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Health / Safety

New training helps employees identify students in distress

September 9, 2011

As a professor, instructor or employee at CSU, teaching students entails much more than lecturing in classrooms. It also means navigating a student's behavior.

A female studentHave you ever wondered what to do about a student who seems troubled, is disruptive, or whom you’re genuinely worried about? Colorado State University has launched a new program to help employees identify those students and refer them to resources on campus, so you can continue to focus on teaching.

New program helps identify students in distress

The program, called At Risk, is a 45-minute training module that helps instructors identify signs that a student is in distress or exhibiting behaviors that could become problematic. It also provides an avenue for employees to refer that student to CSU-specific campus resources, or alert CSU offices that a student may be at risk.

Each semester, a number of CSU students are hospitalized for psychological distress, and the number who are in danger of hurting themselves or others has increased in recent years. The more campus personnel who recognize the early warning signs of distress and take action to connect that person (a student or employee) to campus resources, the healthier our campus environment is for students and employees.

Health and safety of campus is critical

University leadership believes that the health and safety of students and employees is critical and we are strongly encouraging each instructor and faculty member to complete the training.  While this module is focused on identifying students in distress, the information about signs of distress is generally applicable to anyone -- colleagues, friends and loved ones.

The training module was implemented after a pilot program on campus involving more than 75 faculty from multiple departments. The pilot received great reviews from CSU faculty and staff -- with more than 95 percent of those who took the training saying they would recommend the course to their colleagues, and nearly 98 percent saying they thought the course was either “good,” “very good” or “excellent.” In addition, 100 percent of the pilot project participants felt more comfortable identifying and approaching a troubled student and referring him or her to help after the training.

The 45-minute online training module is available 24/7 at The site will ask for CSU’s enrollment key code, which is colostate21.

For more information about the program, contact  Dean of Students Jody Donovan at 970-491-5312.

Contact: Dell Rae Moellenberg
Phone: (970) 491-6009