Behavioral Intervention and Threat Assessment
In the role of Behavioral Intervention, the Dean of Students or designee investigates reports of students who are in distress, engaging in disruptive behaviors, demonstrating dysregulated thoughts or actions, or exhibiting potential threats of physical harm to self or others.
Behavioral Intervention encompasses a wide spectrum of student behaviors. These include but are not limited to the following:
- Acute personal distress e.g., crying in class, excessive absences, (includes written work or communications as well as online activities),
- Aggressive verbal or physical actions,
- Significant disruption to the community,
- A pattern of erratic, disruptive, disturbing, frightening or bizarre behavior (includes written work or communications as well as online activities).
- Alcohol, drug violations or other incidents that necessitate emergency intervention or hospital transport,
- Self‐injurious behaviors/the expression of suicidal thoughts or attempts
- Actions which violate the Honor Code will be addressed as separate and distinct issues from Behavioral Intervention.
The University endeavors to engage in caring response for the student’s well‐being and the well‐being of the campus community. The Dean of Students or designee will assess all referrals for severity and take one of the following actions;
- Respond to the student and address the issue individually
- Consult with and/or assemble a Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) the members of which are trained in sophisticated behavioral intervention and threat assessment standards or relevant best practices
- Record the concern and take no formal action (rationale will be noted in record)
Ideally, the Dean of Students or designee is there to respond to the earliest signs of potential crisis rather than waiting for clear signs of impending threat and reacting.
The goals of the Behavioral Intervention Team are:
- To distinguish between students in need of support and those who require immediate intervention.
- To educate the university on identifying concerning student behaviors and/or incidents and where to report them.
- To receive, review, and respond, if appropriate, to reports of concerning student behaviors that help to develop an understanding of the baseline of functioning of the student.
- To centralize collection and assessment of various concerns about student behaviors that may be known to various students, faculty, staff, administrators or others.
- To empower a culture of reporting among faculty and staff so caring and intentional interventions can be orchestrated.
The BIT will endeavor to balance the needs of the individual student with the needs of the community by providing a structured method to address behaviors while eliminating fragmented attention and response. One incident may not warrant review or intervention; but when placed in the context of other incidents or concerns a pattern may become apparent that indicates the need for intervention.
The Role of the Dean of Student and Behavioral Intervention Team
The Dean of Students maintains the wellness of students and safety of the community by preventing students with troubling behaviors from falling through the cracks of the institution. The office of the Dean of Students provides a campus‐wide reporting mechanism through which student behaviors can be identified and reported early.
Utilizing the National Behavioral Intervention Team Association (NaBITA) Threat Assessment Tool, the Dean of Students and/or BIT determines the appropriate course of action to assure that all necessary follow up and documentation is conducted. Action plans utilize and make available a full range of support services including mental health, crisis management, and victim services. Some referrals may require immediate review and response, in which case the Dean of Students/BIT will respond as soon as reasonably possible.