Faculty Resources

Referring students to DRD

DRD Student Referral Slip

We recognize it can be uncomfortable to talk with students about sensitive matters. The following provides information on how to determine if a referral to the Disability Resources Department might be needed, suggestions on how to discuss this with your student, and information on how to complete the attached referral slip.

Common indicators one might observe in a student with a disability:

  • Unexplained changes in behavior, hygiene, effort or quality of work.
  • Consistent lack of success despite appropriate effort (e.g.: failing test grades but does consistently well on homework).
  • Appears distracted, disconnected or shows atypical emotions in class.
  • Regularly misunderstands directions.
  • Difficulty participating in class discussion (e.g.: interrupts, off topic, contributes less/more than appropriate).
  • Difficulty working with group members.
  • Poor time management and organizational skills.
  • Consistent lack of follow through.

Conversation starters: The following are a few ideas on how to begin a private conversation with a student. A good strategy is to begin by describing your observation(s) and stating concern(s). Then, direct the student to possible campus resources, including a referral to the Disability Resources Department.

  • “I see you are making an effort in class and noticed that exams seem to be difficult.”
  • “At the beginning of the semester, you were doing well. Recently, I have observed…”
  • “Students who have similar struggles have contacted the Disability Resources Department and have received assistance. Here is the contact information for DRD.”

Complete referral slip: Please fill in the referral slip as thoroughly as possible and give it to the student to bring to the Disability Resources Department. Please encourage the student to seek support as soon as possible. Information on how to access our services is located on the back of the referral slip.


Syllabus Statement

Syllabi set the tone for the class as well as put boundaries in place. While there is some debate over whether a syllabus is a legal contract (contracts are usually signed by both parties), it is clearly an agreement between the instructor and students. Some instructors are emphasizing this agreement by making two copies of the final page of the contract and requiring students to sign and return one copy. Others have stated in the syllabus: “This syllabus is an agreement, continued registration in this course means that you agree to the policies and procedures outlined in this syllabus.”

Syllabi should contain a statement that reserves the instructor’s right to make changes during the semester, such as: “This syllabus is intended to give the student guidance in what may be covered during the semester and will be followed as closely as possible. However, the instructor reserves the right to modify, supplement and make changes as the course needs arise.” Keep in mind that changes that are made during the course of the semester should be to the students’ benefit.

Suggested Syllabi statements:

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities:

If you need disability related accommodations for this class, such as a note taker, test taking services, special furniture, etc., please provide the Authorization for Academic Accommodations (AAA letter) from the Disability Resources Department (DRD) to the instructor as soon as possible. You may also speak with the instructor privately during office hours about your accommodations. If you have not received authorization from DRD, it is recommended that you contact them directly. DRD is located in the Bertolini Student Center on the Santa Rosa campus, and Jacobs Hall on the Petaluma Campus.

Emergency Evacuation Plan:

In the event of an emergency during class that requires evacuation of the building, please leave the class immediately, but calmly. Our class will meet at __________________________ to make sure everyone got out of the building safely and to receive further instructions. (If the class is on a second or higher floor, provide clear directions to the stairs). If you are a student with a disability who may need assistance in an evacuation, please see me during my office hours as soon as possible so we can discuss an evacuation plan.

Student Conduct:

We will conduct ourselves in a manner which reflects our awareness of common standards of decency and the rights of others. All students are expected to know the Student Conduct Policy and adhere to it in this class. Students who violate the code may be suspended from 2 classes and may be referred to the Conduct Dean for discipline.


The best way to learn is through active participation; therefore, we respect others when talking by being on-time, listening actively, and by being polite even when we disagree with another’s viewpoint. Please turn off all electronic devices. If you use a laptop for note taking, please sit in the front row with the sound off. No food in class please.

Academic Integrity:

All written work is to be original; plagiarism of any kind will result in a failing grade on that assignment. Students who plagiarize or cheat may be suspended – for one or two class meetings by the instructor – and referred to the Conduct Dean for discipline sanction, in cases of egregious violation. Please read the Academic Integrity Policy 3.11 .

Be prepared with knowledge about who to contact for the following kinds of student incidents:
  • Disruptive behavior: Consult with the Crisis Intervention Resource Team (CIRT) member and/or department chair to plan intervention, which may include 2 class suspension and referral to Conduct Dean.
  • Distressed students: Refer student to Student Psychological Services, and/or consult with CIRT member.
  • Threatening/Dangerous Student (Includes danger to self): Contact District Police at (707) 527-1000 and report to your cluster dean and the Conduct Dean. Also report to CIRT member for tracking. Contact CIRT for more information.