Faculty & Staff

As a faculty or staff member at Niagara, you may be one of the first to become aware of personal difficulties affecting a student's academic performance. The following information is designed to help you determine when to refer a student for counseling and how to do so.

When to Refer

Consider referring a student if you notice:

  • Marked changes in a student's functioning, appearance or habits. For example, deterioration in grooming, hygiene, dramatic weightloss, marked withdrawal in a normally outgoing person, accelerated activity or speech in a normally reserved person, or marked change in academic performance.
  • You are doing more "personal counseling", than "academic counseling" with a student.
  • A student seems to be "perpetually" tired, anxious, depressed, irritable, angry, or sad.
  • Poor classroom attendance.
  • Indications of hopelessness or helplessness.
  • A student's use of alcohol or substances interferes with his/her relationships or work.
  • A student's thoughts or actions appear unusual to you or others.

How to Refer

Inform the student of your concern in a straightforward manner. Be specific regarding the behavior patterns that you have observed.   Suggest that he/she consider personal counseling and refer the student to Counseling Services.

If the student agrees to the referral, you may:

  • Facilitate the referral by having the student call us from your office to arrange an appointment.
  • Agree that the student will contact Counseling Services on his/her own.
  • In urgent crisis situations, you may walk the student to Counseling Services for immediate contact with a counselor.

Except in emergencies, the option should be left open for the student to accept or refuse a referral for counseling.