Peterson Counseling Center

The Peterson Counseling Center (PCC) provides free, confidential services for Ringling students, including brief individual and group counseling; emergency psychological services; consultation with home and community providers for students with specialized or long-term needs that require specialized off-campus treatment; and outreach and educational programming. The PCC also offers psychological consultation to students, faculty and staff as well as parents and families who are concerned about a student.

Peterson Counseling Center Mission Statement

The Peterson Counseling Center (PCC) believes that good health is essential for achieving educational objectives and supporting the quality of our students’ educational experience. The Counseling Center strives to enhance the well-being of students by working with students’ families, home providers, community therapists and off-campus providers/specialists, and other campus departments to provide emotional support, impart life skills, and encourage self-reflection. Our purpose is to empower students to navigate their way through the world as individuals with both greater autonomy and effectiveness, and the skills to manage their personal and mental health needs during and after college. We work to create a safe environment that is inclusive and welcoming of all students. We strive to continue to develop relevant expertise, make substantive contributions to the field, and to serve as consultants to the greater campus, promoting an informed, prepared and safe community.

Commitment to Respect for Differences

The staff of the PCC are committed to delivering professional services that respect both individual differences and our common humanity. Our professional guidelines and personal values call us to recognize prejudice, privilege, and discrimination in all of its forms (including but not limited to gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, sexual orientation, disability status, socioeconomic status, and more), and to become aware of the effects on individuals and groups to which those individuals belong. We seek to apply this commitment in all of our professional activities, and to support the growth of communities that work better for everyone.

Our mission is closely aligned with The larger Office of Student Life,  which provides a variety of programs and services designed to promote the artistic development, academic success, personal growth, and overall well-being of the student body, and aims to support the broader mission of the Ringling College, which  “Through its policies and practices, supports excellence in teaching and fosters the aesthetic, intellectual, professional, personal, and social development of its students.” 


(Ulifeline) This service is intended for college students nation-wide, providing links to various resources.  To access it, click on the link.  Select "student log on."  This will not identify you.  Under "select student's state" choose Florida.  For "select school" choose Ringling College of Art and Design.  Click "log in."

Web Links

Student Link to Videos relating to Mental Health Issues

Guide for Faculty and Staff


Guide for Parents




The Peterson Counseling Center is located at 2712 Bradenton Road in the new Health Center. 

Mailing Address

Ringling College of Art and Design
Peterson Counseling Center
2700 North Tamiami Trail 
Sarasota, Florida  34234


(941) 893-2855

General Office Hours

The Peterson Counseling Center hours of operation are Monday - Friday - 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM with other hours to be announced.

Emergency Services

In case of emergency after 4:30 PM and on weekends, please contact the Office of Public Safety at 941-359-7500 and an officer will contact the on-call staff.

We are closed weekends and during official College Holidays.


Please feel free to contact us at for non-urgent scheduling.  For emergencies or to convey personal information, please call (941) 893-2855 during regular business hours or come in to the Counseling Center Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM to set a time for an intake session. Students will typically be seen by a counselor within a few days. Students in crisis will be seen as soon as possible on the same day. 


The Peterson Counseling Center staff is comprised of experienced mental health professionals well versed in young adult development and in the special demands and rigors of college life, including:

Reenie Page
Office Manager for Student Health Services 

Nancy Long, LMHC
Associate Director of Counseling and Staff Therapist

Kenneth F. Mroz, LCSW, Ph.D.
Associate Director of Counseling and Staff Therapist

Nancy Zlatkin, Psy.D.
Associate Director of Counseling and Staff Therapist

[Full Health Services Staff List]


Individual and Group Counseling

Involves meeting short-term one-on-one with a counselor or in a small group. Many students meet with a counselor sporadically throughout their college years as particular concerns arise.

Typical concerns students discuss in personal counseling include:

  • Adjusting to college
  • Coping with stress
  • Confusion, anxiety or depression
  • Dealing with fears
  • Family concerns – including parental divorce
  • Loneliness
  • Romantic concerns
  • Balancing academics and social needs
  • Self-destructive use of alcohol or drugs
  • Loss of a relationship
  • Understanding one’s sexuality
  • Exploring career choice
  • Personal trauma such as sexual assault
  • Illness, death of a friend or family member

Small groups of students are occasionally formed for mutual support and shared learning. Examples are: First Year and Non-Traditional Student Support Groups, Art Therapy, and Depression/Anxiety. Students are encouraged to contact the Counseling Center to find out about more specific groups.

For students who come in to college with a significant history of mental health needs or otherwise decide they require more frequent, more specialized, or longer-term services that our counseling center can provide, we are happy to work with students to help them find a therapist in the community. 

Please schedule an appointment with us if we can help with this process, check your insurance to see who is covered, or view our online list of Community Providers.

