The Wheaton College CARE (Campus Assessment, Response and Education) Team is a group of professional staff members from across the institution who address the safety, welfare, and academic success of students. It was established to receive, consider, and, when appropriate, act upon information or behaviors of concern exhibited by a student or group of students.

The CARE Team meets weekly to review students of concern to strategize on how to best support the student based on the presenting issue. Using on-campus and community-based resources, CARE Team members directly support students and act as conduits to other supportive entities. The CARE Team encourages faculty, staff and students to fill out the student concern form if they notice that a student’s behavior is distressed, disruptive, dangerous, concerning or out of character. This system was not designed for emergencies. If there is an immediate or emergent concern, where a student might be an immediate risk to themselves or others, Campus Safety should be contacted for an immediate response. In situations such as this, the CARE Team will follow up as appropriate to the situation.

The heart of the CARE Team’s work is to take into consideration relevant information, which may allow for early intervention to promote holistic success. The CARE Team intends to take a relational approach by harnessing pre established relationships for the student, when possible. If no such relationships exist, the goal is to forge connections to the community for the student to feel supported, a sense of belonging, and identified avenues of engagement.

Submit a Student and/or Community Concern Form

Please note that the concern form is not constantly monitored and any emergencies should be reported to Campus Safety immediately at 508-286-3333.

What types of concerns or reports does the CARE team manage? 

What does concerning behavior look like? This is a sampling of what a student might be displaying in a distressing or concerning situation. This is a non-exhaustive list.

Academic Indicators

  • Repeated absences or lack of communication
  • Missed assignments, exams, labs, group meetings or appointments, especially if a marked difference than previous behavior
  • Deterioration of quality/quantity of work
  • Academic expression of despair, confusion, social struggles, suicide, or suicidal ideation, etc.
  • Disclosure of concerns with ability to complete work or stay focused
  • Conflicts or inconsistency in group work and/or group projects
  • Intense response to grades, evaluations, or constructive feedback
  • Perfectionist tendencies
  • Consistent or last-minute requests for extensions, make-up exams or other special provisions not previously requested

Behavioral/Emotional Indicators 

  • Disclosure of a personal tragedy
  • Disclosure of mental health challenges
  • Roommate, friend, or partner conflicts
  • Symptoms of anxiety or depression that hinder functioning
  • Disclosure of hopelessness, self-doubt, isolation
  • Angry outbursts or aggressive comments
  • Persistent sad, down, anxious, or empty mood
  • Disclosure of domestic violence, emotional, psychological, or sexual abuse.
  • Behavior that is different from normal baseline functioning of the student (i.e., student was previous egregious and outgoing, but recently has been more reserved)
  • Disclosure of an eating disorder or disordered eating behaviors
  • Manic behavior or mannerisms (i.e., racing thoughts, lack of sleep, pressured/fast speech)

Physical Indicators

  • Evidence of self-harm
  • Deterioration of physical condition (i.e., lack of personal hygiene, unkempt clothing, or significant decrease in weight)
  • Frequent illness
  • Medical concerns
  • Disorganized thought pattern; slurred or confused speech
  • Disclosure of frequent fatigue or sleep disturbances (i.e., oversleeping or insomnia)


  • Relying and confiding heavily on peers to support through daily tasks and crisis moments
  • Struggling to adjust to the culture of the United States, Massachusetts, or Worcester
  • Financial concerns
  • Increased substance use
  • Disclosure of being a victim of a hate crime, bias incident, or racism incident
  • Food or housing insecurity

Who is on the CARE Team?

  • Assistant Dean of Students (Chair)
  • Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Associate Dean for Wellness and Director of the Counseling Center
  • Dean of Advising
  • Assistant Dean for Residential Life
  • Director of Campus Safety

What happens when the CARE Team receives information about a concern?

Procedures have been established to determine the general operations of the CARE Team, how cases are assessed, followed-up with, documented, and the actions and recommendations deemed appropriate.

Assess Reported Information

  • Once a concern is received or a student of concern form is submitted, the Assistant Dean of Students will create a CARE report and notify the other members of the CARE Team.
    • If the report or concern is an emergency, the Assistant Dean of Students will facilitate the evaluation of who needs to reach out to the student and in what capacity (wellness check, phone call, text, residential services, etc.).
  • The CARE Team will assess the level of concern (low/medium/high), as outlined below.  Appropriate secondary CARE Team members may be called on for consultation if they have a different level of contact or context of the student and/or situation.
  • Once the report has been entered and a level of concern determined, the appropriate staff is assigned by the Assistant Dean of Students for follow up.

Intervention and Support Protocols

This chart is intended to be used as a guide.  Response to student concern may differ based on contextual factors, situations indicators or risk assessment.

CARE Team Case Priority and Outreach Standards

Concern Level: Low

Concern Level Indicators
  • General wellness concerns-homesickness, non-specific behavior of being ‘off’
  • Mild to moderate physical injuries
  • Undetermined but possible impact to functioning
  • Low level academic concerns (ie missed some assignments or some classes)
Steps to Outreach
  1. Email student within 24 hours (on business days) of receiving a ping or case assignment to offer meeting and resources.
  2. If no response, call student – talk with them, send a text message or leave a voicemail.
  3. Find email outreach with specific listed resources.
  • Contact is not required before closure
  • Receipt/confirmation of connection to resources
  • Concern has been mitigated
  • Student refused services (and this is documented)
  • Student did not respond after all attempts made

Concern Level: Moderate

Concern Level Indicators
  • Significant academic concerns – high number of absences, significant reduced quality of work, missed meetings, etc.
  • Mental health concerns, including disordered eating, non-suicidal self injury, substance use, symptoms of anxiety/depression, hopelessness, etc.
  • Death of a family member or close friend
  • Recent victimization
Steps to Outreach
  1. Email and call student within 24 hrs (on business days) of receiving a ping or case assignment to offer meeting and resources.
  2. If no response, and you have significant concerns, request and in person contact (Faculty, Coach, SAIL, Res Life, etc).
  3. Meet with student OR (case dependent) final email outreach with specific resources.
  • Contact may be required before closure
  • Multiple methods of contact have been attempted or documented
  • Student is actively partnering with resources to address the concern
  • Concern has been mitigated

Concern Level: High

Concern Level Indicators
  • Significant mental health concerns – including self-injurious behavior, a suicide threat or attempt
  • Information that suggests a legitimate health/safety threat to someone else
  • Hospitalization
  • Acts of violence or threats of violence
Steps to Outreach
  1. Call campus safety and request a wellness check.
  2. Once they have made contact with the student, have them contact you to schedule a time to meet.
  3. Ensure Dean of Students Office and the Associate Director of Student Support are aware.
  • Contact required before closure
  • Student is actively connected to recommended resources, or following mutually agreed upon plan
  • Student decides to take a leave of absence or withdraw
  • Student is stable, back in the community and functioning

Adapted from: NABITA Risk Rubric D Scale and the Worcester Polytech Institute Follow Up Standards and Protocols