We are talking about how to tell the difference between Red-flag students and At-risk students. It is so important that you define at-risk students correctly on your campus. Once you have a good definition of who these students are, your community will be much better equipped to engage them.

At-risk students are just students who are likely to need some sort of intervention during their time on your campus. There are varied and specific characteristics that make students At-risk but here are a few things At-risk students have in common:

  • At-risk students will be an asset to your campus – They have a lot to add to your culture. They want to be part of your community. They can be a resource to others, and are good citizens. They just need some support as they are struggling to survive stress or life.

  • At-risk students want support (even if they are too embarrassed to ask) – Maybe not at first, but students are sometime resistant to help. However, fundamentally and in the long run, they really want to be successful. They will be relieved that someone on campus is on their team and willing to walk with them through their difficulties.

  • At-risk students don’t always know how to ask for help – Many times the biggest challenge for At-risk students is that they are overwhelmed and don’t know where to go for help. Sometimes At-risk students don’t even know what resources are available. These students need someone to provide them with help even when they can’t find the words to use to ask for it.

Stay tuned! We’ll conclude our three-part series next week and look at the five rules that will guide you as you are working with Red-flag and At-risk students!

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About Rachel Phillips-Buck

Rachel Phillips-Buck is the Vice President and a Senior Consultant at Pharos Resources. She works closely with clients to create and coordinate best retention practices on their campuses. She has worked with Pharos 360 since 2006, helping to develop and implement this early alert system on campuses throughout the United States. Prior to her work with Pharos Resources, she worked as a career counselor at Abilene Christian University. She taught the Career and Life Planning Class, and created and delivered the “D!scovery for Deciding” program, a five-week program that helps students choose, confirm and focus his/her major. Rachel is a Licensed Professional Counselor, and approaches all of her work with Pharos Resources with a perspective informed by her training in Systems Theory. Rachel received a BS in Psychology and a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from ACU.

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