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Counseling Center Resources for Faculty & Staff
Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Training Presentation
How to identify students in distress:
Students often seek help from faculty and staff when they are in need. Below are some guidelines on identifying students in distress and ways you can help.
Taken from Virginia Tech's Cook Counseling Center.
The following could be signs of a student in distress:
- Excessive procrastination and very poorly prepared work, especially if inconsistent with previous work.
- Infrequent class attendance with little or no work completed.
- Dependency (e.g., the student who hangs around or makes excessive appointments during office hours).
- Listlessness, lack of energy, or frequently falling asleep in class.
- Marked changes in personal hygiene.
- Impaired speech and disjointed thoughts.
- Repeated requests for special consideration (e.g., deadline extensions).
- Threats to others.
- Expressed suicidal thoughts (e.g., referring to suicide as a current option).
- Excessive weight gain or loss.
- Behavior which regularly interferes with effective class management.
- Frequent or high levels of irritable, unruly, abrasive, or aggressive behavior.
- Unable to make decisions despite your repeated efforts to clarify or encourage.
- Bizarre behavior that is obviously inappropriate for the situation (e.g., talking to something/someone that is not present).
- Students who appear overly nervous, tense or tearful.
Here's How Faculty/Staff Can Help
- Speak with the student in private.
- Express concern. Be as specific as possible in stating your observations and reasons for concern.
- Listen carefully to everything the student says.
- Repeat the essence of what the student has told you so your attempts to understand are communicated.
- Avoid criticizing or sounding judgmental.
- Assess the situation and determine if the student may benefit from meeting with a Counselor. If so, refer the student to Counseling Services.
How to Make a Referral to Counseling and Disability Services
- If you are concerned about a student, please contact Counseling and Disability Services so that staff may reach out to the student.
- Encourage the student to call or visit our office to make an appointment. Provide the student with Counseling and Disability Services contact information. If a student approaches you and expresses concern, you are welcome to contact our office with the student present. However, the student is responsible for scheduling an appointment with Counseling and Disability Services directly. Faculty or staff may not schedule an appointment for the student.
- If you feel the situation is an emergency, please contact Counseling and Disability Services immediately. In a crisis situation, it may be helpful to escort the student to our office.
Guidance for Making Decisions about Attendance and Assignment Deadlines
Students diagnosed with chronic medical conditions that may impact attendance must register with Disability Services in order to receive assistance. Students may be required to submit documentation detailing changes in medical or disability status. Students with attendance concerns should review all policies in advance and discuss anticipated issues with an academic advisor/course instructor. Students are responsible for contacting faculty at the start of each semester to determine the amount of time that can be missed without compromising the integrity of the course or program.
Instructors have the option to contact Disability Services for assistance with decision making about altering course policies or deadlines. With the students’ permission, Disability Services can verify disability status and assist faculty in determining whether or not attendance and deadlines are essential components of a course or program. Disability Services cannot mandate faculty to waive attendance or assignment deadline policies.
Course syllabi should include detailed attendance, assignment due dates, and participation guidelines. All students are expected to meet the attendance requirements and assignment deadlines established by individual instructors. Attendance policies are set by faculty in compliance with department, institutional, and/or accrediting agency mandates. Attendance requirements are determined by the expected level of participation in the class.
The following questions may be useful in determining whether or not attendance is an essential function of a course:
- What information does the course description or syllabus include attendance and assignment deadlines?
- Is attendance reflected in the final course grade?
- Are policies consistently applied?
- What, if any, allowances are made for non-disability related circumstances?
- How does contact between faculty and students relate to the goals and objectives of the course?
- How are student contributions essential to the classroom experience?
- How does student participation contribute to the learning process?
- How does individual student attendance impact the rest of the class?
Accessible Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Procurement Policy
I. Effective Date
II. Policy Statement
As Wentworth Institute of Technology becomes more reliant on electronic Information and Communication Technology (ICT) such as Blackboard Learn, PeopleAdmin, Skype for Business, printers/scanners, computers/mobile devices, and course supplements such as Pearson My Labs, WebWork, iClicker, etc. it is essential that we consider the needs of all users prior to entering in to contracts with vendors. In addition to vetting products for quality, security, and appropriateness we must consider the accessibility and usability of these tools for faculty, staff, and students with disabilities. The policy is not intended to contravene with the fulfillment of essential job functions or scholarly obligations.
III. Reason for the policy
Wentworth Institute of Technology adheres to the policies set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and as amended in the future which mandate equal opportunity in programs and activities for people with disabilities. In addition, Wentworth Institute of Technology has a strategic initiative to engage, empower, and recruit a diverse community, specifically by committing to diversity as a business practice (O-5). The purpose of the policy is to ensure purchasers of ICT are vetting products for accessibility prior to entering in to vendor contracts.
