ODOS / Student Assistance Center

Student Assistance Center

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About the SAC

The Student Assistance Center serves as the first point of contact for students who call or walk in to the Office of the Dean of Students. Our Assistant Deans help students understand university policies and procedures, educate them about and connect them to campus resources, and support students in crisis. Students visit us regarding a broad range of issues which may be impacting their academic performance including those related to health/mental health, course attendance issues, questions about where to go on campus to seek different services, options for withdrawing from the university, or because they need help and just arenít sure where to go. We help students find their way!

Hours and Location

The Student Assistance Center office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 am-5 pm. We are located on the 3rd floor of the Turner Student Services Building in the Office of the Dean of Students. You may call our office at (217) 333-0050. We are closed on University holidays.

Dean On Duty

During business hours, there is an Assistant Dean on Duty who is available to see students who walk in, call or email our office. We see students on a first-come, first-served basis. If you have a more complex issue that will require more time or have limited time in your schedule to meet with us, you may call to schedule an appointment with one of our Assistant Deans. The Dean on Duty also responds to e-mail inquiries to our helpdean@illinois.edu email account. Please note that we do not respond to emails after business hours or on weekends.

The Dean on Duty assists students with a broad range of issues which may be impacting their academic and/or personal success. Much of our work is related to helping students:

  • Understand and follow university policies and procedures
  • Learn about and get connected to campus resources
  • Manage crises situations which are impeding academic success

After Hours Voicemail

If you call our office when we are closed, you will receive the following voicemail message:

You have reached the Student Assistance Center in the Office of the Dean of Students. If you are experiencing a health or safety emergency for which you need immediate medical or police attention, hang up and call 911. For mental health emergencies call the 24-hour Crisis Line at (217) 359-4141.

Please listen to the remainder of this message very carefully as we have recently changed our operating procedures. Please note that we are unable to process requests left on voicemail. So you are encouraged to carefully follow the procedures outlined in this message so that we can most efficiently and effectively assist you. You may also read the content of this message at our website at odos.illinois.edu/studentassistance.

If you are calling because of a serious or urgent matter that requires an immediate response and that is NOT limited to a previous or anticipated absence from class you may contact the Emergency Dean who is on-call at home at (217) 649-4129. This should be used for urgent matters only. If you are unable to reach the Dean, please phone the University Police at (217) 333-1216 and ask that the Emergency Dean be paged.

If you are calling about an absence from class, please hang up and notify your instructor of the absence. If your instructor requests an absence letter and you can provide us with documentation of an illness, accident or family emergency, call our office during business hours (Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-5 pm) to request the letter. However, please do not request an absence letter before confirming with your instructor that one is required. And remember that final authority for excusing or accommodating absences rests with each instructor.

If you are calling due to another concern that does not require an immediate response and/or you would like to speak with a Dean, please e-mail us at helpdean@illinois.edu. Be sure to leave your full name, UIN and a brief description of your concern and we will be in touch with you the next business day. You may also come into our office to meet with a dean during business hours, Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-5 pm.


The Student Assistance Center in the Office of the Dean of Students seeks to support the academic and social development and retention of University of Illinois students. Through our services and programs we:

  • Enhance students' knowledge of and access to University resources
  • Facilitate students' ability to successfully navigate the various policies, procedures and processes of the University
  • Support students experiencing unusually difficult life circumstances and crises
  • Empower students to develop effective communication and decision-making skills, personal responsibility and the ability to function autonomously


The Student Assistance Center advocates for a University community that actively nurtures the intellectual, social, and personal development of its student body. We aspire to create a University climate that challenges and supports students to develop the skills of critical thinking, self and other awareness, independence, and healthy lifestyle choices that will serve them across a lifetime.

Core Values

  • Excellence
  • Student-Centered
  • Collaboration
  • Respect
  • Equity, Fairness and Inclusiveness
  • Personal Responsibility and Accountability