Campus Administration

According to current numbers there are approximately 53,430 young adults living with Type 1 diabetes on campuses across the United States – and a majority of them feel alone and isolated. In addition, diabetes is a growing epidemic with numbers projected to increase exponentially in the next few years, compounded by the increasing numbers of young adults with Type 2. This means that addressing these issues only becomes more crucial. Let us help you support the students affected by diabetes on your campus.

  Get the Word Out!

  Become a Faculty Advisor

  Campus Toolkits

Let’s talk about you. 

  Campus Health

  Disability Services

  Dining Services

  Student Affairs

  Professors and Faculty


Disability Services

The disability services office can play a huge role in the life of a student with diabetes.

Some students with diabetes do not identify as disabled students – and the thought of doing so bothers them. Be sensitive to these feelings when working with students with diabetes. Keeping this in mind, it’s a good idea to hold a seminar about registering for disabilities services specifically for students with diabetes that explains the importance of doing so.
  • Our Know Your Rights webinar, held in conjunction with the American Diabetes Association, discusses the legal rights of students with diabetes on campus, and the importance of registering with Disability Services.
  • The American Diabetes Association Advocacy Guide for Students is another great resource for young adults with diabetes regarding their rights as a student with diabetes on campus.
  • Our Diabetes Cheat Sheet for Professors is a one-page, printable document for students (and disability services staff!) to give to professors in order to provide them with what they need to know regarding diabetes in the classroom.


Dining Services

College can be a tough place to maintain a healthy diet. Here are some tips on how to provide a healthy eating environment for a person with diabetes in your dining hall.

  • People with diabetes determine the amount of insulin they need based on fat, carbohydrate, and fiber content of their food. As such, it is important to have access to nutrition information for everything they eat.
  • Portion size and knowing how much food you are putting into your body is also important. Make sure that the proper measuring tools are available in your dining hall.
  • White flour based products can cause trouble for people with diabetes. They are a nightmare to give insulin for, and almost always result in high blood sugars for several hours after being consumed. Do your students with diabetes a favor - offer whole wheat based pastas, breads, and grains at each meal.
  • Fruits and vegetables are an important part of anyone’s diet, but for a young adult with diabetes, they can mean a hassle free and healthy meal. Make sure that you offer plenty of fruits, vegetables, and greens.
  • Foods high in fat are difficult for diabetics because they require extra amounts of insulin that are difficult to account for. Low-fat options are better.
  • Most importantly, every person manages their diabetes differently. There’s no one-size fits all solution, and it is important not to judge a person with diabetes based on what food they decide to eat.
  • Check out our Dining Hall Eating page.



Student Affairs

We don’t want your first interaction with these students to be when something goes wrong and they have to take a leave of absence. There are simple and easy steps to take to ensure that a safety net of support is in place ahead of time, and the best place to start is by having a CDN Chapter or student group to provide a community on campus.

Do you already have a group or club for students with diabetes on your campus? Or a student in mind to lead a CDN Chapter on your campus? Let us know, and we'll be in touch about the various free resources we can provide them. Check out our Campus Chapters page where you can learn more about what our Chapters do, search for existing Chapters, access information and resources for Chapter development, and sign up to learn more about the process to start a Chapter. 


Professors and Faculty 

While we encourage every student with diabetes to register with Disability Services, they may or may not. It’s very possible that you could go the entire semester never knowing that one of your students has diabetes. Regardless, we want you to be prepared for what you may encounter. If you haven’t already, read the Type 101 FAQ to make sure that you understand what type 1 diabetes is and what it means. If a student has registered with disability services, then you should have a very clear idea of the accommodations you need to make for them. But even if they haven’t, the following tips we created just for professors may be helpful.
  • You should always allow a student with diabetes to eat or drink during class. They could have a low blood sugar or it may just be part of their daily care regime.
  • Stress can affect blood sugar levels. It’s very possible that during midterms, finals, or another particularly stressful time, a student with diabetes will have extremely high/low blood sugars that are hard to control. Out of control blood sugars make it hard to concentrate and mean that the student is not at their best. Regardless of whether they have registered with Disability Services, if a student tells you that their blood sugars are high/low, consider working with them to find a way to make up the work for that day.
  • A student with diabetes may need to take out their insulin pump, insulin pen, or syringe during class or an exam. It’s a very normal part of life for someone with diabetes. Understand that this is necessary and non-negotiable.
  • If a student with diabetes has a high blood sugar, they will have to go to the bathroom – maybe even several times during one class.
  • The following are accommodations that may be requested for students with diabetes through Disability Services: separate testing room, extra time on tests, permission to test blood glucose in class, permission to reschedule an exam, schedule classes so that a regular meal schedule can be maintained, breaks between separate sections of long exams, etc.
  • Our Diabetes Cheat Sheet for Professors is a one-page, printable document that has all the information you need to know about type one diabetes.
  • If you have questions or concerns – ask!


Get the word out!

Let your students know about CDN and all it has to offer by having our informational brochures available. You can also find the electronic version of our brochure in the resources below.



Become a faculty advisor to your campus CDN chapter! 

Peer support is what works – but your help is needed to support the student officers. Check to see if there is a CDN Chapter on your campus you can be involved with.


Campus Toolkits

In order to better support students with diabetes, The College Diabetes network is pilot testing a suite of campus toolkits during the 2017-2018 school year. These toolkits will provide resources to three distinct on-campus departments with the tools they need to best to support students with diabetes. It is the aim of this program to assist your campus in providing the best possible support to students with diabetes through tailored resources and ongoing support. For more information, please email Charles.


Check out the following resources to for even more information and support:

Hear Our Story

Point of view

“From years of experience, it is clear that the success of CDN and its campus groups lies in the fact that it is peer based. It has always been frustrating to sit down with a diabetic student and see the walls go up, but when they are talking with another student, it’s completely different. CDN provides a way for campus providers to help students in a way that can actually have an impact.”
Dr. Alan Calhoun
Former Medical Director for University Health Services at UMass Amherst

From The Blog

Naomi tells us her experience with getting accommodations on campus
Courtney tells us her experiences with accommodations in college
Ashly tells us what it's like to have a diabetic alert dog in college.

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 CDN is singularly focused on providing young adults with T1D the peer connections they value, and expert resources they need, to successfully manage the challenging transition to independence at college and beyond.

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