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

Consolidating Case Information

Diagnostic Questions

The following questions are designed to guide members in evaluating their current recordkeeping initiatives. Based on the number of affirmative responses, each member will fall into one of the categories on the opposite page. These categories can be used to identify tactics particularly well suited to member circumstances. Note: questions should be answered from the perspective of the BIT Chair.

1. Are BIT members automatically alerted when a new referral is submitted?
2. Does your BIT maintain a structured agenda for regular meetings and distribute it to all members prior to the session?
3. Do team members review their office’s records after receiving meeting agendas and share pertinent information about students of concern with the BIT chair?
4. Are low-level concerns referred to appropriate campus resource and closed before being discussed by the BIT?
5. Does your BIT use either a password-protected Microsoft Excel spreadsheet or a secure database to house BIT records?
6. Does the BIT recordkeeping system interface with the campus’s student information system?
7. Are team members asked to update the recordkeeping system before meetings and after conducting case follow-up?
8. Has the BIT assigned one or more individuals to serve as recordkeeping system super users?

Understanding Your Current State

Number of Yes Responses

0-2 Minimal Information Management:The BIT keeps minimal records and does not encourage team members to review case information before meetings.

The Forum recommends that teams adopt a Case Recordkeeping System such as a password protected excel spreadsheet or an electronic database to manage student case information.

3-5 Basic Information Management: The BIT keeps basic records about students of concern and team members prepare for meetings by reviewing case records.

Teams with basic recordkeeping strategies will benefit from adopting Referral Auto Alerts and Pre-meeting Briefings to facilitate rapid notification and information-sharing regarding new cases.

6-8 Advanced Information Management: The BIT uses a sophisticated database to track students of concern and analyzes key metrics.

The Forum recommends teams in this category leverage standard queries or customized reports from Case Recordkeeping Systems to regularly aggregate key metrics, allowing the groups to keep senior Student Affairs leaders as well other campus stakeholders informed about student trends and emerging populations.

Too Little Information, Too Much Time

Current Team Processes Delay Information Gathering and Follow Up

The Forum’s research illustrates how information gathering, communication, and follow-up with relevant campus stakeholders is one of the most time consuming pieces in responding to students of concern. At most institutions, the status quo is that little or no information about inbound referrals is shared with the BIT before the regularly scheduled meeting unless the situation is urgent. 

This approach not only delays the information gathering process but it also bogs down BIT meetings. As a result, the meeting discussions tend to focus more on coordinating student outreach, gathering key intelligence, and reporting findings, rather than proactively brainstorming next steps and action plans.

Too Little Information, Too Much Time

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Formalizing Team Processes

Practice #10: Referral Auto Alerts