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 #7: Role Definitions

Clearly Defined Roles and Expectations

Embedding BIT Work into Job Descriptions

The Forum strongly recommends that all team members have BIT duties written into their job descriptions. Ideally these descriptions would include not only BIT membership but also specific expectations around meeting attendance, follow-up, and ongoing training as well as rough time estimates. Below are two examples of how BIT work can be integrated into job descriptions.

Clearly Defined Roles and Expectations

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Tackling Revisions Gradually

Strategies for Phased Job Description Rewrites

Revising job descriptions for the entire BIT team, however, can be a daunting task to tackle all at once. As a result, some institutions have started by rewriting the chair’s description first since it is usually the most complex role. Other colleges used a more gradual approach by integrating team responsibilities into job descriptions for new hires. 

Finally, a few universities folded revisions into promotions, changing the team member’s essential duties when they make a role transition such as from director to executive director. 

Defining BIT roles and expectations has several benefits for the team and the institution. First, embedding the work into job descriptions raises its visibility and legitimacy with campus stakeholders. Second, it recognizes the contributions that practitioners make, emphasizing how this work requires special skills and knowledge.

Tackling Revisions Gradually

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Team Training, Great Idea in Theory…

...But Many Roadblocks in Practice

Although BIT members are typically individual experts in their areas, the group as a whole still requires regular training and periodic refreshers in order to function eff ectively. The Forum’s analysis, however, demonstrates that few teams consistently implement an annual training program. Commonly cited barriers among interviewees include diffi culty in fi nding time, limited resources, and lack of group buy-in. 

Team Training, Great Idea in Theory…

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Practice #6: Procedures Manual

Practice #8: Training Models