Most Rensselaer students are not from the immediate Capital Region area, meaning that when they first matriculate and/or return from a semester break, they are leaving many of their support systems,such as family and friends,that they utilize. Although many students quickly establish new and equally effective support systems, a number of students find the various pressures very stressful, sometimes to the point where it interferes with their academic success, emotional well-being, or their ability to take advantage of the educational opportunities available to them at Rensselaer. This lack of support may intensify during common semester “crisis periods” such as mid-term, final exam, or pre-holiday periods. As faculty and staff at Rensselaer, you may encounter these distressed students looking to you for support.
We understand that there are many factors that are relevant to your willingness to respond, including your particular beliefs about the limits of a faculty or staff member’s responsibility for helping students, or your personal style or philosophy. Other factors such as situational factors (class size, format), the student’s openness to assistance, and a student’s comfort in seeking out contact, mayhave a substantial effect on the type of interactions you can have with a student.
The likelihood is, however, that at some point in your tenure at Rensselaer, you will come into contact with a student in distress and in need of psychological assistance. We are confident that faculty and staff can identify these students and offer valuable assistance. We have prepared a variety of information to assist faculty and staff in identifying, facilitating, and referring students in distress. We hope that the information and recommendations provided assist you in helping students in making optimum use of their educational experience at Rensselaer.