Referrals to Other Campus Offices or Support Resources
The Office of Accessibility Services supports many qualified students with their academic, residential, and field or clinical accommodation needs. For students who are seeking accommodation for reasons unrelated to a documented diagnosis or disability, the OAS will provide referrals to other campus offices or support resources which will better meet the student's needs.
Assistance for English Language Learners
A student's status as an English Language Learner does not qualify the student for academic accommodation through the OAS. Students who are seeking to improve their English language skills are encouraged to contact the Writing Center (open to all Simmons students) for assistance with their academic papers or the Tutoring Center (available to undergraduate students only) for extra assistance with specific subjects. ELL students are also encouraged to work directly with their faculty members to strengthen their understanding of course content.
The Campus Assessment, Response, and Evaluation (CARE) Team seeks to proactively coordinate University support for students in distress, struggling with basic needs, experiencing unexpected crises or whose behavior raises concerns about their well-being or that of others. The CARE Team also addresses behaviors that may be disruptive, harmful or pose a threat to the health and safety of the Simmons community. The CARE team is an interdisciplinary team which meets on a regular basis to ensure that students of concern are receiving timely and consistent support.
The mission of the CARE Team is to protect the health and wellness of Simmons students and members of the Simmons community by addressing student behaviors of concern while balancing the educational needs of students as well as the academic mission of the University.
How to make a referral to the CARE Team: Complete the CARE Team Referral Form.
Leaves of Absence
Students seeking leaves of absence from their academic programs should consult the Registrar's website for the instructions appropriate for their degree level and type. Students taking medical leaves of absence are not required to notify the OAS concerning their temporary leave.
Students who registered with the OAS prior to their leave of absence are encouraged to reach the OAS to reinstate their academic accommodations when they are preparing to return to their academic program. To acquire an updated Academic Accommodation Authorization document, OAS-registered students may submit the Accommodation Request Form.
Mental Health Concerns
Mental health wellness and balance are a vital part of academic success. Our collective goal at Simmons is to support students who are seeking counseling or treatment for a mental health concern. We encourage students to contact the Counseling Center or consult their individual health insurance or health care provider. The OAS does not provide referrals for mental health testing or treatment.
Personal, Family, or Medical Emergencies
Students experiencing personal, family, or medical emergencies should contact the Office of Student Life ([email protected]). The Student Life staff assist students experiencing emergent circumstances to communicate with their faculty members, plan for absences from class, and determine whether additional supports are needed. The OAS often collaborates with Student Life to support students who need certain allowances in their courses due to their emergent circumstances.
Examples of Personal, Family, or Medical Emergencies:
- Concussions (not including a diagnosis of Post Concussion Syndrome or other chronic neurological or physiological complications)
- Death of a family member or partner
- Food insecurity
- Hospitalization (e.g emergency hospitalization, in-patient programs, and intensive out-patient programs)
- Housing insecurity
- Injury (if unrelated to a diagnosed, chronic condition)
- Loss of or lack of access to technology or internet
- Severe/incapacitating illness (e.g. COVID-19, mononucleosis, pneumonia, heart attack)
- Surgery leading to an in- or out-patient recovery period
Physical Health Concerns
The Simmons University Health Center supports the health of Simmons undergraduate and graduate students. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Health Center is available for telehealth appointments and a limited number of pre-screened in-person appointments. See the Health Center's list of services for an overview of their health care services.
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 for immediate emergency assistance.
Starfish: How to Raise a Flag?
Whether it's academic, general or a behavioral concern, faculty can raise a Starfish flag with concerns about a student. Academic Flags are considered as Attendance Concern, Missing/Late Assignments, Low Scores, In Danger of Failing and Low Participation. When raising a flag, faculty are asked to submit flag comments. The flag comments should be written as if writing to the student, not about the student. When the student receives the flag in their email, they receive the exact text that you write in the comment box. The general concern flag is an important piece of the Starfish alert system. A general concern flag should be raised when a concern about a student exists that may revolve around their academics or general wellbeing and you want to alert the Undergraduate Advising team and Student Life.
Temporary Diagnosis or Disability
Students who have received temporary or short-term diagnoses or disabilities should review the OAS' Temporary Diagnosis/Disability Guidelines and are encouraged to reach the Office of Student Life ([email protected]) for support. The Student Life staff assist students experiencing emergent circumstances to communicate with their faculty members, plan for absences from class, and determine whether additional supports are needed.
Temporary disabilities (e.g. concussion, broken bone, post-op status) are not included under Section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 as permanent disabilities and thus are not eligible for accommodation through the OAS. OAS recognizes that students may become injured or otherwise temporarily disabled and that this may impact their academics for a short period of time. Any allowances a faculty member may choose to offer a student is done so outside of the ADA guidelines for a permanent diagnosis. While such allowances are not titled accommodations, OAS strongly encourages faculty to offer allowance so that a student may fully demonstrate their mastery of a topic or project goal, without the impact of the temporary diagnosis on their final product or grade. Please note that the OAS cannot mandate that faculty offer additional time for completion of assignments for a temporary diagnosis.
Title IX Cases
At Simmons, we recognize the inherent dignity and worth of each member of our community, which includes the right to live, learn and work in an environment free from sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is a broad term used to identify a number of unwelcome behaviors, of a sexual nature, that are prohibited by Simmons, including, but not limited to, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.
Simmons takes allegations of sexual harassment seriously and is committed to preventing and addressing this conduct, as it violates our community standards and is inconsistent with mutual respect, dignity, and personal integrity. Simmons has a Sexual Harassment Policy to address such behavior.
Students who have experienced sexual harassment have several reporting options. Students may report to in person, by mail, by telephone, or by electronic mail, using the contact information listed for the Title IX Coordinator below:
Gretchen Groggel Ralston
AVP, Associate General Counsel
Title IX Coordinator
300 The Fenway
Boston, MA 02115
Email: [email protected]
Online report: Maxient (reporting portal)
Under the ADA, pregnant students without accompanying comorbidities do not qualify for academic accommodation through the OAS. Pregnant students will be referred to their academic programs in order to plan for any absences or other interruptions to their participation in their programs due to childbirth.
Other Offices and Resources
Confidential Resources Persons
If a Simmons student has experienced sexual harassment, and would like to speak to someone confidentially, there are “Confidential Resource Persons” who have an obligation to keep information you tell them about sexual harassment confidential, to the extent permitted by federal and state law. A list of confidential and non-confidential resources and their contact information can be found on the Simmons Title IX website.
Simmons University's Public Safety Department is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year to support the safety and security of the Simmons community. See Public Safety's website for their on-campus location and contact information.
Students may also consult Public Safety's list of on- and off-campus resources for phone numbers for other Simmons University offices as well as local or national emergency/crisis services.
Academic tutoring is available to undergraduate students through the Tutoring Center. The Tutoring Center’s Peer Tutors assist tutees to review course assignments, plan for long- and short-term goals, and develop time management and study skills, as well as provide other academic support. Students are eligible for two hours of tutoring per week and can schedule appointments through the Tutoring Center’s website.
Academic writing support is available to undergraduate and graduate students through the Writing Center. The Writing Center tutors assist students one-on-one to improve comprehension, writing, and research skills. Students are eligible for up to two one-hour appointments per week and can schedule appointments through the Writing Center’s website.