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.
- Tips for Leading Productive Community Conversations
- Quick Advice for Talking to a Class After a Tragedy or a Loss
Sample Agendas and Communications
- Sample Meeting Agendas with Students and Classes
- Sample Meeting Agendas with Faculty and Staff
- Sample Communication Templates
- Recording from 8am COVID-19 Response Call on Oct. 23, 2020 (David Randall, Karen Singleton, and Blanche Staton discuss supporting students through challenging times using the 2020 presidential election as an example.)
- Helping Students Cope with Loss (David Randall, Senior Associate Dean for Student Support and Wellbeing, offers some advice faculty can use to help students after a tragedy or loss in the community)
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.
- 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
Please consider using the suggested templates below 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Trainings are currently offered on an as-requested basis.