Student CARE and Advocacy
What is the Behrend CARE Team?
The Penn State Behrend CARE (Communicate, Advocate, Refer, and Educate) Team provides faculty and staff members of the Behrend community with a way to share a concern about a student's academic progress, wellness, or safety. The program's primary purpose is to intervene early to help and support students experiencing distress.
Behrend CARE Team Members
Staff members from the following departments make up the core of the Behrend CARE Team.
- Academic and Career Planning Center (Academic Advising)
- Financial Aid office
- Information Technology Services
- Personal Counseling
- Student Affairs/Residence Life
Additional staff members assist with the CARE Team as needed to meet unique student challenges and needs.
Make a Referral
To share a concern about a student experiencing academic, health, safety, financial, or other distress, please complete the Behrend CARE Team report form. Faculty and staff may use this form to alert the team to a specific concern focused on one area or a matter that may need to be addressed by multiple offices/departments working together. The CARE Team will review the information submitted and determine the best course of action to assist the student.
To inform the CARE Team about a specific student need or concern, submit the following:
- This form allows members of the CARE Team to assess needs, quickly contact a student, and begin the process of finding resources and options that will best help them.
- This form is NOT an emergency response form. For immediate assistance in those cases in which student behavior may indicate imminent harm, contact the Penn State Crisis Line at 1-877-229-6400 or call 911. View additional crisis services.
- Before submitting the form, we encourage you to notify the student that you will be making a CARE Team referral to better prepare them for our outreach and alleviate any stress that may occur with contact.
- Please know that this form is not anonymous; we may share your name and email address with the student or other CARE Team members or contact you for additional information.
- Please provide as much information as you can. With more information at the start, the CARE Team will be better able to help the student.
- The CARE Team is not intended to be a replacement for Starfish. In addition to making a referral to the CARE Team, faculty should document academic concerns in Starfish by raising a flag in the system.
- If you have specific questions before filling out the form, please email the Behrend CARE Team at [email protected].
Behrend CARE Team Approach
The Penn State Behrend CARE Team is a group of campus representatives who make a good faith review of the information provided for a student who requires support across multiple units.
The CARE Team:
- Operates under the belief that we can best manage complex student needs through a coordinated team effort.
- Follows an ethic of care that supports the safety and well-being of individuals and the college community.
- Supports students through challenging situations, at times, calling upon more than one office or department to help a given student.
- Suggests a course of action that considers the student's needs in the context of available resources.
- Provides students with the tools and support to make difficult situations more manageable.
Our approach is one of empowerment, encouraging students to maximize their educational experience and prepare for involvement in the larger community and life beyond college.
All members of the CARE Team will keep details confidential. Members may share information strictly on a "need to know" basis to refer the student to the correct campus resource or to assist, following HIPAA and FERPA guidelines. FERPA allows school officials who have a legitimate educational interest to share communications and provides an exception when there are risks to health or safety.
Faculty and staff may find the following additional resources helpful when responding to student behaviors that are of concern:
Give to the Behrend Student Hardship Fund
Do you want to help Behrend students but don't know quite where to begin? Why not donate to the Student Hardship Fund at Penn State Behrend? All funds contributed benefit Behrend students—no gift is too small. Contact Tera Van Doren, associate director of Financial Aid, at [email protected] with any questions. The Penn State Behrend Financial Aid office administers the fund.