Christina Downey, associate professor of psychology and assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs and student success, IU Kokomo
"Much of what students show you in the classroom reflects their sense of confidence and effectiveness in your class, in college in general and in life. A study I did last year showed that nearly 60 percent of our first-year students reported feeling stressed on at least a regular basis by their sense of self-esteem or self-concept. That is, they were so concerned about whether they had what it takes to succeed that they were feeling stressed about it on a regular basis. Out of 14 life stressors I measured, self-concept actually came up as the second most frequent stressor, only behind educational stress (and ahead of financial stress, work stress, family stress or relationship stress). So when students appear disengaged, unmotivated or overly anxious, don't ignore or discount it; reach out to that student, build a relationship with him or her, and help that student understand the specific things they need to do to be successful."