It is not unusual for college students to find themselves struggling to balance coursework with part-time jobs, family, friends and other demands. Combine that with an unexpected campus closure and suddenly, the potential for increased stress levels becomes all too real. Students do not have to be directly impacted by a crisis for it to have a significant impact on their health and well-being. Stress, anxiety and depression during times of widespread upheaval and uncertainty can limit students’ cognitive capacity. If you have students in need, it may be beneficial to offer resources and support, including additional flexibility to meet deadlines, workloads adjustments and the necessary time to adapt to a changing situation.
- Be mindful of the diversity of our students
There are many ways in which a crisis can impact communities. Be mindful that students from different identity groups (race, ethnicity, age, religious affiliation, gender, sexual orientation) may respond differently in those situations. In addition, some communities may become targets of bias incidents, discrimination and hate crimes during times of crisis.
- Talking through the disruption
Determine whether or not you will discuss the cause of the disruption in class. If you plan to proceed, consider how you prepare for and lead those conversations. Teaching in Times of Crisis from the Vanderbilt Center for Teaching offers valuable tips for discussing local, national and international crises in class. Misinformation spreads easily in times of crisis, and students may have misconceptions about the causes of an issue or about communities that are impacted. When possible, correct misinformation that students may be sharing.
- Share support resources for student learning
An unexpected period of disruption may cause some students to feel unmotivated or disconnected. They also may find it difficult to ask for help. It can be helpful to remind students that strategies for time management or coping with uncertainty can help them continue to learn and thrive. In addition, even when remote, students can still access campus resources to support remote learning. For additional tips to help students adjust to remote learning, share the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning’s (CATL) strategies for student success in your course.
- Supporting Student Mental Wellness in Our Faculty Roles (Elon’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning)
Much like physical wellness, mental wellness can be nurtured and supported through various specialized practices and behaviors, including professional skills attained by faculty in the areas of teaching, academic advising and mentoring. By integrating approaches like the Act-Belong-Commit framework into those areas, faculty help to support student wellness behaviors, learning, engagement and a more supportive classroom climate. Furthermore, knowing that these methods also impact students’ mental wellness allows us to intentionally deploy them to serve that purpose as well.
- Learning Assistance
Whether in-person or online, Learning Assistance offers tutoring support to help students build self-confidence and become independent learners.
- Belk Library’s Personal Librarian Program
Belk Library’s Personal Librarian (PL) Program pairs Elon students with a dedicated point of contact to help them find information, identify sources, understand citations and build additional skills to successfully navigate their academic path while at Elon.
- The Writing Center
The Writing Center provides individual consultations to all students, faculty and staff on any academic, professional or co-curricular writing project, traditional or multi-modal. Writing Center consultants also collaborate with students in a variety of writing workshops (Honors theses, undergraduate research, designing research posters, etc.)
- Counseling or Student Care and Outreach
Counseling Services provides psychological interventions, outreach and consultation services to address the emotional, social and academic needs of Elon University students.
- Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) Self-Help
Inform your students of the Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) Self-Help resource. It offers a completely private online library of behavioral health resources that includes interactive educational modules and practice tools to help members of the Elon community better understand and manage how they feel, think and act. The service is free to all Elon students, faculty and staff.