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FAQ's for Faculty and Staff

Q: What do I do if a student stops coming to class and/or responding to outreach attempts?

A: Refer the student to the Early Intervention Team. Visit their website for details.


Q: What do I do if a student tells me that they have been the victim of interpersonal violence?

A: As a responsible employee you are required to share any disclosure of interpersonal violence with Appalachian's Title IX Coordinator. Sharing of this information may be made via an online form.

Case Management is available to the student for support and can meet with them to discuss resources and options available to them. Case Management is also able to speak with you to provide guidance on how to best support the student.


Q: What do I do if a student shares that they are feeling suicidal?

A: If the concern is emergent, contact University Police or local law enforcement. To determine whether you need to contact University Police, determine if the student is having current suicidal thoughts. To do this, you can say something like, "Have you been thinking of killing yourself?" If the students responds positively, continue to ask questions to determine if they have a plan ("Have you thought about how you would end your life?"), as well as if they have the means to do so ("Do you have access to a gun?"). If the student responds positively to these questions, call University Police. If you feel that you need to consult with someone in Case Management, call the office at (828)262-8284 or Counseling and Psychological Services at (828)262-3180.

If the concern is not immediate, encourage the student to visit Counseling and Psychological Services during walk in hours. Share your concern with staff in the Office of the Dean of Students to ensure follow up and support for the student.

To learn more about how to talk to students who are having suicidal thoughts complete the online suicide prevention training offered through Wellness and Prevention.


Q: What do I do if a student requests approved absences for "personal reasons"?

A: As a faculty member you have sole discretion regarding excused class absences. Faculty are encouraged to follow absence policies as communicated by the vice provost and defined in their course syllabus to determine the impact an absence may have on the course. The ultimate decision regarding absences and the resulting influence those absences may have on grade or course progression, is at the discretion of the instructor. Requirements for students to obtain documentation from our office in order to work with a student or provide flexibility should not be outlined within course syllabi. 

The Office of the Dean of Students is able to provide a Class Absence Notification when a student is absent from class for emergency and/or extenuating circumstances. However, students should not be directed to our office for every absence accumulated throughout the semester since every absence does not meet the requirement for an emergency or extenuating circumstance. Please see the guidelines for Class Absence Notifications.