Dynamic On-call Counselor Scheduling for The University of Florida Counseling and Wellness Center

Aleksandra Orlovic

Authors:  Madeline Schmidt, Aleksandra Orlovic, Meserret Karaca, Dr. Michelle Alvarado, Dr. Alvin Lawrence, Dr. Ernesto Escoto

Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Michelle Alvarado

College:  Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering


The University of Florida’s Counseling and Wellness Center offers walk-in appointment for students dealing with emergency situations that require immediate attention. The Counseling and Wellness Center offers walk-in appointments at both its main (Radio Road) and satellite (Peabody) locations. The current counselor scheduling policy implemented by the Counseling and Wellness Center for these emergency walk-ins is static, meaning that the same number of counselors are on-staff year-round. But since emergency walk-ins are stochastic and seasonal, the static counselor scheduling policy is not meeting students’ needs. The research objective is to find a dynamic scheduling policy with the goal of reducing the deficit in counselor capacity for emergency walk-in appointments. We analyzed the seasonal trends and developed dynamic scheduling policies based on academic semester, student breaks, and special considerations for peak demand periods. Overall, the dynamic scheduling policies will allow more students with emergency needs to be met in a timely manner.

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