Applies to all Wentworth Institute of Technology employees purchasing/renewing or approving the purchasing/renewing of ICT for use by 10 or more people through the capital request process. ICT for less than 10 users is not subject to this policy.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-- Law since 1990 that addresses civil rights of people with disabilities (PWD). Goal of the law is to ensure that PWD enjoy equal opportunities. Sections of the law address employment, purchasing of goods and services and participation in all levels of government activities.
For more information, refer to https://www.ada.gov/ada_intro.htm
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) -- an umbrella term that refers to all internet-enabled devices and systems, and additionally includes landline phones, smartphones, cloud computing, hardware and software and more. In the context of this policy it refers to any resource that the University uses to pursue its goals of teaching, informing and supporting electronically the students, staff and faculty.
Person or People with a Disability (PWD) – an individual or a group of people who have one or more physical or mental impairments that substantially limit one or two major life activities.
Sometimes the term Individual with Disabilities (IWD) is used.
Section 504- part of the US Federal Government Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that prohibits discrimination based on disability in federally funded and federally conducted programs or activities in the United States.
Section 508 - part of the US Federal Government Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and recently updated in January 2018. The Act sets expectations of which standards must be adhered to when creating and purchasing ICT for Federal agencies. In addition to being the law for those agencies it is most likely to be mandated by state and local governments and by any organization who applies for and benefits from Federal funding.
For more information, refer to https://www.section508.gov/content/learn
Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)
The Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) is a document that may be generated by a vendor to indicate a product's conformance with the Section 508 accessibility standards. In each VPAT, the vendor is expected to make specific statements using simple recommended language about how the features and functional characteristics of their product or service meet the Section 508 Standards.
For more information, refer to https://www.itic.org/policy/accessibility/vpat
VI. Responsible Office
Primary: Finance, Business
VII. Responsible Officer
Robert Totino, Vice President of Finance
Dave Wahlstrom, Vice President for Business
Thomas Kane, Director of Purchasing
VIII. Revisions History
First version of policy-TBD
IX. Recommended Review Frequency
Annually, unless there are compelling reasons to do so more frequently.
X. Who is governed by this Policy?
Staff and Faculty who make capital requests to purchase or renew ICT for use by 10 or more people at Wentworth Institute of Technology.
XI. Who should know this Policy?
All staff and faculty who make capital requests to purchase or renew ICT for use by 10 or more people at Wentworth Institute of Technology should be made aware through departmental communications.
Specifically, all Deans, Department Chairs, Directors, Supervisors, and anyone else responsible for signing off on capital requests should be aware of the existence of the policy, its implications for their work and be included in updates to policy or guidelines as they occur.
General users of the Wentworth Institute of Technology purchasing site should have the policy available to them via a link to a page where it will be posted.
ICT for use by less than 10 people does not need to be reviewed for accessibility. People who wish to purchase or renew ICT for use by 10 or more people that does not meet accessibility standards may complete the ICT Exemption Request Form to petition for an exemption.
XIII. Policy Text
In accordance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act as amended, Information and Communication Technology developed, purchased, maintained, or used by Wentworth Institute of Technology must be accessible to people with disabilities. Section 508 defines ICT to mean information technology and any equipment or system used in the creation, manipulation, management, movement, display or duplication of data or information. Examples of ICT Include but are not limited to hardware (computers, information kiosks, copy machines), software, websites, and multimedia products.
Accessibility Vetting Process:
1. Vendors complete the Accessibility Vetting Form and provide requested supporting documentation to the purchaser
2. The purchaser submits the completed Accessible ICT vetting form and supporting documentation provided by the vendor to the supervisor/budget manager for approval
3. If the product is approved for purchase, send signed vetting form and purchasing requisition to Purchasing. The following language must be included in the contract:
[NAME] hereby warrants that any hardware or software products or services to be provided under this [agreement] comply with the accessibility requirements of section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. §794d), its implementing regulations set forth at Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, part 1194, and if applicable to [NAME’s] products or services to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. [NAME] agrees to promptly respond to and resolve any complaint regarding accessibility of its products or services which is brought to its attention. [NAME] further agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Wentworth Institute of Technology from any claim arising out of its failure to comply with the aforesaid requirements. Failure to comply with these requirements shall constitute a breach and be grounds for termination of this [agreement].
If the product is denied:
A. Identify an alternative product for accessibility vetting
B. Apply for an exemption via the Accessibility Exemption Request Form
Purchasers who do not comply with the accessible ICT policy and procedure (and exemption process where applicable) will not have the purchasing requisition approved.