a faculty member is concerned about a student
Faculty and instructors have a unique
opportunity to intervene when a student is in or heading toward distress. Students at CMU, by and large, are committed
to performing well academically. When a
student’s academic performance is poor or declines throughout the semester this
may be indicative of the student struggling in other areas. Faculty/instructors are often the first to
know when students need additional support.
Listed below are some things
faculty/instructors should consider when identifying a student of concern:
- Class attendance – Has the student missed multiple classes? Is
the student failing to meet your attendance policy? Have you noticed a
change in the student’s attendance as the semester has progressed?
- Quality of assignments – Has the quality of the student’s assignments
declined? Is the student turning assignments in later or not at all? Does
the content of the assignment concern you or allude to other problems the
student may be experiencing?
- Receipt of concerning information – Has the student shared information with you
that seems to imply distress in other areas of the student’s life? Did you
receive an email that shares personal information not relevant to your
course or assignment?
- Noticeable changes in the student’s behavior or
appearance – Do you have concerns
about a student’s behavior in class? Is the student having trouble
connecting with peers? Have you noticed a significant change in the
student’s appearance or mood?
- Is the student still enrolled in your course? – If you have concerns about the student’s
attendance and whether he/she is still enrolled in your course, you may
choose to contact the Registrar’s Office.
- Mid-semester warnings – While mid-semester warnings are not always an
accurate representation of how the student is doing in your course, it may
be worth considering whether this piece of information, combined with any
of the others listed here, may be indicative of a greater concern.
- Please consider filling a CARE Report if
you have concerns about a student’s academic performance. While one of the concerns listed above,
alone, may not trigger a CARE Report, a combination of these concerns may be
cause for concern. Any information you
submit may initiate the process of identifying a student in distress, or may
add to information we already have about a student of concern.
SUBMIT A CARE REPORT
resources available to faculty and instructors
If you have concerns about a student,
are unsure how to engage with a student of concern, or would like to talk
through a challenging situation, one-on-one consultations are available with
the CARE Team Coordinator. The meeting
can be held over the phone, in your office, or another on-campus location -
wherever you prefer. Appointments can be
scheduled by contacting Deanna Johnson, CARE Team Coordinator at 989-774-2273 (CARE
In certain circumstances a case
conference may be necessary to discuss the best approach for a student in
crisis. The CARE Team Coordinator and
other CARE Team members are available to attend a case conference
established by members of your department, or to call a case conference with
other campus officials if the situation warrants this approach. If you believe a case conference is
necessary, it is important to share information about the student in distress
via a CARE Report.
The CARE Team Coordinator is available
to provide presentations to you department based on the department’s needs and
desire for more information. If you or
your department would like more information about working with students in
distress, how/when to submit a CARE Report, establishing healthy boundaries in
your classroom, or recognizing signs of concerning behavior please contact
Deanna Johnson, CARE Team Coordinator at 989-774-2273 (CARE Line).
For additional information see:
Questions to Consider Before Submitting a CARE Report
Information on Helping Others
concerned about a student
When possible, we encourage faculty and
staff to address their concerns about health, wellbeing, safety and academic
performance with the student prior to submitting a CARE Report, although we are
aware this is not always possible. Speaking
openly with the student about a faculty/staff members concerns and his/her
decision to submit a CARE Report lets the student know that the faculty/staff
member cares about the student’s success and that resources are available to
support and assist the student. Talking
with the student about submitting a CARE Report also affirms the usefulness of
the CARE Team, engages the student in his/her own process, and creates a
transparent relationship between the student and helping providers. The following text may assist you in this
For some related additional ideas about
approaching a student that you are concerned about see also the following: Information on Helping Others
If you believe a friend would benefit from using the services provided by CMU’s Counseling Center, or have questions about the resources it offers, please contact the Counseling Center. Counselors are available to discuss your concerns and offer suggestions based upon the confidential counseling and counseling-related resources that are available at the Counseling Center. The center can be contacted at 989-774-3381. See the Counseling Center’s website www.counsel.cmich.edu for additional information on the center, community referrals, self-help resources, and other related counseling information.
See also the following: Information on Helping Others
It is not uncommon for faculty members
to receive email communication that causes them to be concerned about the
student who sent the email. The
following is one possible faculty response to such an email:
Thank you so much for sharing this with
me-it sounds like you are going through a tough time. Do you know about the CARE Team? The CARE Team
is one of the ways that we support students at CMU. It allows me to send a note to a few
administrators who may be able to help you with this situation. The people who get this information will not
spread it widely throughout campus-they will only share limited information if
it is necessary to assist you. I use the
CARE Report system when my level of concern for a student indicates that the
student may need inclusive, multi-layered support from the campus community. I think you could benefit from this support
so I plan to write to the CARE Team. Do you have any questions about this?