Support Services: When you see one of your students struggling in your course, we hope you will encourage her to meet with you during office hours, come to TA and review sessions, and meet with her dean. You might also direct her to the Peer Mentoring Program, the Peer Tutoring Program, or the Writing Center. Mentors are strong students who have been trained to help others improve their study skills and manage their time. Unless you are certain that your student’s difficulties are directly related to course content, please direct her to a mentor before suggesting the tutoring program, which provides subject-specific help for students enrolled in elementary and intermediate language courses and introductory science, math, economics, and computer science courses.
Although these services can be very helpful, some students might worry that if you learn that they have made use of them you will regard them as deficient in some way. Speaking positively about these resources encourages students to make full use of them.
Learning-disabled students are entitled to special accommodations under both College policy and federal law. If a student speaks to you about disability related concerns, refer her to Ms. Stephanie Bell (X7350; sbell) who coordinates services for learning disabled students. Please do not grant accommodations unless they have been approved, and you have been notified by Ms. Bell.
Mid-term reports will be solicited beginning in the fourth week of the semester. If you are concerned about a student’s performance, we urge you to contact her in writing about your concerns and to carbon copy her dean on that message. In particular, we find it helpful to hear about any student whose course grade you would predict to be below merit—that is, below 2.0. Any such report is interpreted by the dean in the whole context of a student's performance. If she is doing well generally and having trouble in only one area, a report will in no way "get her in trouble" or ruin her record. If there is a pattern of difficulty, such a report will still not enter her permanent record, but it may trigger the appropriate support services while there is still time in the semester for the student's performance to improve.
Please make this mid-term report an opportunity for a frank conversation with your student. Making sure she understands your expectations is crucial at this point.
Withdrawing from a class: Once a student has confirmed her registration, she is expected to complete all of her courses unless she is dropping a fifth course within the first three weeks of the semester, as described above. A student may not withdraw from a course because she is doing poorly in it, doesn’t like it, doesn’t feel she has time for it, hasn’t been attending it, or no longer considers it important to her program. Only when the professor and dean agree that she has been prevented from completing a course for reasons she couldn’t control or foresee—such as a significant illness, family emergency or inappropriate placement—may she withdraw from it. First-year students in particular are likely to confuse officially withdrawing from a course with simply dropping out of it. Doing the latter, of course, usually results in a failing grade. It is therefore very important for you to try to contact a student and to inform her dean if she disappears from your class without explanation.
Dorms open for returning students at 9:00am