Skip navigation

Center for Faculty Development

FAQs about Instructional Practices to Promote Well-being

Page Content

The goal of this is not to make mental health professionals of all faculty members. Rather, by implementing these strategies it is our hope that the mental health of faculty and students alike can be improved.

By implementing effective strategies that improve mental health on the front end of the semester, we believe that the end result will be less work during the semester for faculty members.

See links to relevant research and resources for each section. More resources will continue to be added.

Creating an Inclusive Environment

Establishing and maintaining boundaries in the classroom is vital for all faculty members. However, by revealing some things about your life to your students, it helps to show that you are also human and they can relate to you. Transparency (with appropriate boundaries) can help students feel more comfortable coming to you with problems and concerns regarding your class.

There are several resources available that can help! (Link to resources coming soon.)

By establishing a classroom culture of respect early in the semester, students can hopefully feel comfortable sharing their viewpoints while understanding that others may disagree. If a conversation turns sour, the instructor can always redirect the conversation and move on to other topics.


There are multiple options. Some instructors create a brief online quiz about this syllabus and require all students to score 100%. Others have students sign a document which states that the student has read the syllabus, understands it, has had the opportunity to ask questions about it, and will abide by it.

It’s understandable that extenuating circumstances can happen in a student’s life, and each situation is unique. Having a clear policy with open lines of communication between instructor and students can be beneficial. You could also include a syllabus statement that mentions if an instructor notices that the number of absences for a particular student is potentially problematic, the instructor may reach out to see if the student needs assistance. Instructors may also utilize CARES reports for students that they are concerned about. Instructors can access CARES here:

Unfortunately, the final grades deadline is fixed and cannot be changed. We encourage faculty to be flexible, but within reason. For example, instructors can explain to students that deadlines can only be pushed back so far during the semester, due to the final grades entry deadline. If there is an extenuating circumstance that prohibits timely completion of assignments, the grading option of “Incomplete” is available.

Pedagogical Strategies

Keep in mind that all of these are simply suggestions for instructors. Each instructor should implement the strategies which they believe will be most beneficial to their students in terms of student mental health as well as improving student outcomes. Different disciplines may also be able to find different ways to implement some strategies that correspond to the profession such as tailoring assignments within a course to better reflect the reality of that discipline and its corresponding profession(s). Also, remember that many accrediting bodies utilize academic success as an expectation. If any of the proposed strategies may serve as a way to bolster the success of students, it’s worth considering are there ways to implement it within your classroom.

How to work with students who do not wish to participate is always a difficult subject. It may be helpful for the instructor to be transparent about the purpose(s) of the strategies being utilized. In general, people are more willing to engage in activities when they understand why the activities are useful to them.

Contact Us

Center for Faculty Development
319 International Center

118 College Drive #5211
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Campus Map