What Can You Do?
TALK...to the student in private when both of you have the time and are not rushed or preoccupied. Privacy will help minimize embarrassment and defensiveness.
LISTEN...in a sensitive, nonthreatening way. Discuss your observations in behavioral, nonjudgmental terms. For example, “I’ve noticed you’ve been absent from class lately and I’m concerned.”
COMMUNICATE...understanding by repeating back the essence of what the student has told you. Try to include both content and feelings (“It sounds like you’re not accustomed to such a big campus and you’re feeling left out of things.”) Let the student talk.
GIVE HOPE...assure the student that help is available. Help the student identify options for action and explore the possible consequences.
MAINTAIN...clear and consistent boundaries and expectations. Be frank with the student about the limits on your ability to help.
- The problem is more serious than you feel comfortable handling.
- You have helped as much as you can and further assistance is needed.
- See our Making a Referral page