Center for Teaching, Learning & Technology

Syllabus Statements: Basic Needs Support

Syllabus statements are an important way for faculty to accomplish a number of useful goals at the outset of each course: Reduce the number of predictable questions from students, help establish students' expectations about the course at the outset, reduce students’ uncertainty (and increase their comfort level) about you and the course, generate more positive perceptions about who you are and how you will conduct the class, and convey your commitment to supporting them as individuals. These pages offer information about several categories of recommended syllabus statements, each offering examples and downloads of language that can be copied or revised for individual faculty use in course syllabi.

Basic Needs Support

It may seem a bit surprising to some that Cal Poly participates in the CSU’s Basic Needs Initiative. The idea that there are homeless and hungry students may not square with an assumption about Cal Poly Students and their social and financial status. However, according to California State University (CSU) data, 27% of Cal Poly students experience food insecurity and another 12% experience homelessness. These problems affect hundreds, even thousands, of students and the consequences can impact their physical and mental health and academic performance.

Again, this is where you can make a difference as an influential figure for your students – overtly acknowledging the reality that may affect some of your students and helping to destigmatize it enough that they might be willing to reach out for help that they deserve.

Syllabus Statement Model Language

Version 1

If you don’t have stable housing and/or are skipping meals, concerned about spending money on food and/or having difficulties accessing healthy food options, learn about the many resources available to support you through Cal Poly's Basic Needs Initiative at basicneeds.calpoly.edu. We can provide you with immediate food, housing and emergency funding support and access to additional resources.  

Version 2

If you are facing challenges securing food, housing or other basic needs, you are not alone, and Cal Poly can help. We invite you to learn about the many resources available to support you through Cal Poly's Basic Needs Initiative at basicneeds.calpoly.edu.

Optional Text to Also Include

If I can help you in any way to access the resources above, or if you have any questions about student care resources, please contact me so that I can assist you. I am committed to ensuring that all students have the resources they need to be able to participate in this course. 

(Download document here)

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