Skip Navigation Links
Skip Navigation Links
Continuing ED
Skip Navigation LinksKCC Home > Counseling Services > Helping & Identifying Students in Emotional Distress


Faculty and staff members are usually the first persons in a college community to observe students who are experiencing personal distress. Some indications of a student experiencing problems are agitated behavior or withdrawal. Students may also reveal problems through personal communication to the faculty, both oral and written. The following general descriptions are made to help faculty recognize and refer students who present with behavioral or emotional problems.

Agitated Behavior

  • The student speaks out in class without waiting to be recognized
  • The student interrupts other students or the instructor
  • The student walks around the classroom/ comes and goes often
  • The student appears emotionally volatile, loses his/her temper, cries easily, or uses profane language
  • The student comes in late, pushes chairs around and becomes disruptive when taking a seat

 Withdrawn Behavior

  • The student is excessively absent or frequently late
  • The student sits in the back of the room and/or does not participate in class. (Keep in mind that cultural factors, as well as anxiety about speaking in class, may inhibit student participation.)
  • The student frequently displays drowsiness or sleeps in class.
  • The student frequently daydreams as exemplified by inappropriate responses when asked a question
  • The student is engrossed in other reading in class
  • The student might have a vacant stare

It is important to try to resist the temptation to “profile” students. However, as faculty you are in an excellent position to recognize behavior changes in a troubled student. A student’s concerning behavior may be a “cry for help”. Student behaviors exist along a continuum that can range in level of concern and severity from distressed, disturbing, disruptive, and dangerous.

kccFacebook KCCTwitter
Privacy Statement | GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT | Disclaimer | LIAISONS | Text Only | Make This Website Talk  

Kingsborough Community College
2001 Oriental Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY 11235-2398 | (718)-368-5000
Kingsborough is CUNY