Faculty and advisors can be most helpful when they make an effort to be aware of the University's resources and take an active role in referring students to appropriate services. Advisors and classroom faculty should listen to students to identify situations that may be problematic to their students. It is important to take the initiative when making a referral, being certain to help the student navigate the system and connect them with the appropriate office or support person. Finally, it is important to follow up to be sure that the student was successful in getting access to the service.
The following tips are helpful in accomplishing a successful referral:
- Listen actively and paraphrase to discern the exact nature of the student's need
- Describe what you are hearing and seeing; avoid diagnosing the student
- Encourage student problem solving to identify potential solutions to his/her need
- Ask "when was the last time the student had to overcome something like this, and what was helpful?"
- Give the student the time needed for discernment before expecting an answer from her or him
- Listen to the whole story before making a decision on whether the need exists to refer
- Explain the limits of your expertise and why it is important to refer the student to another University resource
- Refer the student, if possible, to a specific person, and explain how that person will be able to help
- Keep the student involved in the process
- Offer to call for an appointment or to walk with the student to the appropriate office, if deemed necessary
- Follow up with the student to show continued support
If you are unsure of how or where to refer a student the Early Alert submission form is a great way for the student to receive support.