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Making Appropriate Referrals

Keys to Referring Students…

How do you know when a student needs to be referred?

  • Ask appropriate questions and gather meaningful information.
  • Is the problem academic, personal, work-related; what is the overall significance?
  • Do you have the knowledge and skills to offer assistance?
  • If not, who does?

The referral process:

  • Explain clearly the need for referral.
  • Observe the student’s reaction (often an indicator as to whether the student will follow through).
  • Encourage a verbal commitment from the student.
  • Explain fully the services that can be obtained from the referral.
  • Reassure the student about capabilities and qualifications of department to meet the particular need expressed.
  • Attempt to personalize the experience by giving the student the name of a contact person (usually the secretary) to ask for or help by calling for an appointment for the student (give directions to the office if necessary).
  • Assist the student in formulating questions to ask or approaches to take.
  • Encourage the student to use your phone to make the appointment, if one is necessary and the office is open.

Follow up to evaluate the appropriateness and effectiveness of the referral.

  • Determine if the student kept the appointment.
  • Discuss with the student his/her evaluation of the help received from the service or person.
  • Determine whether you selected the appropriate source of help for the student.