Division of Student Engagement

What is EARS?

What is Distressed Student Protocol?


The Early Alert Reporting System (EARS) is a tool for early identification and support of students who are struggling. Faculty, staff, and students can contribute to campus wellness by identifying and assisting students who are having academic and/or other difficulties.

EARS allows faculty and staff to listen for student challenges and refer a student who may be experiencing academic or non-academic concerns. Student issues may include poor attendance, low test scores, writing ability, family issues, financial responsibility, mental or physical wellness concerns, as well as making the transition to North Park. Please refer to the Distressed Student Protocol below if you are not sure whether to submit an EARS referral or if you need to seek other more immediate help.

Students can use EARS to ask for help for themselves, report incidents, or refer a friend who needs support.

Once a referral is submitted, professional staff in Student Engagement will reach out to offer support and connect the student to resources on campus. Simply complete and submit the referral form. You will be notified regarding receipt of your referral. Referrals are confidential and information is handled in a sensitive manner.

Referrals are processed Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. If you need immediate help, please contact Student Engagement at (773) 244-5737 or Campus Security at (773) 244-5600. If there is an emergency, please contact 911 and Campus Security at (773) 244-5600.




Distressed Student Protocol

North Park University is dedicated to ensuring that students, faculty, and staff work and learn in an environment that is safe, respectful, and responsive to those in distress. This protocol was developed as a guide for the campus community to identify and assist students in distress.  A student may use behavior instead of words to communicate their need for help. Encouraging and helping the student seek assistance with the appropriate campus resources is important.

In the case of a medical emergency, such as a seizure or loss of consciousness, please call 911 and Campus Security, (773) 244-5600.

Use the Distressed Student Protocol if you notice the following behaviors or notice yourself or others reacting to a student’s behaviors in the following way:

Student Behaviors

  • Behavioral or emotional change
  • Withdrawal/Not engaging in activities
  • Several absences from classes
  • Change in hygiene or appearance
  • Decline in academic performance
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Excessive or inappropriate anger
  • Bizarre thoughts or behavior

Reactions to Student Behaviors

  • Feeling uncomfortable about student’s comments or behavior
  • Concern about the student’s ability to function
  • Feeling alarmed or frightened

If you have concerns or questions, call the Center for Student Engagement at (773) 244-5737.

View Distressed Student Protocol