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Our History

Counseling and Psychological Services began as the UNC Charlotte Counseling Center in 1967.  Bonnie Cone, founder of the University, persuaded Dr. Ronald "Sam" Simono to leave his position at Duke University to become the founding director of the Center. The Center began as a two-person department operating out of what was then called Reese Building (now King). After a few years, the growing Center was moved to the ground floor at the base of the Atkins Library tower and then to the space in the Atkins annex where the Center remained until 2017.

Over the next few decades, the Counseling Center grew to become a comprehensive department that provided high-quality psychological services to UNC Charlotte students. During this period the Center also began preparing future mental health professionals through its training program. The doctoral internship program was accredited by the American Psychological Association in 2000.

Dr. Simono held an academic rank in the Department of Psychology throughout his tenure. He retired as Director in 2003 after 36 years at the helm. Upon retirement, Dr. Simono was awarded the rank of Professor Emeritus in Psychology.  Dr. David Spano became the Director in 2003 and remain so until 2019.  In 2019, Dr. Paula M. Keeton was named Director.

CAPS has continued to build upon the foundation Dr. Simono and his team established. The Counseling Center was renamed the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services, informally known as CAPS, shortly before the opening of the Price Center building on September 29, 2017.  With its staff of psychologists and social workers and as well as graduate assistants in psychology and social work, doctoral interns and postdoctoral fellows in psychology, CAPS continues to grow and adapt to meet the diverse counseling and mental health needs of the University’s nearly 30,000 students. With its high quality staff and state-of-the-art facility, CAPS is well-positioned to serve current and future generations of UNC Charlotte students.

UNC Charlotte named its Center for Counseling and Psychological Services for alumna Christine F. Price (’82) during a ceremony on Monday, Oct. 30.

The ceremony recognized Price and her family’s service to UNC Charlotte and their financial support of EXPONENTIAL: The Campaign for UNC Charlotte, the University’s $200 million fundraising initiative. Her husband, Joe Price (’83), is chair of the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees.

The Christine F. Price Center for Counseling and Psychological Services honors the enduring spirit and tenacity of its namesake. Since earning a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 1982, she has remained dedicated to UNC Charlotte – proudly supporting 49ers basketball, soccer and football; helping to secure gifts for the annual Great Gold Rush Auction to support athletic scholarships; and championing a variety of initiatives across the University, including Habitat for Humanity, athletics, the Belk College of Business and the Chancellor’s Fund.

The Center for Counseling and Psychological Services, a department within the Division of Student Affairs, is fully accredited by the International Association of Counseling Services Inc. The center supports the holistic well-being and academic success of students and contributes to a healthy and inclusive campus climate. This is accomplished by providing short-term individual and group counseling, crisis management, consultation, referral services and educational and preventive initiatives for the campus community. In addition, the center supports the academic mission of the University by serving as a training site for graduate students and supports scholarly activity and professional development of staff.

“We are grateful to the Price family for their generous service to the University,” said David Spano, associate vice chancellor for health programs and services and director of the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services. “Our new building allows us to meet the needs of our growing student body by providing them a more spacious, welcoming environment where staff can expand our individual and group services.”

UNC Charlotte Chancellor Philip L. Dubois stated, “Both Joe and Christine have long been committed to supporting our campus and our students. They recognize the power of giving and receiving help – a tenet upon which UNC Charlotte’s counseling services are based.