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 Counseling Referral

Reminders about Counseling Referral - for instructors:

For Academic Referrals

If a student needs or wants a tutor, all credit students can request for free lab and 1:1 tutoring assistance by submitting the Tutor Request Form located on your my.NWTC portal.  The form is located under Student Services Link.  Tutoring Office is located in SC135. 

When to refer a student

In many situations, faculty and staff can assist students without the intervention of a counselor. This can be accomplished through empathetic listening, problem solving, validating or normalizing concerns, providing unconditional acceptance and reassurance, and offering simple advice. In some cases, students need professional intervention to remove barriers to their academic success. The following list provides some examples of when a referral may be appropriate.

  • Even after repeated attempts to be helpful, the student has not responded and remains distressed.
  • The student has experienced a sudden change in motivation, performance, hygiene, or mood.
  • The student seems to be growing more isolated from others.
  • When the student is facing a significant life change and you have noticed some level of impairment in their academics. This could include homelessness, job loss, divorce/separation, custody issues, relocation, loss of a loved one, or becoming a new parent.
  • You sense a growing attitude of hopelessness or helplessness.
  • As an instructor or staff member, you feel like you are being pulled into dynamics that make you uncomfortable. You might feel like the student is asking for leniency that is not offered to other students. Or, you might feel like a student's personal problems have interrupted your ability to teach.
  • You've observed (or heard rumors of) drug or alcohol use that exceeds what is considered normal.

How to refer a student to counseling

  • Inform the student of your concerns in a manner that is direct while empathetic, affirming, and concerned.  
  • Many students will reject the referral at first, feeling that they have "it under control." Avoid arguing with the student. Instead, be firm in your belief that counseling would be helpful to them. Additionally, provide them with feedback that is specific (for example, "I've seen a drastic change in your performance on tests."). Remember that a student's decision to participate in counseling is a personal one.
  • Become familiar with the counselors at NWTC and the services that they provide. This will allow you to make a recommendation and give the student directions about how to make an appointment. Students can call 920-498-5444 and schedule with any counselor.
  • In some cases, you may find it helpful to walk a student to the counseling offices for an immediate intervention. While we try to maintain walk in availability, it is not always possible. Before you come over, please call 920-498-5444 and ask them to see if a counselor is available for a walk in appointment. We will do our best to accommodate your request.
  • If you need help in deciding if it is appropriate to make the referral, feel free to contact a counselor and we would be happy to discuss it with you.
  • When making the referral, please submit a Personal Counseling Referral through Starfish.  Provide detailed information about your concerns so the counselor can respond more effectively.  Due to HIPAA regulations, we are unable to provide you with details about the outcome of the referral.  However, we typically will reach out to the student within 24-48 hours and attempt to schedule an appointment with them. 
  • Finally, academic issues alone are not necessarily a reason to make a referral. A student may miss class or fail an exam, but that does not mean that a counseling referral is appropriate. Instead, try to intervene academically. If you suspect that mental health issues may be a root cause, then feel free to make the referral.
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