Responding to Students of Concern

Best Practices for Behavioral Intervention Teams

Topics: Student Affairs, Student Health and Wellness, Mental Health and Counseling, Student Health Centers, Alcohol and Drug Use, Student Experience, Special Populations, Academic Support Programs

Understanding Your Current State

Number of Yes Responses

0-2 Not Coordinated: Referrers receive little or no guidance on where and how to communicate their concerns, either due to inconsistent messaging or the lack of a single point of contact for referrals. Upon submitting a concern, referrers receive no confirmation that their concerns are being investigated, nor are they asked to relay further developments in the case to administrators.

The Forum recommends that teams in this category immediately implement a Central Point of Contact in order to consolidate information about students of concern and better coordinate the BIT’s response. A well-developed and informative online portal is particularly essential to widening the referral pipeline.

3-4 Minimally Coordinated: Referrers receive some guidance on submitting referrals, but they still struggle to identify a single point of contact for their concerns. While an automated email may assure referrers that their concerns are being investigated, ongoing communication is extremely limited, undermining the information-gathering process.

The Forum urges teams in this category to focus on short-term strategies for Post-Referral Communication such as auto-reply emails or quick follow-up phone calls, to increase the usefulness of preliminary information and to build referrer trust in the team’s response.

5-6 Moderately Coordinated: Referrers receive extensive information about communicating concerns to a single person or team, though awareness of this resource may still not yet be universal. Administrators contact referrers for a follow-up conversation after the submission of a concern, and may touch base periodically over the subsequent months.

The Forum advises teams in this category to invest in long-term tactics for Post-Referral Communication to demonstrate how the group manages students of concern over an extended period of time.

7-8 Highly Coordinated: Awareness of where and how to submit concerns approaches 100% on campus. Administrators conduct both short- and long-term follow-up with referrers to build trust in the referral process and to aid information-gathering efforts. Referral data is fully integrated into strategic outreach plans, thereby ensuring that training goes to the departments most in need of it.

The Forum encourages teams in this category to further refine their data collection and assessment efforts by implementing a Referral Gap Analysis to more accurately identify and support departments in the greatest need of training.

Diagnostic Questions

“I Am Concerned. Who Do I Contact?”