I work for a small community college which is a subsidiary of a larger institution where I do primarily teaching and admin support but also do some academic mentoring.

I have one student who has for the past 3 semesters enrolled in a full course load and dropped all his courses after the drop and refund deadline. I have tried telling him to take on a smaller course load which he can manage with no avail.

I am debating dropping him as my mentee as I don't want to facilitate what I see as self destructive behavior any longer. I know I'm not quite fleshing out the entirety of the situation, however given the nature of a public forum I'd prefer to keep it discreet.

How would one deal with this situation?

  • 5
    Have you explored with him his reasons and constraints? Some people have external pressures, such as family.
    – Buffy
    Commented Oct 27, 2020 at 23:03
  • 4
    If the student repeatedly does not follow your advice, it's perfectly fine to stop mentoring them. I think you have already decided what to do. Commented Oct 28, 2020 at 0:02
  • 2
    @Buffy Your comment verges on insulting the asker. Commented Oct 28, 2020 at 0:03
  • 5
    @AnonymousPhysicist why? The OP doesn't say anything about the nature or content of their conversations with the student about the situation. ("I have tried telling him" doesn't give us a lot of information about what kind of exchange of information there was.)
    – Ben Bolker
    Commented Oct 28, 2020 at 1:54
  • 4
    There are a lot of details that seem necessary to know in order to answer your question. Do you have discretion to drop your mentee? What happens if you do that? Will he get assigned an alternative mentor? How much time are you spending on the mentorship? Are you worried about any career/professional repercussions for yourself? Etc etc.
    – Dan Romik
    Commented Oct 28, 2020 at 2:07


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