Counseling and Psychological Services Center

Referring a Student to Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides a variety of clinical services designed to meet the many different concerns experienced by CSUF students. The clinical needs of students range from normative developmental changes to more serious emerging or on-going mental health concerns; from a disrupting life event to a life-threatening crisis; or from supportive counseling and psychoeducation to ongoing psychotherapy. Our licensed clinical staff is specifically trained in college student mental health therapeutic approaches and committed to providing professional services that meet the specific needs of undergraduate and graduate students. CAPS takes pride in being an agency that operates from multicultural, multidisciplinary, and multi-theoretical perspectives. Our clinical staff and trainees represent a wide range of individual and social identities and experiences; are a combination of psychologists, and social workers; and have training in numerous treatment modalities and theoretical perspectives. This rich diversity in people and practice provides opportunities for CSUF students to connect with a clinician and receive treatment in a manner that is a fit for both the person and their clinical need.

When to Consult: Faculty and Staff can consult with CAPS staff when they encounter a student who shows signs of distress but are unsure how serious it is and the interaction has left you feeling uneasy or really concerned about the student. Call (657) 278-3040 and ask to speak to the Crisis Counselor on call. Crisis Counselors are available Monday-Friday, 24 hours a day.

When to Refer: Faculty/Staff should refer when you have observed some signs and symptoms and the student is struggling academically or in their personal life. Some of the concern’s students are referred for include depression, anxiety, anger-management, experiencing a traumatic event, grief, relationship difficulties, identity development, eating disorders, substance use/abuse, and sexual assault.

When to Walk a Student in Crisis to CAPS: Students are seen on a same-day basis if they are experiencing a crisis. A crisis is present when a student reports any of the following: 

  • Thoughts of injuring/killing self or others 
  • Within the last month has experienced a severe trauma
  • Within the last month was physically or sexually assaulted
  • Seeing or hearing things that others do not typically see or hear
  • Experiencing a mental health crisis so severe that the student believes that they may need to be hospitalized

How to Refer a Non-Crisis Student: You can walk the student over to CAPS or empower them to reach out on their own. Remind the student that services are free and confidential. Suggest that the student call CAPS at (657) 278-3040 to make an appointment. Sometimes it is useful to more actively assist students in scheduling an initial counseling appointment. You can offer the use of your phone or call the receptionist yourself while the student waits in your office.

Does the Referral Need the Student’s Participation: Yes. CAPS’ counseling is not mandated at CSUF; therefore, the student needs to be empowered to walk over or call to schedule an appointment.

What about confidentiality? CAPS staff members are required by law and professional ethics to protect the confidentiality of all communications with clients. Client information and client records cannot be released to anyone outside of CAPS without the client’s written permission. Client records are kept separate from academic, administrative, disciplinary, and medical records. No information about a client’s contact with CAPS (including whether a student is a client at CAPS) is released without the written consent of the client. Legally mandated exceptions to confidentiality include: Where there is reasonable suspicion of abuse or neglect of children, dependent adults, or elderly persons; the client presents a serious danger of violence to another; the client is likely to harm themselves unless protective measures are taken; a judge issues a court order to release information.

If you need help in deciding whether or not it is appropriate to make a referral, call Counseling and Psychological Services at (657) 278-3040 to consult with a counselor.

Disability Support Services

Referring a Student to Disability Support Services (DSS)

Disability Support Services provides support for students with disabilities who experience barriers in the educational environment due to their disability. DSS provides accommodations and services to students requiring access to the classroom, curriculum, assessments, buildings, and extracurricular activities. DSS is overseen by the Office of Civil Rights, Department of Education to ensure that all students with disabilities have equal and meaningful access to campus. DSS staff are available to consult with faculty on course accessibility and concerns related to students with disabilities. DSS is located in GH 101.

Should you Refer? If a student appears to be struggling academically and has not disclosed a disability, please don’t ask for a specific diagnosis. Details about a student’s disability are confidential and only need to be disclosed to DSS. If you suspect a possible disability, it may be appropriate to refer the student to two or three resources on campus, including DSS. If they request accommodations or considerations, encourage them to get connected with DSS to begin the process. DSS staff are available to discuss if a possible DSS referral may be warranted.

When to Refer: Some students with disabilities have already connected with DSS, and some have not. Those connected will send a Course Accessibility Letter to instructors confirming their specific accommodations. Many students with invisible disabilities or new conditions may not know DSS is a resource for them. Some students will disclose they have an impairment or you may just have a concern about their coursework and/or behavior. Discuss concerns privately with the student by sharing observations (specific behaviors and/or academic issues if they have not disclosed). Let them know that CSUF has many departments available to offer support including CAPS, DSS, and tutoring.

Does the Referral Need the Student’s Participation? Yes. Students with disabilities who request accommodations must self-identify with DSS. The process involves four steps:

1) apply online for service

2) provide disability documentation (medical and/or psychological)

3) meet with a Disability Management Specialist

4) send out Course Accessibility Letters to instructors each semester

DSS encourages students to get connected early, even if they might not utilize accommodations, however, students are not required to do so. Legally DSS cannot place a deadline for when students must get registered. Accommodations are not retroactive and are activated once the student sends their letters. DSS may consult with faculty to determine reasonable accommodations based on the essential requirements of a course. NOTE: Faculty are discouraged from providing accommodations independent of DSS even if a student discloses a disability. Faculty should provide accommodations once they have received the Course Accessibility Letter and then only provide the accommodations listed.

