Skip to main content

How should I respond to a student who needs help?

  • Remain calm.

  • Use your good judgment, and consider the following options:

  • Consult with a colleague or department chair, the Dean of Students, or Counseling Services if you need guidance.

  • Deal directly with the behavior/problem in the classroom, according to classroom protocol.

  • Address the situation one-on-one.

  • Mentally rehearse what you want to say. 

  • Confront the student about specific concerns.  Be direct and clear: "You have been doing/seeming ___________, and I am concerned about you.  What's going on? . . . Have you talked with anyone about this?" etc.

  • If the student doesn't want to talk about it (denies there's a problem or explicitly says it's "private," don't push for information!)  But do follow through with referral.

  • Refer the student to one of the College's student resources.  See referral phone numbers for help.

  • Hold the line about your expectations.  (Don't feel guilty about a student failing a project or a course.)