Making Referrals

  • When there is an opportunity to do so, encourage the student to select a service from among available referral resources at the time of his or her discussion with you.
  • Be particularly sensitive to possible feelings of rejection that may arise in a student who is being referred. After referral, give the student ways to continue your previous relationship so that he or she does not perceive the referral was made to end your relationship.
  • Always ask if the student has any hesitation or doubts about accepting your referral advice. Make certain that such doubts are expressed and discussed.
  • Always explain why you believe the referral is necessary and why you have chosen the referral source (s) that you have. Be honest, if you believe that a student’s difficulty is beyond your capabilities or time to help, say so. To avoid the issue or to masquerade increases the possibility that the student will feel rejected or that his or her problem is too serious or unusual for help.
  • Refer the student, follow up and show continued interest. Ask questions such as “Did it work out?” or “Did I give you the correct information?” However, do not delve into the student’s relationship with person to whom you have referred him or her, attempt to “second guess” that person, or pursue details.
  • Try to have names, addresses, and numbers of common referral sources ready in advance so that you can provide full information to students.