Faculty and staff FAQs

We encourage you to reach out to them first. If you have emailed them and haven’t had a reply, and there is an additional concern (they were very attentive and showed no indication of leaving class, they mentioned some difficulties they were having before not showing up for class or responding, etc.) please let us know by filling out an online referral and we will do our best to contact them. If you hear from a student after referring them to our office, please let us know so we don’t keep trying to reach them after you have connected. 

SSCM does not verify illness. We often work with students who are in the hospital and we may be able to let you know if a student is in this situation. We would encourage you to ask the student for documentation from a doctor if they went to one, or to work with them if they were not feeling well and couldn't make it to class. 

If a student is in danger of failing, the best campus resource to start with is their academic advisor. They can work with the student to get help on academic issues. If the advisor has concerns other than academic performance, they will refer the student to the appropriate resources. 


We would encourage you to use the CU Red Folder on your desktop to determine the level of concern, and to see a list of referrals for students in different situations. If you’re still unsure after using this resource, please email us at sscm@colorado.edu or call at 303-492-7348 to consult about next steps. 

Resources: https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/supporting-the-mental-health-needs-of-online-students/ 


If you think there is imminent danger of the student harming themselves or others, call 911. 

Students can be referred to Student Support and Case Management (SSCM) when they seem to be struggling emotionally, academically or otherwise. If you have noticed changes in a student’s behavior over time or if you notice a student appears withdrawn, sullen, upset or depressed, you may wish to consider referring that student. Additionally, if a student is engaging in aggressive or inappropriate behaviors, is violating boundaries you have set or fails to comply with your requests, it is important you refer that student. 

It is important to know that you do not need to make this decision on your own. If you are concerned about when to bring a student to the attention of SSCM, just give us a call. We will provide consultation with or without knowing the student’s information. 

If you are not sure whether a student’s behavior calls for a referral, please contact SSCM to discuss your concerns. 

Student information is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and disclosed only in the event of an emergency, health/safety risk and/or an educational need to know basis within the institution. Campus staff, faculty and students may refer a student to SSCM by submitting through our online form that goes directly to a case manager, via phone or by email. 

Student FAQs 

It is best if you contact your instructor directly to explain your situation and let them know that you cannot attend class. You should attach any assignments that were due and let them know that you will make up missed coursework. If you foresee being absent for longer you should communicate that with them and ask to discuss a plan to keep up with coursework.  


If you are sick and anticipate missing a class, you should contact your faculty directly to let them know. If you need more specific adjustments, you should contact Disability Services by emailing dsinfo@colorado.edu or calling 303-492-8671 to set up a meeting with an Access Coordinator about a Temporary Medical Condition.  

SSCM does not have the authority to excuse absences. Each faculty member and course have their own policy on absences, so you should check your syllabus for each course. If you are unable to contact your faculty (in the hospital, not able to email, etc.) you can call SSCM at 303-492-7348 and we will connect you with a Case Manager who can reach out to faculty on your behalf. If you’re able to email yourself, we always encourage you to do so.

We encourage you to connect with a mental health provider if you have not already. You can always connect with CAPS which is on campus and available 24/7 at 303-492-2277 or www.colorado.edu/counseling/ 

You should discuss your academic concerns with your provider. If you have a mental health diagnosis you may be eligible for academic accommodations through Disability Services and can contact their office to discuss your options.  

To the extent that you are comfortable, we encourage you to talk to your faculty about your concerns. Sometimes faculty can work with a student to help them complete the course while facing personal challenges.

Your options vary based on withdrawal deadlines. You can withdraw from all of your classes until the last class day of the semester (before finals start). You can find more information on the Registrar’s website about withdrawing from a semseter and dropping individual classes. If you have unexpected circumstances that led to your withdrawal, you can check the Bursar's Office website and find out if you are eligible to dispute your tuition and fees

We know it can be intimidating to approach a professor, especially when you may not have a relationship with them yet. We recommend you email them with some of the following information:  

  • What you have been experiencing (you can share as much or as little as you want, no need to get into specifics if you aren’t comfortable). 
  • How the situation is impacting you academically. 
  • What flexibility might be available. Here, you can pose solutions, but make sure you already know what flexibility is built into the syllabus. 
  • Then request a meeting (if you’re able) to connect about details.  

No, you’re not in trouble. SSCM will frequently reach out to students when we hear they might be experiencing some difficulty. We want to connect to help them navigate the university. Even if you aren’t sure what kind of support you need, it can be beneficial to discuss your situation with a Case Manager and be sure that you are aware of all the resources available to you.  

The Student Support Emergency Fund (SSEF) is a stipend that can assist students during unanticipated events that might cause the student to pause or stop their educational goals. Eligible students must be experiencing emergency circumstances, unanticipated circumstances or have a clear financial need for the stipend. Every situation is considered on a case-by-case basis.

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Family FAQs

  • On campus resident: Please contact Residence Life at 303-492-6673 to see if someone can check in with your student. If you are concerned about imminent harm to your student or others, please contact CUPD at 303-492-6666
  • Off campus student: If you are concerned about imminent harm to your students or others, please contact the police in the city in which they live and request a welfare check. Boulder Police Dispatch’s phone number is 303-441-3333. If you are not concerned about their imminent safety, you can submit a referral to SSCM, and we will try to connect with your student.  

We encourage you to have your student connect with a mental health provider, if they have not already. Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) is on campus and available 24/7. Their phone number is 303-492-2277. Once your student is connected to a provider, they may be able to work with Disability Services to get academic accommodations, or with their advisor to modify their course schedule.

COVID-19 specific

If you don’t have access to internet but need it to take classes, you can look into Comcast’s Internet essentials program which provides basic internet on a per month basis to low-income families. There may be internet available at the local library, even when parked in the parking lot or local coffee shops on a patio or sidewalk. 

We encourage you to reach out to your faculty and explain your situation, then ask if they have advice on how you can keep up with coursework. They may be able to record lectures if they aren’t already online, so you don’t have to come onto campus. If there are specific things you need, just ask! Faculty are willing to work with students as much as they can to help during difficult times.