Managing Concussion: What MIT Faculty Need to Know


Faculty Member

  • Informed and empathetic faculty are best positioned to support students through the process of recovering from concussion. 
    • As this process “takes a village”, the key to success here is the interconnectedness of services across campus that possess the expertise to guide students through specific elements of the recovery process.
  • Due to both internal drive and external expectations for optimum performance, students experiencing the limitations associated with concussion are taxed by:
    • (1) The symptoms
    • (2) The medically enforced activity restrictions; both academic and athletic/physical.
    • (3) The social isolation that can occur as a result of the symptoms and the restrictions.
  • MIT Faculty Governance - Rules and Regulations
  • Note: front line staff including undergraduate academic administrators and officers may also play a role.

Student Support Services (S3)

  • Support & Advocacy
    • To streamline the help-seeking process for students recovering from concussion, S3 acts as an easy and central place for help.
    • The deans within S3 work with undergraduates on both the personal and academic concerns that accompany this type of medical condition. 
  • Information for Faculty
  • Staff: To see who is consulting on accommodations, click here to put a face to a name.

Disability & Access Services (DAS)

  • Though the impact and duration of concussion varies for each individual and are often temporary, both physical and mental/cognitive impairments are typical.. 
    • Federal law defines a disability as "a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities." Major life activities are defined as the ability to perform functions such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, or taking care of oneself. The degree of impairment must be significant enough to "substantially limit"; one or more major life activities. 
  • The staff within DAS work with undergraduates on both the personal and academic impairments that accompany this type of medical condition. 
  • Accommodation Procedures - For Students
  • Accommodation Procedures  - For Faculty
  • Staff: To see who may be coordinating support, click here to put a face to a name.

MIT Medical

  • Taking the lead on the medical aspects of concussion assessment and care, the providers at MIT Medical will inform decision-making throughout the process; including providing clearance to resume full academic workload and physical activity.
  • Urgent Care is often the initial point of contact.
  • Follow-up evaluations and on-going care are directed through:
    • The Sports Medicine physicians
      • Sports medicine, including concussion care and management, pre-participation exams for MIT athletes, and counseling on safely returning to sports after an illness or injury
    • The student’s PCP within MIT Medical
  • Note: if students are seeking care from an off-campus provider, please prompt them to inform DAS or S3.
  • Staff: To see who may be providing care, click here to put a face to a name.

DAPER Athletic Training Services

  • Deployed in support of undergraduates who participate within MIT’s NCAA intercollegiate sports programs, this service is housed within the Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation.
    • MIT Medical’s Sports Medicine Department provides oversight of DAPPER Athletic Training Services as directed through both Dr. Shawn Ferullo; who also serves in the role as Chief of Student Health and Dr. Angelene Elliott
  • Industry best-practice, NCAA legislation, and MIT’s underwriter; United Educators’ compel  to draft and post a Concussion Management Plan (CMP)
    • These documents outline required elements and expectations including:
      • Annual education/awareness training
      • Annual baseline test measures
      • Prevention & risk attenuation strategies
      • Acute care protocols
      • Return-to-Learn and Return-to-Play guidelines. 
    • Note: Specific information for faculty, as provided by the NCAA, is embedded among all other elements. Including the appendix, see page 5 of the CMP.
  • As it relates to a graduate student managing concussion:  those who participate on DAPER’s Clubs Sports programs are provided with information and guidance here
  • Staff: To see which staff is working with your student, click here to put a face to a name.

As the athletic trainers in this unit work predominantly with the select subset of 700+ students who participate on MIT’s NCAA sports teams, we have highlighted this section to distinguish this group from the others listed above who are available to all undergraduate students.