Novo faculty, staff have new resource to aid students in distress

The Kognito app helps faculty and staff recognize signs that a student may be in distress.
The Kognito app helps faculty and staff recognize signs that a student may be in distress.

A new online training program is designed to help New College faculty and staff recognize and help students who may be dealing with depression or other mental health issues.

The program, called Kognito – At-Risk for Faculty & Staff, is a guided simulation of several possible conversations between a professor and students with varying problems.

The animations have various threads built into the narrative. The conversation will take different turns depending on what question you select to ask the student. An animated Kognito “instructor” will pop up occasionally to keep you on the right path to successfully complete each exercise.

“As faculty and staff, we can take small steps that make a big difference,” Assistant Vice President of Human Resources Loretta Shields wrote in a Nov. 14 memo. The goal is to “help us learn to notice signs of distress, use techniques to discuss our concerns, and, if necessary, refer students to appropriate resources.”

The simulation can be accessed when faculty or staff log into http://www.ncf.edu and click on the Kognito tile on their App Gateway. Training is designed to take no more than 45 minutes but can be completed in multiple sittings, as progress is saved until the training is completed. Shields cautioned the app will not work using Internet Explorer. Users should view the training in other browsers including Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Edge.

Shields is asking that faculty and staff complete the training by May 1, 2020.


Located in Sarasota, New College of Florida has educated intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement since its founding in 1960. As the State of Florida’s designated honors college, New College provides an exceptional education that transforms students’ intellectual curiosity into personal accomplishment. The 110-acre campus on Sarasota Bay is home to more than 800 students and 80 full-time faculty engaged in interdisciplinary research and collaborative learning. New College offers nearly 40 areas of concentration for undergraduates and a master’s degree program in Data Science.

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