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Community Providers

We have compiled a list of community providers to help make your meeting your or your students assessment or long-term therapy needs easier. This list includes long term therapist, specialized assessment and treatment providers for areas like ADHD and Eating concerns, as well as specialized assessment and recovery centers for alcohol/substance abuse.

Click here to download a copy of the most recent list of Community Providers.


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UBH Psychiatrist On-Campus and Psychopharmacological Referrals

While classes are in session, we have a psychiatrist available for limited hours several times a month in the on-campus Health Center through a partnership with University Behavioral Health. For students interested in exploring medication as an option to help with short- or long-term mental health concerns, they can contact the counseling center to setup a REQUIRED REFERRAL appointment with a college counseling center staff member – Dr. Ken Mroz, Nancy Long, or Dr. Nancy Zlatkin. Transferring prescriptions from a home psychiatrist is welcomed, though a referral from one of our mental health counselors is required in all cases.  For students with existing prescriptions, and/or those who are receiving continued care from home providers which many students continue to do, please let your therapist know so all providers may communicate.  By working as a team with your existing provider, we are able to provide the most complete service and ensure a higher continuity of care for you.  If you are receiving medication, please continue to stay in contact with your existing provider regularly via phone and during breaks as possible for medication management, and let your therapist know about any changes to your medication.  Off-campus referrals for local psychiatrists can also be provided upon request for students requiring more specialized treatment. Controlled substance prescriptions are not prescribed by the UBH psychiatrist on site. Our goal is to help support your total health and long-term success. Students with ADHD diagnoses or other disorders requiring controlled substances should ensure they have a complete learning evaluation (which includes 4-6 hours of testing) from an off-campus psychologist within the past three years (a diagnosis from a GP is not sufficient). The counseling center can be helpful in providing lists of local psychologists who provide such testing. If you are being prescribed medication of any kind please ensure that your medication is locked up when unattended and remains in the original containers at all times. 

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Learning Disabilities and Other Documentation

 The staff at the Ringling College Health Center including Counseling, Medical Services, and Psychiatry is generally not able to provide assessment and/or documentation of learning disabilities or assessment of student functioning. Students seeking to substantiate self-reports of conditions which interfere with academic performance, receive documentation of mandated treatment required by courts, or receive approval for study abroad should seek evaluation from a training professional off-campus. Receiving services from PCC or SMH will not lead to accommodations or other services, even if you disclose a qualifying disability. If you have a disability or feel your difficulties may be symptoms of a disability, visit the Academic Resource Center (ARC) in Room 227 of the Ulla Searing Student Center or call 941 359 7627. Disabilities services are available to anyone with a condition that interferes with classes, coursework or activities on campus and accommodations can only be arranged through ARC.

The following professionals would generally be considered qualified to conduct evaluations provided that they have additional training and experience in evaluating adolescents and adults with learning disabilities: clinical or educational psychologists; school psychologists; neuropsychologists; learning disabilities specialists; and medical doctors with demonstrated training and experience in the assessment of learning disabilities in adolescents and adults. You may consult with your home provider, your insurance provider, or view our list of community agencies to locate a trained professional to provide a thorough assessment. If you have difficulty locating a provider to meet your individual needs, please contact us and we would be happy to schedule a consultation to assist you. 

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Crisis Intervention

The Counseling Center provide 24 hour Crisis Intervention Services throughout the academic year. The Counseling Center's Clinical Staff provides emergency services to students who are experiencing acute emotional distress, are a dange to self or others, or require immediate intervention or hospitilization. In an emergency the student should contact their Resident Assistant, Associate Dean of Residents Life, Administrator on Duty or Public Safety at (941) 359-7500.

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Educational Programs and Workshops

Workshops are designed to help students learn skills to cope with the stress of living in a fast paced, competitive world. Examples include: Stress Management, Assertiveness Training, Positive Body Image and Healthy Relationships.

Request a Workshop or Presentation

To request a workshop or presentation for your department, please use the convenient link below.

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Occasionally students, faculty and staff have a concern about the behavior of a student and would like to consult with a professional about what might be done to help the individual. The Counseling Center staff is available to provide assistance and when appropriate explore ways to make an effective referral.

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In some cases the Counseling Center is unable to provide the service requested or a student may seek services outside the Counseling Center. The staff of the Counseling Center is often able to help individuals find the most appropriate source of help and facilitate the referral process.

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Sarasota Area Inpatient Mental Health Facilities

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger of harming themselves please call 911 or visit the local Emergency Room. ER staff after providing an assessment can facilitate transport to Bayside Center for Behavioral Health inpatient unit. For a free clinical assessment you may also contact Bayside directly at (941) 917-7760 or visit their website for more information. Coastal Behavioral Health Care, Incprovides similar services. 

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The Counseling Center staff abide by all ethical and legal obligations adhering strictly to the laws of confidentiality. Parents, professors, administrators, etc. cannot receive information without students’ signed permission. However, in a life-threatening situation, confidence may need to be broken to protect the safety of a student or others.

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