Professors, instructors, advisors and other university staff members are some of the best resources students have! As a main point of contact for students, you may have many opportunities to reach out to a student and guide them towards appropriate resources. Below you'll find a range of resources we've written or compiled to aid you in conducting outreach to a single student or a group of students. 

As you design outreach and referral plans, please keep us in mind; we're happy to support your process as you decide the best approach for connecting with your students. 

Resources for Connecting With Students

There are a lot of ways to reach students through referrals. Not surprisingly, different approaches work better differently depending on the situation and the student. 

Canvas Tool for Group Outreach: Canvas has a tool that allows you to "Message Students Who ____" where you can message a group of students who fall into a gradebook criteria you determine (e.g. everyone who didn’t turn in Essay #2 or everyone with a grade below 70% on Midterm 1). If you're new to using this tool, check out the tutorial in the "Designing Effective Outreach" tab below. 

Email or Canvas Message to Individual Students: Whether you're using email or sending a message through Canvas, sending and individual email to a student can send a powerful message that you care and want to help them be successful. Individual messages allow you to customize to their situation—a feature we notice makes students more likely to read it and respond. For some example language and other recommendations, check out the information in the "Designing Effective Outreach" tab below.

In-Person Conversations: Conversations before or after class, during office hours, or via Zoom/phone provide a chance for you to ask questions of the student. How are they doing? What do they see impacting their success? What strategies or resources have they already tried? It also gives you the chance to voice any concern, and make referrals to key resources as appropriate. 

For some sample referral language, view our "Making a Referral" guide for faculty and staff. Our Supportive Conversations handout provides a sample conversation flow–a helpful starting point for thinking about the structure of the conversation and your role in it

Students get many emails from the university, faculty, and staff. This means that when you do email outreach, it’s important to be deliberate in your rhetorical choices. You may want to spend some time thinking and talking with colleagues about when to send outreach, what format to use, what tone to take, and what to recommend to students.

The ASC has materials to support your process in designing effective outreach:

Questions for Designing Outreach
Tips for Successful Outreach Emails
Sample Language for Outreach Emails
Tutorial for the Canvas Tool "Message Students Who"
Sample Language for "Message Students Who"
The ASC's "Making a Referral Guide"
Strategies for Supportive Conversations

Feedback can be a great way ensure your outreach efforts have the strongest plan possible for impact. It can also be useful to help you imagine the range of ways students might receive and respond to specific aspects of your outreach.

A few sources you might consider for feedback include…

  • The ASC: We are happy to talk through your plan with you or respond via email with feedback on your plan, timing, outreach language, and suggested resources. We can also consider if we have other resources, documents, or support which could be helpful for this particular outreach!
  • Colleagues: Faculty and staff in your department may have valuable insights from their own outreach and are likely to understand the course, students, and challenging times of the term.
  • Students: Getting feedback from students can make a big difference in understanding how outreach might be received and what you could include to have the most impact for your audience.

We regularly hear that faculty are trying to connect students with available resources. While the "Whom do I contact?" tab below has a short list of folks for you to contact, the most comprehensive list of OSU resources can be found at That website allows users to sort by campus location and resources type. It's also an overwhelming list!

If you are trying to connect students to resources and aren't sure where to send them, have them come to the Academic Success Center in Waldo Hall, room 125. One of our student strategists will sit down with them and map out resources available to them across campus. Through conversation they will be able to help the student generate a list of personalized resources and winnow down the overwhelming options to a manageable list. This support is available to all students at OSU regardless of college, major, year in school, etc. We support every student. All of the ideas from our "Making a Referral" and "Supportive Conversations" guides still apply!

The ASC also has a one-pager you can attach to outreach emails to provide a comprehensive overview of ASC services and a few other helpful university services. It includes both benefits and descriptions of how and where to access each resource:

During their time at OSU, students may face challenging life events, health issues and a host of other personal situations that impact their academic and personal success. The Academic Success Center joins the Dean of Student Life Office, the Student Life Assistance Team, the Student Care Team, and a myriad of other programs and services in offering support to faculty and staff that work with students. At the Academic Success Center, we know that often times what appears as an academic issue or an instance of academic difficulty may only be one element of a much larger situation.  Your outreach may be the first step in connecting the student with resources that meet their individual needs.

The links below provide contact information for resources available for consultation about a student. Looking for a graphic version? The Office of Student Life maintains the "CARE Folder" available in Box through this link:

Academic Regulations

Office of Student Life

Emergency Contact Information

Equal Opportunity & Access

Student Life Assistance

University Policies

University Ombuds

If you are interested in consulting with a staff member of the Academic Success Center regarding a student situation, please contact us via phone or email.  Please email or call the Academic Success Center front desk 541-737-2272.