You may likely work with students in your courses, as advisees, or in other capacities who need assistance with a range of issues. Peru State College has resources to assist you in working with these students. This page describes some of those resources and potential responses you can provide to students in these situations.
Peru State Contacts
In non-emergent situations, consider talking with the following individuals who can assist:
- Your Dean or Supervisor
- Dean of Students, Matthew Thielen
- Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Tim Borchers
- Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, Dr. Jesse Dorman
- Counseling Services
- CARE Team Referral Form (For referring someone who may pose a risk to him/herself or to others)
Managing Student Relationships
It’s not uncommon for you to develop relationships with students where they may disclose personal information and ask for assistance. Be careful to set clear boundaries for those relationships and take care to notice when you may be in situations that require professional intervention. Set clear expectations for communication outside of class and let students know how you prefer to be contacted. Be careful to disclose information to students that may suggest a closer relationship than what you intend. Keep discussions focused on professional, career, or classroom topics and try to avoid talking about personal matters.
If you feel that you may be in a situation where the boundaries have become unclear, these questions can help guide your decision-making in these situations:
- Am I the only person this student is seeking out for help and assistance?
- Is the student relying on multiple data points to assess their situation?
- Am I talking with others about how to assist this student or am I relying on my own experience and instincts in offering advice?
- Is the student taking up a disproportionate amount of my time?
- Is the student asking for anonymity or disclosing information you feel like you should share with others? When students ask you to keep something secret, this should be a significant flag due to the likelihood that information shared can’t or shouldn’t remain confidential. Seek assistance if a student asks for anonymity or confidentiality.
- Are you asking yourself how to get out of the situation?
In these situations, refer to the contacts at the top of this page to identify people who can help you address the situation with the student.
For Further Reading
- Professor Goldilocks and the Three Boundaries: “As I think about my undergraduate mentor, it is precisely because of her professionalism, warmth, and mentorship that I still turn to her to help me navigate the waters of working in higher education.”
- Why Won’t They Ask Us for Help? (Lammers, 2017): “We gathered from what these focus groups reported that the most effective and direct way for instructors to encourage students to seek help is an honest review of our behaviors and a willingness to adapt our teaching styles so that we appear more transparent and accommodating to students. In truth, most of us are available, approachable, and ready to provide help. We just need to constantly remind ourselves to regularly communicate these qualities to our students.”
- Four Student Misconceptions about Learning (Weimer, 2017)