Student Care and Advocacy Resources

Unexpected events and challenges can negatively impact a student’s academic performance. These situations—such as academic distress, housing or food insecurity, or an individual or family medical emergency/crisis—are often beyond our control and difficult to manage along with coursework.

The College of IST encourages students to explore Penn State and IST resources to help navigate challenging situations. We recommend that students establish relationships with and seek guidance from their IST Undergraduate Academic Adviser, IST Graduate Programs Office, and the College of IST Office of Enrollment, Engagement, and Belonging.

Additionally, IST partners with the Penn State Student Affairs Office of Student Care & Advocacy to assist students who face obstacles when striving to achieve success at Penn State. The office provides support resources for academic concerns, health and wellness, basic needs, students in distress, confidential support, and reporting an incident. 

More information about support resources—including concern forms and contact information for booking an appointment with a case manager—can be found on the Penn State Student Affairs Office of Student Care & Advocacy website. Graduate students can find additional information on the Penn State Graduate School Graduate Student Life website.

Emotional Health and Wellness Concerns

Students who encounter emotional or health issues during the semester that disrupt coursework, attendance, or participation are encouraged to contact their instructor(s) and academic adviser as soon as possible. 

Penn State Student Affairs Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) offers individual counseling, group therapy, crisis intervention, and psychiatric services as well as prevention, outreach, and consultation services. Counseling and psychological services are designed to enhance students’ ability to fully benefit from the University environment and academic experience.

Disability Accommodations

Penn State Educational Equity Student Disability Resources offers accommodations and services for students with disabilities. Each designative office coordinates disability-related documents, certifies eligibility for services, and develops plans for reasonable accommodations, such as academic adjustments and auxiliary aids.

Academic Concerns

For academic concerns involving IST courses, we strive to proactively assist students to find solutions and resolutions as early as possible.

We strongly encourage students to first communicate and attempt to resolve academic concerns with their instructor. These concerns might include attendance, course participation, emergency situations, and late submission and extensions, as well as grades, quizzes, lessons, and exam results. Students should review the Penn State Grading Policy for concerns pertaining to a grade

IST Undergraduate Academic Advising and IST Graduate Programs may also offer coaching and suggestions for resolution. Schedule an appointment/drop-in with your academic adviser or undergraduate or graduate program office.

For academic concerns that have not been resolved with the instructor, students may complete and submit an IST Academic Concern form, which will be directed to the associate dean for undergraduate or graduate education for review and response. It is important to note that in order to assist students, we may need to contact the course instructor which may impact privacy. More information can be found in the Penn State Privacy Policy.

If a final grade is recorded before a resolution is reached, students may submit a request for grade mediation and adjudication via the Student Academic Concern form. The form may be submitted to the College of IST Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education via the IST Student Academic Concern form. More information, including the official Grade Adjudication Petition form, can be found in the Academic and Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual on the Penn State Undergraduate Education website