Resources for Faculty and Staff

Supporting Students Through Challenging Times

When there are major events at MIT or in the world, our students are impacted in a variety of ways. Undergraduate and graduate students find it valuable when faculty and staff check in, acknowledge these events and when possible, allow time for them to discuss their feelings and reactions. They also appreciate when faculty adjust expectations and assignments based on what is happening. The resources below are provided to help you support students during these times.

General Tips

Sample Agendas and Communications


Resources to Recognize and Respond to Students in Distress

This online, interactive training module guides faculty and staff through simulated conversations with virtual students who are experiencing distress. The module is designed to help anyone who works with students build confidence, knowledge, and skills to best support students and become aware of resources.

This easy to follow guide provides basic information for faculty and staff to recognize signs that a student is in distress and steps to take to refer students to additional resources.

Promoting Connection and a Sense of Belonging

The pandemic affects our students in a variety of ways. We know that many students may be feeling lonely and isolated, especially during the winter months. We’ve compiled the information below to give faculty and staff tools to normalize these experiences and to share resources you can provide to students to help them develop relationships and find a sense of belonging.

Click here to get resources to help students find and develop community, including:

  • Tips for Talking with Students about Loneliness and Isolation
  • Communication Templates to Check in with Students
  • Examples of Ways Faculty and Staff Have Maintained Community in Labs and Departments
  • Community Resources that Promote Connection
  • Helpful Articles

Syllabus Statements

Please consider using the suggested templates below about Student Support Services, GradSupport, and Disability and Access Services on your syllabus. These are draft statements and can be modified as you see fit. If you have comments, suggestions for changes, or great syllabus statements that you want to share, please email us.

  • If you are dealing with a personal or medical issue that is impacting your ability to attend class, complete work, or take an exam, you should contact a dean in Student Support Services (S3). S3 is here to help you. The deans will verify your situation, provide you with support, and help you work with your professor or instructor to determine next steps. In most circumstances, you will not be excused from coursework without verification from a dean. Please visit the S3 website for contact information and more ways that they can provide support.


  • As a graduate student, a variety of issues may impact your academic career including faculty/student relationships, funding, and interpersonal concerns. In the Office of Graduate Education (OGE), GradSupport provides consultation, coaching, and advocacy to graduate students on matters related to academic and life challenges. If you are dealing with an issue that is impacting your ability to attend class, complete work, or take an exam, you may contact GradSupport by email at or via phone at (617) 253-4860.


  • MIT is committed to the principle of equal access. Students who need disability accommodations are encouraged to speak with Disability and Access Services (DAS), prior to or early in the semester so that accommodation requests can be evaluated and addressed in a timely fashion. If you have a disability and are not planning to use accommodations, it is still recommended that you meet with DAS staff to familiarize yourself with their services and resources. Please visit the DAS website for contact information.

    If you have already been approved for accommodations, course staff are ready to assist with implementation. Please inform Professor [fill in faculty name and email] AND [fill in the identified administrator/staff/TA name and email] who will oversee accommodation implementation for this course.


Student Support Button on the MIT Mobile App

Download the MIT Mobile app in the App Store or Google Play. The Student Support button (look for the heart!) allows you to share concerns about a student, get help with common issues, and connect with commonly accessed resources.

Request a Training

If your group or department is interested in learning more about ways to recognize students in distress and student support resources, email Trainings are currently offered on an as-requested basis.