Early Support

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Earlier Support leads to student success.When concerns come up, it's not always clear when and how to offer support. When you refer a student to Early Support, this gives the student an opportunity to meet with dedicated, trained, professional staff that can help make connections to the right resources when students need it. By the numbersOSS By the numbers

Students are often referred for one reason, but there are typically many underlying factors contributing to the issue at hand; these factors are discussed at length during Early Support appointments.


OSS Common Reasons

Early Support appointments encourage underlying factors to be discussed, including

  • Inability to pay rent
  • Recent loss of family member
  • Difficulties making friends
  • Recent health concern
  • Divorce or break-up
  • Sexual assault
  • Discrimination or bullying
  • Uncertainty of program choice
  • Mental health concerns
  • Food insecurity
  • Homelessness
  • Demands of providing support to family members
  • Parenting commitments
  • Struggles with motivation
  • Career or part-time job concerns
  • Pressure from family members
  • Difficulties with technology
  • Exploring cultural identity
  • Spiritual concerns
  • Substance abuse

 

Submitting a referral

After you submit a referral, trained staff will review your submission and contact the student via email to arrange an in-person appointment. We will reach out to the student twice, but it is up to them to decide whether or not they would like to accept support.

The appointment

Our appointments are friendly, non-judgmental conversations that include targeted referrals to services across campus. The benefits of utilizing Academic Advising and meeting with instructors one-on-one during office hours are covered in each meeting.

Next steps

We follow-up with the student via email, outlining the recommendations for support discussed during the appointment. An additional check-in contact is sent 1-2 weeks later to see if the recommended plan is meeting their needs.

 

The Office of Student Success tracks all Early Support Referrals that are submitted. You will not receive updates on individual referrals, but overall statistics are compiled and available to any interested community members.


How to talk to students about Early Support
If possible, let the student know that you will be using Early Support before doing so. Emphasize that they are not in trouble, but rather that Early Support is an additional resource on campus that can help aid them in their academic and personal success. Students often appreciate knowing that you are concerned for their well-being and thoughtful about getting them connected to additional support.

Faculty members are encouraged to introduce Early Support in their course syllabus as follows:
"As your instructor, I will do my best to support your success during the term. This may include identifying concerns I have about your academic progress or well-being through Early Support. Using Early Support, I can connect you with the Office of Student Success which offers students support and assistance in getting back on track to success. If this does occur, you will be contacted directly by the Office of Student Success. Early Support does not in any way affect or appear on your academic record or transcript. If you find yourself in need of additional support throughout the semester, you can utilize Early Support through the self-referral process at mru.ca/EarlySupport"


Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) concerns

  • The Office of Student Success has worked with FOIP advisors to ensure all issues have been addressed.
  • Students receive a FOIP Notification Statement through the Office of the Registrar which encompasses Early Support. Faculty and staff can submit an Early Support Referral form without concern of FOIP issues.
  • Students will not be notified of who submitted their name to Early Support, but if they ask for this information it will be provided to them.
  • Information submitted is restricted to the Office of Student Success. If consent is received from the student, additional support areas on campus may be contacted to coordinate assistance.

OSS Staff Quotes