Student Support - Fall 2020

Student Success Services

A number of services will be available remotely to support student success:

  • The LARC has opened up its services to make more one-on-one tutoring available to students. Tutoring via Smarthinking is also available 24/7.
  • Students can sign up for virtual Writing Center Faculty are encouraged to use the Writing Center widget on D2L.
  • The Success Coaching program is providing experienced peer mentors who will help students with time management, studying, test taking strategies, notetaking, and other important skills for success at WCU.

The Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (OSSD), led by our new director, Dr. David Thomas, will continue to support academic accommodations. Students who need exam proctoring are encouraged to use Proctorio, but on-site, socially distancing proctoring will be available if needed. 

We’ve made it easy for students to get support.

Support Center is a one-stop-shop for students to find answers to their questions.

Outreach to Students

The Student Success and Retention Council will reach out to students via phone, text, email, or postcard throughout the fall semester. Students will hear from someone at the university at least twice a semester. We know that these efforts are best received when students hear from their professors who they already know, so please reach out to your students, as well, and let us know if there’s anything they need at

Supporting Students in Distress

Students may be experiencing significant challenges, such as mental health issues, family issues, difficult or abusive relationships, financial hardships, health-related concerns, and other stressors. If you encounter a student in distress, please know that you have campus resources available to assist.

Examples of behaviors to look for include:

  • References to physical/psychological harm
  • Noticeable changes in mood or behavior
  • Decrease in academic performance
  • Deterioration in personal hygiene
  • Consistently sad or lethargic mood
  • Dramatic weight gain or loss
  • Strange or bizarre behavior

Counseling Center

For Faculty consultations regarding students in distress or mental health concerns, please call 610-436-2301. Additional resources and information about how to make a referral are available on the Counseling Center website.


The Campus Assessment, Response, and Education team (CARE Team) provides a coordinated process for identifying and responding to students who are in distress, may be at risk of harming themselves or others, or who may reasonably pose a threat to the safety and well-being of the campus community. Please visit the CARE Team web page for more information or to share your concern about a student. 610-436-3084

For mental health emergencies after business hours, please contact:

  • Public Safety 610-436-3311
  • Valley Creek Crisis Center 610-280-3270
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
  • Crisis Text Line – Text START to 741-741

Considerations When Responding to Students

Safety: When a student displays threatening or potentially violent behavior, the welfare of the student and the campus community is a top priority. If the student is suicidal, please call x3311 or 911 immediately. Never leave a suicidal student alone!

Trust your instincts: If you sense that a student is not in the best state, trust that. You may know the student from class and can probably assess when the student’s self-care and behavior has changed.

Listen with sensitivity and be proactive: Approach the student with care and point out what you’ve noticed. Ask if there is more they want to share and indicate that you can help.

Support: Understand that distressed students may be sensitive to comments, so avoid threatening, intimidating, or humiliating statements. Your approach is to be attentive to the student, to listen to what they share, and to inform them of resources on campus.

Participate in timely response: It is not a FERPA violation to share information about a student’s well-being. You can share your observations and interactions with the CARE Team (610.436.3086).

Training Opportunities

The Ask, Listen, Refer suicide prevention training program is designed to help you recognize the risk factors and warning signs of suicide and respond appropriately.  This interactive training program takes about 25 minutes to complete and can be found at

The Counseling Center offers training on crisis response and suicide prevention for gatekeepers (i.e., faculty and staff). This 90-minute training covers warning signs, asking about suicide, communication skills, and recommendations on how to respond and refer. Additional training and outreach services are available. Please contact Liz Carper for more information.

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