The Catholic University of America

Resources for Faculty & Staff 

Students with Disabilities
Some disruptive students may have emotional or mental disorders. Although such students may be considered disabled and are protected under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, they are expected to meet the same reasonable standards of conduct as any student. This is true even if the disruption is directly related to his or her physical or mental disability.  It is important that an instructor establish the standards for his or her classroom and enforce them for all students, in conformance with the principles of academic freedom. For more information on working with students with disabilities, please contact the Office of Disability Support Services.

Referral to Counseling
Counseling can be a helpful experience; however, it is not a substitute for student conduct action. The goal of the conduct program is to effectively and quickly correct student misconduct and to educate the student as to appropriate conduct in the college community.  Counseling is an ongoing process and, generally, not designed to bring about prompt behavior change.  In fact, the student's behavior may not change or, in fact, deteriorate.  Lastly, psychotherapy is predominantly elective. For more information, please contact the Counseling Center.

Some students' behavior may seem to be bizarre, but not threatening. The instructor may want to discuss the student's behavior with professionals, such as a staff member from the Counseling Center or the Office of the Dean of Students. Please contact either one of these offices for additional support and assistance.

If you have questions regarding appropriate responses in these or other situations, please contact your department chair, the dean of your school, the Office of the Dean of Students, and/or the Counseling Center.