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Student of Concern Program

Assisting Concerned or Concerned Students

The Student of Concern program was developed to assist students who may be having difficulty adjusting to the UT community or who may need additional support to be successful in the University environment. The goal of the program is to identify students in our community who appear to be troubled or troubling and intervene before the student reaches a crisis level.

In all cases of emergencies or imminent danger, please call 911. All of the Student of Concern programs serve as secondary managers in emergency situations and should be contacted only after making contact with appropriate emergency responders.

Student of Concern Committee

Goals and development of the program…

The goal of the Student of Concern Program is to identify students in our community who appear to be troubled or troubling and intervene before the student reaches a crisis level.

To this end, we require the support and participation of students, staff, faculty and parents to provide information to the program. The Student of Concern committee includes, as needed, members of the Baccalaureate Experience, International Programs, Health and Wellness Center, Campus Safety, Residence Life and the Dean of Students Office. The committee can then evaluate the information and determine the most appropriate way to work with the individual student.

How the Student of Concern Program Operates
An initial report comes to a staff member in Operations and Planning, Dean of Students, Campus Safety, Health and Wellness Center or Residence Life. A specific Student of Concern report is available on this webpage as well as the Dean of Students, Office of Student Conduct, and Health and Wellness Center webpages. This report is then forwarded to the committee for evaluation.

The Students of Concern committee is made up of the following members:
The Student of Concern Committee members may include, but are not limited to; Student Disability Services staff, a student’s academic advisor, Academic Advising Office staff, a student’s professor(s), Campus Safety officers, campus counselors, Dickey Health and Wellness Center staff and the dean of students. Monnie Wertz, assistant to the vice president of operations and planning, serves as the chair.

In the majority of cases, an initial letter is sent either asking the student to meet with a specific member of the Student of Concern Committee. Additional information may be requested prior to these meetings from a student’s advisor, residence life staff, professors and/or athletic coaches to provide context and verify concerning behaviors.

At this initial meeting, the student is presented with the reason for the concern and the situation is discussed. The majority of students are relieved to discuss their situation and grateful for intervention efforts. Occasionally, students are resistant to intervention so the situation is then further evaluated. In rare instances, it is necessary to invoke the Involuntary Withdraw Policy.

Parent involvement is not standard in these cases but, in more serious cases, parents may be notified. We attempt to partner with parents to make the best decisions for their student’s health and welfare. Families have also participated by referring their students to this program.

UT CARES

Concern, Advocacy, Resources, Empowerment and Support…

UT CARES is an acronym which stands for Concern, Advocacy, Resources, Empowerment and Support, and is a campus-wide collaborative effort to identify students who may be facing challenges in aspects of their college journey. This team consists of individuals from Campus Safety, Student Disability Services, Academic Advising, Student Conduct, Residence Life, Wellness, International Programs, Victim’s Advocacy and Student Transition and Persistence (link all departments), and also includes input from faculty and staff around campus.

Early identification of students who may be at-risk for achieving student success provides the best opportunity for creating the support network needed to help these students identify their best options and opportunities.

Students are referred to the UT CARES committee through contact with various offices or the student of concern program.

To contact the UT Cares program, please call Monnie Wertz, chair of the UT CARES committee, at (813) 257-3757 or use mhwertz@ut.edu for email messages.

Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT)

Convened in situations where a student has been identified as an immediate threat…

The Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) is convened in situations where a student has been identified as an immediate threat to the University community. This threat may take a variety of forms and is determined based on the student’s reported behaviors in consultation with the Student of Concern committee. The BIT is composed of all members of the SOC committee with the addition of the associate dean of students for student conduct, orientation and residence life, dean of students and the director of Campus Safety. Other members may be added depending on the nature of the incident and the areas of the University that could be potentially affected.

To contact the BIT, please call Monnie Wertz, chair of the BIT, at (813) 257-3757 or use mhwertz@ut.edu for email messages. In cases of emergency, please call 911.

When to refer a student

If you have a feeling that something is “off” or out of the ordinary…

If you have a feeling that something is “off” or out of the ordinary behavior range of a student, you are usually correct. You can help that student by referring them to the Student of Concern program. This program is not punitive but designed to be proactive and offer support and assistance to students. Some observed behaviors that indicate distress may include:

Academic Signs

  • Reduction in quality/quantity of work
  • Repeated absences
  • Bizarre, oddly-worded or threatening email messages
  • Continual request for assignment extensions or course adjustments with no documentation

Physical Signs

  • Impairment due to suspected substance use
  • Dramatic change in energy level in either direction
  • Falling asleep in class
  • Noticeable physical injuries (bruises, cutting marks on arms or legs, burns)
  • Changes in hygiene habits

Emotional Signs

  • Direct statements about current issues (family, relationships, mental state, financial, roommates)
  • Changes in behavioral patterns or habits
  • Inappropriate emotional responses in any direction (exaggerated anger, sadness or flat affects)
  • Resistance to change or boundaries
  • Displays of paranoia or distrust
  • Online postings that indicate distress, violent ideations or expressions of self-harm
  • Preoccupation with violent events, violence and/or weapons
  • Strained interpersonal relationships, isolating behaviors or decreasing self-image

Records

Students of Concern data is considered confidential…

Data from students of concern is considered confidential, and FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) protections would apply to all educational records kept by the University.

Contact

For additional information…

For additional information, please contact Monnie Wertz, assistant to the vice president for operations and planning, at mhwertz@ut.edu or (813) 257-3757.