Faculty members are the frontline workers looking out for Metropolitan State University of Denver students every day. When our students face challenges, faculty members are often there to support them and provide or connect them to resources that can help them navigate their situation and stay on track with school. Sometimes, though, the extent of support that a student might need may be beyond the scope of what a faculty member can reasonably provide. When that happens, the faculty member needs to connect with the CARE Team (https://www.msudenver.edu/care/).
Take a SIP of this: connecting with the MSU Denver CARE Team
The CARE Team itself is not a department or program on campus. Instead, it is a response effort that is managed by the Student Care Center (https://www.msudenver.edu/student-care-center/) and the Dean of Students Office (https://www.msudenver.edu/dean-of-students/). Staff members in these areas identify the appropriate office on campus to respond to referrals and then collaborate to address the needs of the involved student. The CARE Team is a multidisciplinary unit that meets throughout the semester to offer insights and come together on case plans for high-level student needs. The meaning of the acronym “CARE” reflects the mission of this project: Consultation. Assessment. Referral. Education.
How does the CARE Team referral process work?
Once a faculty, staff or community member files a CARE referral, a case manager from the Student Care Center or a staff member in the Dean of Students Office is assigned and will begin outreach. The first step is always to connect with the person who filed the referral. From there, the case manager contacts the student.
What should a faculty member do after filing a CARE referral?
The CARE Team recommends that faculty members connect with the case manager to provide additional information and to stay connected if the situation changes. For example, if the referral mentions that the student has been absent and has not responded, which is out of character, but then the student reengages with the faculty member, this is an important update to share with the case manager. This can be accomplished by calling the Student Care Center, or the faculty member can reach out directly to the case manager assigned to the student.
What is the feedback loop on a CARE referral?
Faculty members are invited to contact the case manager, the Student Care Center or the Dean of Students Office at any point to ask for an update. The CARE Team is not a confidential resource, but it does respect students’ privacy and will provide updates and share what the student feels comfortable with.
Why is our students’ mental health and general well-being everyone’s responsibility?
For our students to thrive, we must provide holistic support and prioritize the students’ humanity. When students are struggling with basic needs, mental health or any number of other issues that prevent academic success, the CARE Team would like to get them connected to resources as soon as possible to ensure that they have more access and are given the best chance to excel in the classroom.
If you are unsure whether to file a report, please consult with the Student Care Center or the Dean of Students Office. We are here to help and can help with engaging with students and filing a CARE referral.
Visit the Well at http://sites.msudenver.edu/sips/ for more great ideas and resources for Strong Instructional Practices in your higher-education classroom.