Student CARE Team

The Holy Cross Student Campus Assessment, Response & Education, or CARE, Team provides coordinated support for students in distress, addressing concerns about a student’s behavior, academic progress, and personal issues, including physical and mental health.

The CARE Team gathers information from personal contact with students and referrals from members of the Holy Cross community, to include faculty, staff, students, or concerned parties, as well as family members. A goal of the team is to provide a structured, collaborative and supportive approach to address concerns that may adversely impact a student’s academic and personal success.

The CARE Team is not a substitute for other campus systems of support and does not bypass established protocols or procedures, such as academic policies, leave policies, student disciplinary procedures, threat assessment, and/or Public Safety responses to incidents.

The CARE Team is committed to the following:

  • Identifying students of concern who are in need of coordinated support;
  • Collecting and analyzing information to determine appropriate support for students;
  • Recommending interventions as appropriate to assist with students’ success;
  • Connecting students with support resources both on and off campus;
  • Coordinating care between and among varied College constituencies;
  • Providing follow-up care to assist with students’ well-being and academic success;
  • Engaging students’ families when appropriate; and
  • Maintaining student privacy as required by law and handling all matters with discretion.

Referring Student Matters to the CARE Team

Campus members are encouraged to report concerns about students who may be in distress or whose behavior is disruptive to others in the community. In cases of emergency, individuals are instructed to call the Department of Public Safety (508-793-2222) or 911 off campus, first. The CARE Team plays a secondary role to all urgent circumstances and should be contacted only after initial emergency notifications are made.

In non-emergency situations, faculty, staff, students or external constituents can provide information to the team through a number of channels. They include, but are not limited to, personal interaction, telephone call, or email to the chair of the CARE Team, Paul Irish, or through an online form. Faculty members are encouraged to also shared concerns with the student’s class dean. Each report should include as much detail as possible about the behavior and/or incident of concern. If a concern is submitted online, the reporter will also receive an acknowledgement of receipt if the reporter provides contact information.

Reasons to refer a student to the CARE Team include, but are not limited to:

  • Concerns about a student persist despite attempts to engage the student with campus resources (e.g., class dean, Counseling Center, Chaplains’ Office, Health Services, Accessibility Services, Academic Services and Learning Resources);
  • Student displays a pattern of concerning behavior, including, but not limited to, missing classes / assignments, chronic health issues, psychological distress, alcohol and/or other drug abuse, or displays forms of inappropriate behavior;
  • Student shows significant and marked changes in behavior, mood or affect;
  • Student's academic or social performance deteriorates;
  • Statements or actions of self-harm; and/or
  • Student's behavior reflects increased hopelessness or helplessness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do I refer a student to the CARE Team?

A. The two quickest ways to report a student the CARE Team include:
Submitting a report at:
Contacting Paul Irish, chair of CARE Team at 508-793-2669 or

 Q: What happens if I refer a student to the CARE Team?

A: Once the chair of the CARE Team receives a referral about a student of concern, the chair will quickly evaluate the report to determine the appropriate response. There are times that the chair can connect the student with needed resources, obviating the need to refer to CARE. If necessary (e.g., if the student is showing up in other areas), the chair will obtain more immediate care. If this does not represent an urgent situation, but still demonstrates the need for attention, the chair will bring the matter to the next scheduled CARE Team meeting, in which the members of CARE will discuss the student and identify the best ways to support the student.

Q. Can I refer a student and remain anonymous?

A. Yes, by submitting an anonymous referral However, we strongly recommend that you provide identifying information so that we can follow up with you with further questions and/or information about how best to support that student. We can’t promise confidentiality, but if you wish to remain private, we recommend you call the chair of the CARE Team and ask that they take your information and maintain your privacy to the greatest extent possible. In any information related to the case, CARE can use your initials or simply provide general information, like, “a professor.”

[Please note that the anonymous referral will capture your IP address, but we will not investigate this unless you submit information that someone poses an imminent risk of danger to others (e.g., a bomb threat).]

Q. Will you provide information to the original reporter?

A. It will depend upon the situation. The CARE Team recognizes that it takes concern for a student to make a referral. However, we receive many reports regarding students of concern that require a range of responses, not all of which warrant further communication with the original reporter. If is it important to you that you hear back, please notify the chair of the CARE Team or include this information in your report.

Q. If I have reported to the student’s class dean, will this information make it to the CARE Team?

A. The class deans often serve to manage many of the issues that would otherwise warrant referral to the CARE Team. While the CARE Team and the class deans work closely together, this does not necessarily mean that all students referred to the class deans are referred to CARE. If you want to make a referral to the CARE Team, we recommend you make a direct referral.