What is Case Management in Higher Education?  How Does it Support Students?

The Higher Education Case Managers Association (HECMA) provides the following definition:

Higher Education Case Managers serve their University and individual students by coordinating prevention, intervention, and support efforts across campus and community systems to assist at-risk students and students facing crises, life traumas, and other barriers that impede success.

UC Davis Case Managers:

  • Gather information and connect students with campus and community resources.
  • Provide consultation to faculty and staff regarding students of concern, help problem-solve situations involving students of concern, and provide feedback to involved parties as needed.
  • Conduct presentations and support other programming to inform students, faculty, staff and community members about recognizing and responding to students of concern.

Role of OSSJA Case Managers

Every year, students struggle with challenges and crisis-related issues that interfere with their academic and student life success. UC Davis non-clinical Case Managers, based in the Office of Student Support and Judicial Affairs (OSSJA), are here to provide support and assistance to students in need and to staff and faculty members who become aware of such students. OSSJA Case Managers receive information, identify resources, reach out to students, and follow up so that students receive assistance with their needs. Concerned staff and faculty are kept informed when necessary and appropriate. OSSJA Case Managers make connections so that students in distress do not fall through the cracks.

OSSJA Case Managers are not licensed counselors and do not provide therapy. They do not replace the critical role that Student Health and Counseling Services has on our campus to help students, but they do serve as an important point of contact for anyone who is concerned about a student.

Other OSSJA Case Manager Responsibilities

  • Coordinate and serve on the UC Davis Students of Concern Response Team (SCRT) (see sidebar on left).
  • Help develop effective policies for campus-wide response to student mental health issues.
  • Provide outreach and workshops to staff, faculty, students and departments about how to address situations involving distressed and distressing students. 
  • Coordinate services for students (respondents) who are being investigated for sexual assault, domestic/dating violence, or stalking.

When to contact OSSJA Case Managers

Anyone can contact a case manager when they are concerned about a student -- including another student. The student may be in distress due to emotional issues, health, family or personal relationships, grades, academic standing, or other problems. Please contact us when you first notice that a student appears to be in distress as it is often difficult to determine when a student's problem is serious -- and it's better to err on the side of caution. Contacting the OSSJA Case Managers when you are concerned about a student does not get the student in trouble, but ensures a coordinated response. We are here to help. 

Edited 2/22/2019 by slh