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 #6: Procedures Manual

Providing a Framework for BIT Processes

Two Examples Highlight Scale and Span of Guidelines

The Forum’s analysis surfaced the College of Charleston as having an excellent process to structure BIT work while still allowing flexibility for individual situations. In 2008, the College of Charleston developed a list of protocols that covered essential basics, such as team mission, membership, and decision-making processes. The document was further revised in 2011 and subsequently became a full policy statement that the institution’s executive team reviewed and approved.

The Forum believes that for most BITs a document similar to Charleston’s is right answer. 

Depending on your institution and its culture, however, some teams may need to develop a more extensive manual. At the University of North Texas, for example, their CARE team has a 72-page document that establishes the foundation for their work. Developed over the course of a year, the manual includes team procedures as well as a literature review and a decision-making flowchart. 

In addition to outlining the state of mental health on campus, UNT’s manual identifies both core and occasional CARE team members, details a campus outreach plan, and includes sample documents. Overall, this document increases the visibility of the team and its processes on campus.

Providing a Framework for BIT Processes

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“Other Duties As Assigned”

The Problem with BIT Work and Current Job Descriptions

Another process inefficiency uncovered in the research involves BIT roles and expectations. Forum research illustrates that only a small number of chairs and even fewer team members have BIT work explicitly written into their job descriptions. All too often, it is a side of the desk job that is covered by “other duties as assigned.”

Interviewees argue that this omission creates a range of problems including a lack of visibility for BIT work on campus and difficulty in capturing how much time is spent on team tasks. 

“Other Duties As Assigned”

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Formalizing Team Processes

Practice #7: Role Definitions