Navigating Non-Academic Issues

Engineering Student Support & Advocacy (ESSA) helps students navigate non-Academic issues including mental or physical health, interpersonal issues, conflict with advisors, financial concerns, time management, leaves of absence, being victimized, and family emergencies.

About Engineering Student Support & Advocacy (ESSA)

Engineering Student Support & Advocacy (ESSA) is a group of Case Managers who provide outreach and support for students with significant and complex concerns that affect their academic and personal success.

ESSA works with students navigating non-academic issues to:

  • highlight their personal strengths/self-advocacy skills,
  • increase their access to resources, and to
  • help them navigate challenges that might impede their goals of success.

Case Managers work with students who may need to take a Leave Of Absence for physical health, psychological reasons, or other personal emergencies.

ESSA does not provide counseling or therapy. Rather, Case Managers have the opportunity to develop close helping relationships with students while coaching them toward appropriate self-care and self-advocacy.

JHU students on campus wearing masks during the Covid 19 pandemic.


ESSA keeps conversations with students as private as possible. We want to support students’ agency in making decisions that are best for them. ESSA abides by privacy guidelines under the Family Educational Right to Privacy Act (FERPA). This dictates that University staff cannot share any student information with anyone who is not a university employee, including parents, without the student’s written permission. Case managers only share information on a need-to-know basis. This allows case managers to speak with a student’s academic advisor, financial aid counselor or other university official on the student’s behalf. The Office of the Registrar provides a deeper explanation of FERPA. There are a few exceptions to privacy that Case Managers must follow.

Our Commitment to Non-Discrimination

ESSA is committed to providing an environment that supports an inclusive and safe space for all student and community members. ESSA does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its support or advocacy.