Anxiety — about homework, class participation, and life in general — is an obstacle for some students. While faculty are not therapists, there are some steps you can take to learn more about anxiety and how to mitigate it, making your class more accessible for all students.
The Chronicle of Higher Education published an article and video in which college students explain their anxiety. One student says, “When someone shows concern, or simply listens, that can make all the difference.”
Below is a quick method that professors can use in the first few minutes of class to show students care and concern. The BONUS: even students who are not struggling with anxiety will benefit from NAPS: normalize, assess, prepare to learn, and strategize.
If you are concerned about a student who seems to be struggling with more intense anxiety or depression, please see the Counseling Center’s resources for faculty. Students experiencing acute anxiety or another urgent mental health situation can reach an emergency on-call counselor at (802) 865-5745; feel free to give them this number or walk with them to the Counseling Center to see the on-call counselor, if on campus. If a student is experiencing a mental health emergency and you fear they may cause harm to themselves or others, call Campus Public Safety at (802) 865-6465.