What about confidentiality? Students with disabilities are NOT required to disclose any details about their actual condition(s) to faculty or others on campus. Please do not single out or disclose a student’s disability status to the entire class. DSS keeps all student disability records confidential and will not disclose a student’s specific diagnosis. However, DSS staff may discuss the functional limitations and barriers the student is experiencing within the educational environment.

Outreach and Education: DSS provides outreach and informational presentation upon request. Please send outreach requests to dssoutreach@fullerton.edu or give us a call at 657-278-3112.

Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation

Referring to Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation (DHR)

The Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation (DHR) Administrator is the University’s designated entity to report concerns, issues, and complaints of protected status DHR occurring on campus. Protected status refers to social identities including, race, religion, disability, age, national origin, among others. The DHR Administrator is charged with receiving reports and addressing concerns of possible DHR on campus. The Administrator does so by following processes prescribed by Executive Order 1096 (if the complaining party is an employee) and Executive Order 1097 (if the complaining party is a student). The DHR Administrator also has the discretion to find alternative ways, working with the relevant parties, to find resolution of an issue involving alleged DHR.

When to Consult: Faculty should strongly consider consulting the DHR Administrator whenever a student seems to demonstrate that he or she is being treated unfairly or different from others. If a student refers to a social identity – race, religion, disability, etc., in explaining performance/participation in the class, it is wise to consult the DHR Administrator.

When to Refer: All employees, pursuant to Executive Order 1096, must notify the DHR Administrator of alleged incidents of DHR. A referral should occur whenever a student specifically states they believe they have been discriminated against, harassed, or retaliated against.

Does the Referral Need the Student’s Participation? No. However, as a practical matter, it is advised that the student be informed that the faculty member is required to refer the matter to the DHR Administrator and that the DHR Administrator is the designated University official charged with addressing DHR concerns. Further, it is advised that when notifying the student of the referral, provide the student with the DHR Administrator name, and contact information , and encourage them to contact the DHR Administrator.

What about confidentiality? Matters of DHR should be shared on a “need to know” basis. The DHR Administrator, as the entity charged with seeking compliance with the University’s non-discrimination policy, is deemed a person who “needs to know” of DHR allegations. There are others who may or may not “need to know” if a student alleges DHR. Those people, such as a Department Chair or Associate Dean, can be determined after consulting with the DHR Administrator.

Outreach and Education: The DHR Administrator regularly provides consultation, trainings, and presentations on DHR in general and particular topics related to DHR, such as providing students religious and disability accommodations. These trainings are provided to faculty, staff, student groups, classes. For more information, please contact DHR Administrator Blair Miles at bmiles@fullerton.edu or at 657-278-4933.

Additional considerations: Given the inherent power dynamic between a student and faculty, allegations from students of DHR against faculty is common. If a student accuses you of DHR, and you know your conduct towards them is not DHR, please reach out to the DHR Administrator as soon as possible to get in front of the matter. Dismissing the student’s concerns or not consulting the DHR Administrator is not advised. Many issues can be easily resolved if the matter is brought to the attention of the DHR Administrator sooner rather than later. Also, faculty can also be harassed by students. If you feel a student’s conduct towards you is DHR, you are protected from such conduct by Executive Order 1096, and should feel free to contact the DHR Administrator. Finally, the DHR Administrator is a neutral party whose goal is to resolve matters and provide clarification and understanding in an effort to ensure that protected status DHR does not occur on campus. The DHR Administrator should be seen as a resource for the entire campus community – faculty, staff, and students. The DHR Administrator will work with you to resolve matters in a fair, reasonable manner.

Student Conduct

Referring to Student Conduct

Student Conduct promotes academic integrity, student rights and responsibilities, and standards of student conduct for the University community. Student Conduct is responsible for investigating and adjudicating alleged violations of the Student Conduct Code. This includes receiving reports of alleged misconduct, ensuring that students receive due process and fair treatment throughout the hearing process, and maintaining student disciplinary records. Alleged violations may include but are not limited to acts of academic dishonesty, hazing, alcohol and other drugs, bullying, and a wide variety of behavioral misconduct. By approaching misconduct as an opportunity for holistic student development, Student Conduct fosters student learning, assists students in repairing harm caused by their actions, and facilitates opportunities for them to restore well-being within themselves, the campus community, and society.

When to Consult: If you encounter a situation in which a student’s behavior is a cause for concern, but you are unsure if such behavior would be a violation of campus policy, you should consult with Student Conduct staff. You can email studentconduct@fullerton.edu or call our office at 657-278-4436, and we can provide guidance on how to address the issue, determine if there is a violation, and explain the referral process.

