Responding to Students with Possible Behaviors of Concern

First steps

  • Consult with department chair, Dean or campus resource to think through your plans. 
  • Call the Dean of Students or the Associate Dean of Counseling to discuss your concerns and how you can talk about your concerns with the student during your meeting. 
  • Enlist the help of someone else, so the student isn’t left alone, and you aren’t left alone with the student. 
  • If you feel comfortable doing so, invite the student to meet with you for a conversation. 

Meet in a quiet but safe place (both for you and the students). Listen attentively and respond in a straightforward and considerate way. State specifically what behaviors you have observed and why you are concerned about the student. 

Outline your goals and (if appropriate) ask the student to outline his/her goals for the meeting. Work to understand what is causing distress for the student. Acknowledge his/her feelings and let the student know you want to help him/her resolve the problem. Be non-judgmental and caring. 

Listen carefully. Paraphrase what the student is telling you, so you can be sure you understand the situation. Avoid aggressive or dominating body language and keep your voice slow and calm to try and keep the student relaxed. 

Talk about the situation as a problem that you will work together to solve, suggesting assignment and/or class options that will help the student. Encourage the student to seek support and assistance from family, friends and others as appropriate, and perhaps to contact the Counseling, Advising and Transfer Services Center (be sure to give the student the information to do so). 

Help set up initial meetings for the student with the Counseling, Advising and Transfer Services Center. When contacting a campus resource, have available as much information as possible, including your name; the student’s name and location; a description of the circumstances and the type of assistance needed; and an anticipated arrival time. 


After discussing the problem with the student, you might need to pursue further action if the behaviors of concern persist. Contact the Dean of Students Office and/or file a Behavioral Intervention Team Referral Form

If the situation seems more hostile (i.e., you are concerned about the student’s or your own immediate safety), contact the COD Police Department, (630) 942-2000.


Contact Information

Behavioral Intervention Team
(630) 942-2485

College of DuPage Counseling, Advising and Transfer Services Center
(630) 942-2259

College of DuPage Police Department
(630) 942-2000

Center for Access and Accommodations
(630) 942-2154

24-hour DuPage County Crisis Line: (630) 627-1700

College of DuPage Campus Hours