dean of students


Early Alert Council

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St. Ambrose University offers a wide range of services designed to promote student development and college success. Despite the availability of these services, students do not always connect to them.

The Early Alert Council (EAC) has been developed to intentionally and systematically respond to students who may be struggling. The purpose of this communication is to familiarize the campus community and our partners (family members) with this resource.

What is the Early Alert Council?

The EAC exists to provide an early awareness and coordinated outreach initiative for students who may be struggling with their academic and/or student life.

The EAC meets regularly and places a high priority on balancing a student's autonomy with the university's desire to respond appropriately to a student experiencing difficulty or expressing at-risk behaviors. Non-confidential information about such students is shared in a respectful manner among the members present. Confidential information which a student may share with a member of the Council is not shared at these meetings, assuring student confidentiality, dignity and worth.

While the EAC cannot guarantee a positive outcome in all situations, faculty, staff and family partners can make use of the council to assist students experiencing difficulties. If a situation requires immediate intervention, the Security Department should be contacted at extension 6104 or (563) 333-6104.

The EAC is facilitated by Tim Phillips, Dean of Students, and is comprised of:

  • Maureen Baldwin, director of advising, 563-333-6059
  • Fr. Chuck Adam, director of campus ministry and university chaplain, 563-333-6151
  • Steve Tendall, director of counseling, 563-333-6423
  • Ryan Saddler, director of disability services, 563-333-6275
  • Ann Austin, director of reading and study skills, 563-333-6161
  • Matt Hansen, director of residence life, 563-333-6258
  • Merredyth McManus, director of student concerns, 563-333-6481
  • Brandi Ahlers, academic advisor for transfer and commuter students, 563-333-6131

Benefits of Early Identification and Outreach to Students

  • Identification of appropriate means of intervention while issues are not yet in a critical state.
  • Follow-up with student facilitating connectedness, a genuine sense of care and awareness of resources.
  • Proactive identification of students in need of additional support or who may be in crisis. Crisis situations may be personal, physical, emotional/psychological, interpersonal, academic or spiritual in nature.

Referrals to the Early Alert Council

  • Faculty are encouraged to contact either Academic Advising at 333-6059 or Student Success Center at 333-6161 about students who are experiencing academic difficulties, who have excessive absences or who are otherwise of concern to them based on appearance, statements made or other impressions. Please include the academic advisor in this contact as they provide an excellent resource to students as well.
  • Staff and family partners are encouraged to contact the Student Concerns office extension 6481 or 563-333-6481, the Dean of Student's office extension 6257 or 563-333-6257, or any member of the Early Alert Council to share information if they feel outreach may be of assistance to the student. Behaviors often reported include, but are not limited to, homesickness, not fitting in, having trouble connecting to the community, stress and reports of depression, and trouble with academic work.
  • Behaviors that threaten or insinuate acts of violence should be reported to Security (333-6104) for an immediate assessment.

It is important to emphasize that information shared at the Early Alert Council does not become part of any student record and is not disciplinary in nature. Any outreach to students is done in a respectful and discreet manner. The sole focus of the Council is early detection and outreach to students who may be having difficulty or may be at-risk in some way.

How to Contact the Early Alert Council

  • Call or stop in to see any member of the Council
  • Personal information of this nature cannot be guaranteed confidential over e-mail.

Any member of the community who knows of a student in suicidal crisis should contact the Counseling Center at extension 6423 or 563-333-6423 or Security at extension 6104 or 563-333-6104.

For more information about the Early Alert Council, contact the dean of students at 563-333-6258 or the director of student concerns at 563-333-6481.

Adapted from the Assumption College Dean's Council brochure