When to Refer: Faculty and staff who believe that a violation of the Student Conduct Code has occurred should submit the appropriate referral form to Student Conduct. The report should contain the name and Campus ID number of the accused student(s) if known, a summary of the incident, and contact information for the referring party, along with any witnesses. Be sure to attach any supporting evidence or documentation when submitting your report. Academic Dishonesty Referral (Academic related misconduct) Student Conduct Referral (All other misconduct) Does the Referral Need the Student’s Participation? No, the referral does not need student participation. Once a referral is received, Student Conduct can mandate a student’s involvement in the conduct process.

What about confidentiality? Student Conduct must abide by the legal requirements under FERPA for maintaining and disclosing student disciplinary records. Therefore, student records are highly confidential. Once a referral is made to Student Conduct for an alleged violation, information regarding the investigation details and outcome of the case will be shared when there is a legitimate educational need to know and when there is a significant risk to the safety or well-being of other members of the campus community as provided under federal law. When it comes to reports from faculty and staff regarding academic dishonesty, we provide information to students about who reported the alleged policy violation. Regardless of the type of report, we do everything we can to protect the reporting parties' identity when there are concerns for an individual's safety and fear of retaliation.

Outreach and Education: Student Conduct is engaged in extensive outreach and training for students, staff, and faculty. We provide consultations and presentations to faculty on a variety of topics. At the faculty's request, we can provide presentations for students within their courses on academic integrity. To request a presentation, please conduct studentconduct@fullerton.edu

Additional Considerations: 

Due Process

Every student has the right to due process. A few key elements that are important in providing students with due process are notifying the student of the allegation, an opportunity for the student to contest the allegation/respond to the complaint, and the right to a fair hearing. The status of a student will not be altered nor sanctions initiated until completion of the disciplinary process; this includes immediately removing students from a course. Students are considered innocent until proven responsible by a preponderance of the evidence. However, interim action may be initiated when there is reasonable cause to believe that it is required to protect safety, property and/or ensure the maintenance of order.

The Preponderance of the Evidence

The standard of proof used to determine whether allegations of a violation of University policy against a student will be sustained is using the preponderance of the evidence standard. The preponderance of the evidence means the greater weight of the evidence. It is the Universities responsibility to show that it is “more likely than not” that a student violated the Student Conduct Code.

Title IX

Referring to Title IX

The Title IX and Gender Equity department is responsible for responding to all reports of Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Sexual Misconduct, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, and any other form of discrimination or harassment based on sex, gender and/or sexual orientation. The department also oversees training, awareness and prevention programs.

When to Consult: If you aren’t sure if what you observed or what someone shared with you meets the definitions of Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Sexual Misconduct, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, and any other form of discrimination or harassment based on sex, gender and/or sexual orientation, please consult.

When to Refer: You should refer every time you observe or learn that a member of the CSUF community experienced Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Sexual Misconduct, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, and any other form of discrimination or harassment based on sex, gender and/or sexual orientation. Below are a few common questions with answers:

1. What if the person tells you they already reported it to Title IX? You still must report it to Title IX.

2. What if the person tells you they don’t want you to report it to Title IX? You still must report it to Title IX.

3. What if the person says it happened off campus? You still must report it to Title IX.

4. What if the other involved party is not a CSUF student or employee? You still must report it to Title IX.

Does the Referral Need the Student’s Participation? No

What about confidentiality? You are most likely not an employee who can maintain confidentiality when it comes to acts of Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Sexual Misconduct, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, and any other form of discrimination or harassment based on sex, gender and/or sexual orientation. Virtually all CSUF employees have a Duty to Report to the Title IX and Gender Equity department when they learn about or observe any acts of Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Sexual Misconduct, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, and any other form of discrimination or harassment based on sex, gender and/or sexual orientation. This Duty to Report, including very limited exceptions for people like licensed counselors who work for Counseling and Psychological Services, licensed medical providers who work at the Student Health Center and the Campus Confidential Advocate, is outlined in Article I.H of CSU Executive Order 1097.

Outreach and Education: Employees must complete the CSU’s Sexual Misconduct Prevention Program annually via the Employee Training Center. Every two years, employees must complete the CSU's Discrimination Harassment Prevention Program for Supervisors/Non-Supervisors via the Employee Training Center. Title IX and Gender Equity staff are available if you’d like us to do a specific training for your staff or department. More information about training and prevention programs is available at https://www.fullerton.edu/titleix/training/index.php

Addditional Considerations:  

  • For faculty teaching classes, consider putting a statement in your syllabus about your Duty to Report obligations and discuss on the first day of class so students know you are not able to maintain confidentiality when it comes to acts of Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Sexual Misconduct, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, and any other form of discrimination or harassment based on sex, gender and/or sexual orientation.
  • Resources for students and employees can be found at http://www.fullerton.edu/titleix/resources/index.php
  • For students, CSU Executive Order 1097 is the Systemwide Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation, Sexual Misconduct, Dating and Domestic Violence, and Stalking against Students and Systemwide Procedure for Addressing Such Complaints by Students.
  • For employees, CSU Executive Order 1096 is the Systemwide Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation, Sexual Misconduct, Dating and Domestic Violence, and Stalking against Employees and Third Parties and Systemwide Procedure for Addressing Such Complaints by Employees and Third Parties.