Talking to Students about Classroom Performance and Referring Students to Accessibility Services
If a student is struggling significantly in a course, whether in understanding and completing assignments or attending and participating appropriately, then a faculty member may wish to meet privately with the student to discuss their performance in the course.
It is possible that a student is not aware that aspects of their class performance are of concern, or that they’re embarrassed by these concerns. Therefore, it is important that faculty members bring their observations to the student’s attention in a sensitive and confidential manner.
Faculty members are encouraged to contact Student Accessibility Services should they have any questions or want further guidance on making a referral to the office.
Suggested guidelines for faculty members conducting a meeting with a student
- Send the student an e-mail requesting to meet during office hours (or by appointment) to discuss class performance.
- Keep the discussion focused on observations of the student’s performance that are of concern. For example, a faculty member might start out with such phrases as “I’ve noticed you have missed ‘x number’ of classes this [week, month, semester]” or “I’ve observed a pattern of ‘x mistakes’ in your written work.”
- Do not ask if the student has a disability or speculate that the student has a disability.
- You May ask if the student has struggled or received assistance for struggles in the past.
- You May ask if the student is currently receiving assistance or is interested in learning more about what on-campus resources are available to them.
- Offer that the student seeks assistance from Students Accessibility Services in conjunction with other campus resources (e.g., Allen Student Advising Center, Academic Achievement Center (AAC), and Counseling and Psychological Services).
- Offer to assist the student with scheduling an appointment with Student Accessibility Services if the student has expressed an interest in doing so.