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Recognizing "At Risk" Students

Recognizing “at-risk” behaviors are increasingly important in our efforts to help students persist and graduate from UMSL.  Since students spend a good majority of their time in college interacting with faculty, knowing and being able to identify when a student is exhibiting “at risk” behaviors is critical in the intervention process.  Below are some signs and warnings you should look out for:

While the list above is not an “all inclusive” list and we encourage you to use your best professional judgment when determining the need for referrals, these are typical silent indicators that students may exhibit. 

What should you do when you believe to have identified an “at-risk” student?

Depending on the impact of the student’s behavior on his/her academic success, there are different ways in which you could respond.  Here are some examples:

  1. If you find that a student’s behavior is impeding their ability to be successful in the course, a referral to Student Retention Services via academic alert would be appropriate.
  2. If you find that a student’s behavior presents a danger to the self and/or others, a referral to Health, Wellness, & Counseling Services would be appropriate.
  3. If you find that the student’s behavior leads to disciplinary problems that are disruptive to your classroom’s environment, a referral to Student Affairs would be appropriate.

Suggesting that a student needs help is sometimes difficult.  While the academic alert referral is done via the online academic alert system, other conversations may require a face-to-face meeting.  Here are some tips you can use to guide leading these tough conversations:

Remember, we’re here to support you!  If you ever find yourself in a tough position and not sure how to handle it, we encourage you to contact us!