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

Practice #11: Referral Escalation Manager

Delegating Initial Intake Responsibilities…

…Ensures Consistent Performance of Crucial Next Steps

The second strategy to improve the BIT information gathering process is to create a referral escalation manager. Forum research illustrates how best-in-class institutions designate a “first responder” for inbound referrals. This individual performs in a preliminary evaluation of case urgency, aggregates information from team members, and coordinates next steps for minor or routine concerns. 

In some situations, the escalation manager might meet with the student themselves while in other cases they might partner with residence life, athletics, academic advising, or another unit to leverage a pre-existing relationship with the student as part of the referral follow-up. 

For higher priority or complex cases, the referral manager may reach out immediately to “get eyes on the student” and assess their current state in order to evaluate how and when to involve the broader BIT. 

The referral manager also tracks information about the type of concern, follow-up actions, and case resolution so there is a historical record if the student re-emerges as a concern in the future.

Delegating Initial Intake Responsibilities…

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Rightsizing BIT Caseload

Escalation Manager Proactively Addresses Low-Level Cases

Forum research surfaced two schools currently using diff erent variations of the referral escalation manager, the University of South Carolina and Iowa State University. At the University of South Carolina, the escalation manager is the Director of Student Conduct, who also serves as the BIT chair. At Iowa State University, a small offi ce of three fulltime staff members handles incoming referrals and coordinates a response.

Rightsizing BIT Caseload

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Practice #10: Referral Auto Alerts

Practice #12: Pre-Meeting Briefings