Tips for Assisting At-Risk Students

In the Classroom

o    Create opportunities for connections in your classroom and work to engage the withdrawn or socially isolated student.

o    Phrase feedback positively whenever possible.

o    During critiques, emphasize the purpose, process and benefit of them. Seek to normalize the experience by using examples, such as an invited upperclassman's work.

o    Understand that some students lack basic life skills and are playing catch-up in many areas.

Outside the Classroom

·        Identify Counseling and Psychological Services as a resource regarding self-care, stress management, test anxiety, depression or other pertinent topics.

·        Identify and refer students to programs that will help them improve study skills and time management. (Academic Advising, Tutorial & Instructional Programs, etc.).

·        Identify the Career Center as a tool for personal growth.

·        Encourage student to contact Campus Activities and get involvement in events, campus organizations, or community activities. 

·        Inform students with disabilities about the self-identification process to utilize accommodations through the Office for Students with Disabilities

·        Engage with students at activities and on campus - they will feel valued!

·        Consult with BIT as needed for feedback. We are here to support the students and you!

Talking to Students About Your Concerns

Be cognizant about the limits of your ability to help. You can help them get the support they need by informing them of our counseling services. Explain that students visit the counselor for a variety of reasons. If a student is receptive to seeing a counselor, provide them with Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) contact information. Some statements that might help you start a dialog are:

o    "Sounds like you are really struggling with _________.  Many people find it helpful to talk with someone in confidence that is outside of the situation."

o    "I want to help you get the help you need and deserve."

o    "Meeting with a CAPS counselor is confidential, free for the first 6 visits, and will not go on your educational record."

o    "These are services your tuition pays for; take advantage of them."

Do's and Don'ts for Responding to Suicide Gestures

o    DO show that you take the student's feelings seriously.

o    DO let the student know that you want to help.

o    DO listen attentively and empathize.

o    DO reassure that, with help and motivation, (s)he can develop a more positive outlook.

o    DO stay close until help is available or risk has passed.

o    DON'T try to shock or challenge the student.

o    DON'T assume the student is only seeking attention.

o    DON'T become argumentative.

o    DON'T react with shock or disdain at the student's thoughts and feelings.

o    DON'T discount the student's distress.