Student Grief and Bereavement Resources
The University of Central Florida is a caring community committed to student success. UCF recognizes the impact that a loss may have on the emotional and academic well-being of a student and wishes to support the student during these distressing times. UCF also understands that grief impacts every student differently and, therefore, these resources are not an attempt to quantify the impact of the death of a loved one or in any way address the nature of the grief process. Rather, the purpose of the below resources are to allow grieving students access to support that may be valuable in assisting them navigate through any grief or loss they experience during their time as a UCF student.
As soon as practicable after learning of the death of a family member, students should notify Student Care Services or the Dean of Students (407-823-5607, or firstname.lastname@example.org) of the passing. It is important that documentation of the passing (e.g., obituary; service card) is sent to Student Care Services or the Dean of Students. Student Care Services will determine the sufficiency of the submitted documentation and retains the right to request additional documentation if it deems the original documentation insufficient. This information will be kept on file in the event that faculty or university personnel request verification. This is intended to eliminate the need for individual faculty to request and require verification of the event giving rise to the bereavement from the grieving student. Student Care Services will then notify appropriate members of the faculty of the absence via email.
The following are some useful resources for students to access if they need support or assistance. This includes, but is not limited to:
Class Absence Notice
Student Care Services can provide a class absence notification if a student is unable to contact their professors directly. Class absence notices are sent when unforeseen events or circumstances may occur that cause a student to be absent from class. This includes bereavement. Class absence notifications are generally sent for situations where the student is out for one week or longer or whose condition does not allow the student to communicate directly with instructors in a timely manner. Students are always encouraged to notify their instructors as soon as possible in order to apprise them of the circumstances leading to their absence from classes and to develop a plan, with a timetable to make up missed coursework.
Students may be asked to provide documentation to ensure the class absence is warranted. Instructors are expected to make reasonable accommodations for these class absences including administration of make-up assignments and exams whenever possible. Please note, the Student Care Services Class Absence notification process does not necessarily constitute an excused absence.
Student Care Services
Provides one-on-one support, including guidance, resources, and referrals when UCF students are experiencing significant difficulties related to mental health, physical health, personal and family emergencies, financial issues or other areas of concern. Please call 407-823-5607 to speak with a care manager. Student Care Services is located in Ferrell Commons 196 and open 8am-5pm, Monday through Friday. Visit https://scs.sdes.ucf.edu/ for more information.
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is a free-of-charge campus agency designated to provide culturally and trauma informed services to university-enrolled students. Counseling support can be very helpful during this difficult time. CAPS offers initial assessments, brief individual counseling, group therapy, workshops and educational presentations on a variety of topics, crisis intervention and daily walk-in services, and professional consultations to staff, faculty, students and parents.
If you have any questions about the services of CAPS, please call 407-823-2811 or stop by their office located in Bldg #27 right next to the Health Center. You can call to schedule an appointment or visit https://caps.sdes.ucf.edu/forms/ to schedule online
For after hours crisis information please visit the Emergency Services page.
Resources for Coping
- College Students and Trauma
- When Terrible Things Happen
- Connecting with Others
- Coping with Grief
If a student suffers the death of an immediate family member that prevents them from completing the semester, they might be entitled to a late drop including a tuition refund. The Florida Board of Governors defines an immediate relative as parent, step- parents, spouse, child, sibling, or grandparents. Please contact Academic Services (email@example.com) for more information.
The death of a student in our campus community is a tragic event and the university is committed to responding with care and support. Grieving family members, friends, faculty, staff and others who knew the student may all have different needs for support to help cope with the loss and begin the healing process. Sometimes a student organization, an academic department, or an office will plan individual gatherings and memorials. Staff members from the Student Care Services are available to assist as needed.
Few situations have the ability to impact a campus community as much as the death of a student. Family, friends, classmates, and campus community members are left with unresolved emotions and a need to connect with others. The Eternal Knights Memorial Service honors students who have passed away during recent academic terms and provides surviving campus community members and family members with an opportunity to celebrate the life of a student. During this annual ceremony, families and friends join with campus leaders and members of the University of Central Florida community to recognize those who will always be remembered as Eternal Knights. More information is available at https://eternal.sdes.ucf.edu/.