Supporting Students

 This page addresses supporting students with disabilities and supporting students who are struggling.

Supporting Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities who need special accommodations must provide the course head with a letter from the Accessible Education Office (AEO), which requires the student to register and receive approval from AEO. 

During the first few weeks of the term, instructors should solicit AEO faculty letters by making an in-class announcement and e-mailing the entire class, as well as indicating it on the syllabus.  See Syllabus & Course Policies for recommended text to include.  See the AEO website for more information on providing accommodations.

All students are expected to complete all degree and course requirements satisfactorily, with or without accommodations; however, the AEO faculty letter specifies the AEO-approved accommodations required to meet the student’s needs.  You should not share the information in this letter with anyone who does not have a direct need to know.  Any variance from approved accommodations should be discussed with the AEO to avoid misunderstandings which can result in under- or over-accommodation.  If course materials must be modified to make them accessible, they must be made available to such students at the same time as the regular materials. 

Since each set of circumstances is unique, course heads or Head TFs are asked to create opportunities for periodic and confidential discussions with such students regarding special needs.  The teaching staff is solely responsible for any alternative format or equipment needed for midterm hour exams and final exams, for reserving a separate exam room if necessary, and for proctoring any exam that must be administered in a separate room.  With sufficient notice, suitable space may be available in the Gen Ed Office.  AEO (aeo@fas, 617-496-8707) is available for consultation regarding complex accommodations. 

Supporting Students Who Are Struggling

If you have any students – particularly freshmen – encountering academic difficulties (e.g., section absences, changes in behavior or attitude, failure to submit course work), we encourage you to talk with your course head about when and why you might notify the students’ Resident Dean.  You should also feel free to contact Gen Ed Acting Director Laura Hess with any questions or concerns.  A student who is struggling in your class is likely to be struggling in other classes as well.  Contacting a Resident Dean can be incredibly helpful for students who are struggling, and is in no way viewed as policing them.