Faculty and Staff Guidelines to Respond to Students

updated: 10-31-12

Poor Attendance

Issue:
Poor Attendance

Frequent absences, inconsistent class attendance.

Response:
Using the Academic Alert process, contact the student directly regarding absences.  Discuss the impact on their learning and grade and encourage a change in behavior. Provide clear expectations about the student's ability to make up work, if applicable, and discuss remaining course work. If absences persist, contact Academic Counseling and Support.

Academic Difficulty

Issue:
Academic Difficulty

A student is not comprehending course materials and is not following up with the faculty's suggestion for additional help. English as a second language may make it difficult for a student to comprehend course material.

Response:
Request that the student set up a time to see the faculty member to discuss their ability to understand course material and, as appropriate, develop a plan for remaining course work.  Refer students to Academic Counseling and Support for a comprehensive list of all tutoring options.

Academic Major/Minor Choice

Issue:
Academic Major/Minor Choice

A student is struggling with choosing a major/minor, lacks information about curriculum requirements, needs assistance with course selection or has not been able to connect with their academic advisor.

Response:
If a student has questions regarding major/minor requirements, refer the student to Academic Counseling and Support.  If a student is undecided or needs information regarding personal preferences, refer them to the Career Development Center. 

If a student wishes to withdraw from the university, refer them to Academic Counseling and Support to complete the appropriate paperwork.  If the withdrawal date is past the 100% refund period, refer the student to the Financial Aid Office and/or the Business Office to discuss financial implications and responsibilities.  International students must discuss withdrawing from the university with a staff member in International Student Services as it may affect their immigration status. 

Disability and/or Accommodation Services

Issue:
Disability and/or Accommodation Services

A student shares concerns about a learning disability, possible disability, or inquires about obtaining appropriate academic accommodations. 

Response:
The student should be referred to Disability Resources.  Staff there are available to screen for a possible learning disability, make referrals for further testing, and determine academic accommodations as appropriate.

Discrimination

Issue:
Discrimination

A student wants to file a complaint regarding discrimination.

Response:
If the complaint or allegation is violent or harassing in nature, contact the Department of Public Safety.  All other student complaints or allegations of discrimination should be referred to the Dean of Students Office and the complaint will be investigated according to the Hate Crimes and Bias-Motiviated Incidents Policy.

Students who have had a negative experience but believe it may not rise to the level of a formal discrimination complaint are still strongly encouraged to discuss their experience with a staff member in the Dean of Students Office or Student Diversity and Inclusion Services.

Sexual Violence or Harassment

Issue:
Sexual Violence or Harassment

Students who have been subjected to sexual violence or harassment and want to discuss their options or to review the policy and process for addressing incidents involving sexual violence or harassment.

Response:
University personnel are obligated by law and university policy to report all suspected or alleged incidents of sexual violence or harassment.   Reports can be made to the Dean of Students, Senior Partner in Human Resources, Title IX Coordinator, or Public Safety.

All student complaints will be referred to the Dean of Students Office for investigation.

See Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment policies for the complete policy statements.

Physical Health

Issue:
Physical Health

A student demonstrates significant or chronic sickness/physical health issues.

Response:
Talk with the student about health concerns and discuss their plan for responding to the issues.  If appropriate, refer the student to Health Services.  If the student’s health issues compromise their ability to continue classes, refer the student to Academic Counseling and Support. 

Behavioral Issues

Issue:
Behavioral Issues

A student displays disruptive behavior in class (angry outbursts, threatening behavior, etc.) while interacting with other students or faculty or in written class assignments.

Response:
Ask the student to discontinue behavior and document the details and date of this conversation.  If the behavior continues, request to meet with the student outside of the class.  Discuss concern with specific behavior and, if appropriate, contact the Dean of Students Office or make a referral to Counseling and Psychological Services.  

In the event of violent behavior contact the Department of Public Safety and request immediate assistance.

The university may request that the student take a Behavioral Leave of Absence or withdraw from the university until they are able to demonstrate their ability perform in an academic environment.  Contact the Dean of Students Office for more information.

Emotional Health

Issue:
Emotional Health

A student presents signs of depression or anxiety in class or in interactions with students or faculty.

Response:
If appropriate, talk to the student about your concerns and the potential impact on their academic work and what is required to complete the expectations for the course.  If a student brings up mental health problems directly or in written work, in a private conversation with the student ask about sources for support, identifying campus resources including Counseling and Psychological Services (staff there are also available for consultation to faculty and staff).

If any suicidal thoughts or hopelessness are expressed by student, either in writing or verbally, consult with a staff psychologist in Counseling and Psychological Services.  URGENT REFERRALS: If a student needs to be seen immediately, contact the Department of Public Safety or Counseling and Psychological Services.  For after hours psychiatric emergencies contact the Department of Public Safety.

Financial Issues

Issue:
Financial Issues

A student shares significant concerns about financial issues including a large balance, a perceived insufficient financial aid package, or more general difficulty with financial management.

Response:
Determine if the issue is one for the Business Office (account balance, confusion with what they owe) or for Financial Aid (an issue with financial aid package or paper work).  Refer the student to the Financial Aid Office or the Business Office.

International Student Services provides additional support for international students with financial concerns; international students should be referred to that office.

Personal Safety Issue

Issue:
Personal Safety Issue

A student expresses concern about an abusive relationship or is concerned for her/his personal safety in a more general way.

Response:
If the student has an immediate safety/security threat, contact the Department of Public Safety.  If the student alleges abuse is from another student, notify the Dean for Students Office or the Department of Public Safety.  If a student is in an abusive relationship, refer the student to Counseling and Psychological Services.

Students Who Are Parents

Issue:
Concern as a Parent

A student is a parent and having difficulty balancing her/his responsibilities.

Response:
Refer the student to Counseling and Psychological Services to discuss strategies for managing stress and life balance issues.  Students may also find support through the Students Who are Parents website.

Parent/Guardian Concern or Involvement

Issue:
Parent/Guardian Concern or Involvement

The parent/guardian of a student has contacted you and wants to know if his/her student is attending class, requests information about grades, and/or general performance in the classroom.

Response:
Explain to the parent that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA, a federal law) prohibits university faculty and staff from sharing educational records (grades, class attendance, etc.) with anyone other than the student without permission.  Encourage the parent/guardian to discuss his/her concerns with their student.  Explain that you are only available to discuss grades and classroom performance with their student.  If the parent persists, refer to the Dean of Students Office.

Roommate Conflict

Issue:
Roommate Conflict

A student is having significant difficulty with their residence hall roommate.         

Response:
Assuming the student has already tried to resolve the conflict with her/his roommate using Residence Life procedures, refer the student to their Resident Assistant (RA) or Residence Hall Director.  If the student reports this level of intervention did not resolve the matter, the student should be referred to the Department of Residence Life or the Dean of Students Office.

Other

Issue:
Other

Other issues not listed may include family emergencies or circumstances that may affect a student’s ability to remain in class for an extended or permanent period of time.

Response:
Contact the Dean of Students Office for assistance.

Important Contact Information

Academic Counseling and Support
Business Office
Career Development Center
Dean of Students Office
Disability Resources
Financial Aid Office – St. Paul
Financial Aid Office – Minneapolis
Health Services – St. Paul
International Student Services
Public Safety
Residence Life
Student Diversity and Inclusion Services
Title IX Coordinator
Vice President for Student Affairs