Early Assist

Early Assist is a ‘one-stop shop’ that connects students with campus and community resources. Students can connect directly with the Early Assist Team by emailing earlyassist@nic.bc.ca Faculty and staff can also refer students who they feel might benefit from additional support.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Early Assist?

At NIC we know that the earlier a student gets connected with appropriate supports, the better chance they have to sustain and improve their academic success and overall well-being. Early assist is a one-stop shop for all types of supports – personal or academic.

When would staff or faculty use Early Assist?

Faculty and staff are encouraged to reach out and offer support when they are concerned about a student’s academic performance and/or well-being. This might include times when there is a change in the quality of a student’s work, if a student stops attending classes regularly, or if a student is showing signs of being in distress. With Early Assist, students will receive information about the whole range of supports that we have available here at NIC.

When would a student use Early Assist?

Students are encouraged to reach out to Early Assist when concerned about academic performance or overall well-being, including physical and mental health. Early Assist connects students with a range of supports available at NIC or in community.

What are some examples of supports?

NIC offers numerous supports including emergency financial aid, indigenous supports, advocacy, counselling, academic advising, peer tutors, technical support, accommodation for temporary and permanent disability and more. We also have access to many community resources. The Early Assist team helps you find the right support at the right time.

How does Early Assist work?

For Faculty and Staff

  1. The first step is for staff and faculty to reach out to find out more about a student’s situation. From here, they may choose to provide the student with information about NIC support services, or they might complete an online Early Assist referral to connect the student directly with the Early Assist Team.
  2. The Early Assist Team will contact the student by email and/or telephone and provide an overview of supports available and the opportunity to meet with one of the Early Assist team in person or online.
  3. Due to confidentiality, staff/faculty who made the referral will only be informed if contact has been made (or not) with the student. No other details will be released.

For Students

  1. Students can connect directly with the Early Assist team by sending an email to earlyassist@nic.bc.ca
  2. The Early Assist team will contact the student to arrange a time to talk about the student’s needs and appropriate supports.
  3. The information shared by the student is confidential and – unless safety is a concern – will not be shared with others without their consent.

Does Early Assist affect academic records or decisions related to funding or academic progress?

No. Early Assist referrals will not appear on a student’s academic or financial records.

How does Early Assist affect privacy?

Early Assist protects privacy by providing a secure way for academic or other concerns to be identified and responded to. Access to information collected through Early Assist is restricted to those coordinating information and providing outreach.

What if the student does not want to be a part of Early Assist?

Except for situations where someone’s safety is at risk, the student can choose to accept the support being offered or not.

If there an emergency or it is outside regular office hours, call 911 or the Vancouver Island Crisis Line 1-888-494-3888. Or visit Here2Talk.

Early Assist Team Members

Rachel Birch, Student Life and Outreach Liaison