Resources for Faculty and Staff

As faculty, staff and instructors, you play a critical role in creating a culture at MIT where the wellbeing of our students is prioritized. The resources and information on this page are tools you can use, in your work with students, to help support their wellbeing.

  • At-Risk for Faculty and Staff Online Training – This online, interactive training module guides faculty and staff through simulated conversations with virtual students who are experiencing distress. The module is designed to help anyone who works with students build confidence, knowledge, and skills to best support students and become aware of resources. Suggested for faculty who work with undergraduate students.
  • Graduate Student Mental Health and Wellbeing Online Training – This training equips graduate students with essential skills and information to navigate the stressors and emotional challenges associated with graduate school. You’ll practice self-care strategies, learn to recognize when you or your peers are in distress, and how to take action to find support.
  • Access the Faculty Guide – This easy to follow guide provides basic information for faculty and staff to recognize signs that a student is in distress and steps to take to refer students to additional resources.

Students are impacted in a variety of ways when faced with difficult times. Undergraduate and graduate students find it valuable when faculty and staff check in, acknowledge these events, and when possible, allow time for them to discuss their feelings and reactions. They also appreciate when faculty adjust expectations and assignments based on what is happening. The resources below are provided to help you support your student’s wellbeing during these times.

General Tips

Sample Agendas and Communications

Videos

Many students report  feeling lonely and isolated, especially during the winter months. We’ve compiled the information below to give faculty and staff tools to normalize these experiences and to share resources you can provide to students to help them develop relationships and find a sense of belonging.

Click here to get resources to help students find and develop community, including:

  • Tips for Talking with Students about Loneliness and Isolation
  • Communication Templates to Check in with Students
  • Examples of Ways Faculty and Staff Have Maintained Community in Labs and Departments
  • Community Resources that Promote Connection
  • Helpful Articles

Research shows that templated syllabus statements can be helpful to students, but that the overall tone of a syllabus is even more impactful. Here are resources through TLL and Matthew Cheney’s ideas around Cruelty-Free Syllabi. Please consider using the suggested templates below on your syllabus. These are draft statements and can be modified as you see fit. If you have comments, suggestions for changes, or great syllabus statements that you want to share, please email wellbeing@mit.edu.

Personal and medical issues can make it hard to focus on academics. If you find that something is getting in the way of your ability to attend class, complete work, or take an exam, you should contact a dean in Student Support Services (S3). The deans will provide you with support and help you work with us to determine next steps. We ask that you go to S3 so we know you have had a chance to talk through your situation with someone and to connect with any resources you might need. You can reach out to a dean you have worked with in the past, join their virtual help queue (https://sicp-s3.mit.edu/queue), or e-mail s3-support@mit.edu

*If you would like to consult with S3 about any aspects of your syllabus, you can reach out to a dean you know or e-mail s3-support@mit.edu to request a consultation. 

Website: https://studentlife.mit.edu/s3

As a graduate student, a variety of issues may impact your academic career including faculty/student relationships, funding, and interpersonal concerns. In the Office of Graduate Education (OGE), GradSupport provides consultation, coaching, and advocacy to graduate students on matters related to academic and life challenges. If you are dealing with an issue that is impacting your ability to attend class, complete work, or take an exam, you may contact GradSupport by email at gradsupport@mit.edu or via phone at (617) 253-4860.

*If you would like to consult with GradSupport about any aspects of your syllabus please email gradsupport@mit.edu to request a consultation.

Website: https://oge.mit.edu/development/gradsupport/

MIT is committed to the principle of equal access. Students who need disability accommodations are encouraged to speak with Disability and Access Services (DAS), prior to or early in the semester so that accommodation requests can be evaluated and addressed in a timely fashion. If you have a disability and are not planning to use accommodations, it is still recommended that you meet with DAS staff to familiarize yourself with their services and resources. Please visit the DAS website for contact information.

If you have already been approved for accommodations, course staff are ready to assist with implementation. Please inform Professor [fill in faculty name and email] AND [fill in the identified administrator/staff/TA name and email] who will oversee accommodation implementation for this course.

Website: https://studentlife.mit.edu/das

For Undergraduate Students

If you are on a Medical Hold due to attesting to potential symptoms, or have tested positive and must isolate, then please contact [insert course contact] so we can make sure you have access to course materials and we can discuss how we address the missed work. In anticipation of students being ill this semester we have already decided that we will provide the following types of academic assistance: [insert the ways that students will be able to keep up with the class]. You also can always contact Student Support Services for additional assistance.

For Graduate Students

If you are on a Medical Hold due to attesting to potential symptoms, or have tested positive and must isolate, then please contact [insert course contact] so we can make sure you have access to course materials and we can discuss how we address the missed work. In anticipation of students being ill this semester we have already decided that we will provide the following types of academic assistance: [insert the ways that students will be able to keep up with the class]. You also can always contact GradSupport for additional assistance.

If your group or department is interested in learning more about ways to recognize students in distress and student support resources, email facultyguide@mit.edu. Trainings are currently offered on an as-requested basis.