When a Student Dies: Respecting, Responding, Reflecting (E/SI)
April 25, 2023 | 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
The death of a student ripples across all aspects of the College experience. Administrators are often called upon to speak with grieving parents while also managing the complexities of advising faculty and others of the death while ensuring compliance with college policies. Faculty suddenly face a changed classroom where they must navigate a collective grief response with few to no resources or training. And for many students, this may be the first peer age death they’ve encountered and the resulting experience of grief bewildering. While not common, experiencing a student’s death at some point during one’s career is not rare and will be an event that is forever remembered.
This session will include a brief presentation on current research, as well as an overview of the presenter’s planned project, followed by an interactive discussion. Participants will be invited to share their own experiences as either an administrator or faculty when a student died, and how they navigated the experience. We’ll also look to the group for ideas on how academic institutions might better support and guide employees through this experience and for best practices in student death policies. The session will be upbeat and informative and explore a topic that rarely gets attention and yet is likely one of the most impactful experiences of one’s career.