organized conferences and symposia on issues regarding Italian American mental health. Topics have included domestic violence, elder care, mental illness, grief and loss, and ethnic identity.
Although targeted to Italian Americans, all seminars and workshops are free and available to all, regardless of racial/ethnic background.
Books edited by Calandra counselors were also formally presented to the community, and these publications form a foundation for clinicians working with Italian Americans and for those interested in conducting research on various segments of the population. These books are available for purchase through the Calandra Institute.
The Calandra counselors also produce Il Giornolino, The Italian Journal, a publication of writings in Italian from high-school and college students in Italian classes throughout New York. Submissions are made in a variety of formats, including essay, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.
- Italian American Students in New York City, 1975–2000 (2011)
- Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health (2013)
- Il Giornolino