Openly acknowledging to students that you are aware of their distress, that you are sincerely concerns about their welfare and that you are willing to help them explore their alternatives can have a profound effect. We encourage you, whenever possible, to speak directly and honestly to a student when you sense that they are in academic and / or personal distress.

  • Request to see the student in private. This may help minimize embarrassment and defensiveness.
  • Briefly acknowledge your observations and perceptions of their situation and express your concerns directly and honestly. For tips on helpful language: UMatter
  • Listen carefully to what the student is troubled about and try to see the issues from their point of view without necessarily agreeing or disagreeing.
  • Strange and inappropriate behavior should not be ignored. Comment directly on what you have observed.
  • Your flexibility with strict procedures may allow an alienated student to respond more effectively to your concerns.
  • Involve yourself only as far as you want to go. At times, in an attempt to reach or help a troubled student, you may become more involved than time or skill permits.
  • Submit a STARs report to allow the STARs team to intervene early.