The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

A “safety net” for students: how Scots Care is expanding outreach

Graphic by Zander Leong ’26.

Scots Care, a program dedicated to supporting students by connecting them to resources on campus and in the community, is growing and amplifying outreach at Macalester this semester.

Dean of Students Javier Gutierrez and Associate Dean of Students Angela Walker are spearheading this project, aiming to develop the program into a more accessible and familiar resource to students, faculty and staff at Macalester.

The Scots Care Case Management Team, as described by Walker, is a group of faculty members that connects with students in need of support or resources related to mental health, medical situations, family life, food insecurity, academics and finances. Students, professors and staff can refer themselves or students who need support to Scots Care. Then, a member of the team contacts the student and starts a discussion about resources they may need and steps they might want to take.

“[The program] is a safety net … to catch the student and say ‘how can we help you?’” Walker said. “And it’s a team effort; it’s not us dictating to the students … It’s how we can work together in your best interests so that you can thrive academically and personally while you’re at Mac.”

Gutierrez said the team also serves as a point of contact for students who aren’t sure where to go for help or who are nervous about asking for help — like a bridge between resources and students.

“Anyone coming onto this campus needs to know how to navigate it, how to get that assistance, how to get the help they may need — whether it’s their first year coming onto campus or even their senior year,” Gutierrez said.

But awareness and accessibility of the program, in its present form, is not where the team wants it to be. Currently, Scots Care’s sole digital presence is a link to the referral form on the Student Affairs webpage. The link is somewhat far down the webpage, and the name “Scots Care” is not referenced.

Walker and Gutierrez said that since last semester, they have been developing a plan for expanding Scots Care’s reach and publicity. The initial step is developing a presentation to raise awareness about Scots Care and how to report out for faculty members, Resident Assistants (RAs) and Orientation Leaders (OLs), then expanding to student org leaders.

A website is the next crucial step to make Scots Care more accessible. Gutierrez explained that he intends for the website to include not just the referral form, but information about the program itself.

“The communication part is developing the website so we can make it an easy place for one snapshot to see the form, to see who’s on the team, to understand what the care report is for,” Gutierrez said. 

He also emphasized the importance of guiding community members to know whether to contact Scots Care or emergency personnel.

Walker and Gutierrez are excited to see the next steps for Scots Care. They hope that by making the program more accessible, they will alleviate some fear around asking for help or communicating with deans.

“I want to make sure the campus community is aware that [students are] not in trouble,” Walker said. “It’s about how we can help you.”

Gutierrez expressed a similar sentiment.

“It’s not about weakness, it’s not about showing that you can’t make it,” Gutierrez said. “It’s really more about how we all need help. We can all use that assistance to get the resources we need.”

The Scots Care referral form is located on the part of the Student Affairs webpage entitled ‘Student Care/Concern Reporting Form.’ 

The deans say students who feel more comfortable contacting them directly, instead of filling out the form, can contact them with any concerns through email, phone call or a visit to the Dean of Students’ office on the first floor of Weyerhaeuser.


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