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

Linking IT Work to Student Success

Diagnostic Questions

The following questions are designed to guide members in evaluating their current BIT assessment 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. Does your BIT track data on basic metrics, such as the number of case, types of concerns, and referral sources?
2. Do you track data on advanced metrics, such as number of reports for key student subpopulations (e.g., athletes, international students, Greek students), the number of students of concern by academic major, and the number of mandated assessments?
3. Is caseload data aggregated into a summary document for inclusion in annual unit-level or divisional assessment reports?
4. Would your team consider uploading your BIT assessment results to your website for public viewing?
5. Does your BIT systematically share key data points with senior administrators across the year?
6. Do you track the retention and graduation rates for students who have been referred to the BIT?
7. Would your team be comfortable in soliciting student feedback about their experiences and outcomes from the intervention process?
8. Does the team regularly use assessment data to identify current resource gaps, pinpoint emerging populations of high-need students, and model future service adjustments?

Understanding Your Current State

Number of Yes Responses

0-2 No Assessment: The team does not track data on its workload and performance, nor does it review these quantitative measures with senior administrators and other institutional stakeholders.

The Forum urges teams in this category to track basic BIT Operations KPIs, such as the number of referrals per year and referrer demographics. These KPIs allow for a deeper understanding of team performance and workload.

3-4 Basic Assessment: The team tracks some data on its performance but lacks a nuanced understanding of case demographics, outcomes, and processes.

The Forum suggests that teams in this category compile advanced BIT Operations KPIs, such as the number of referrals by major and the number of mandated assessments, to yield a threedimensional perspective on the team’s work.

5-6 Moderate Assessment: The team tracks essential data points and communicates them to senior stakeholders. However, team members struggle to connect this data to the institution’s educational mission.

The Forum recommends that teams in this category explore Student Success Outcomes, focusing on metrics that demonstrate the team’s contribution to institutional priority, such as retention, wellness, and academic success.

7-8 Advanced Assessment: The team tracks and reports out all key data points to senior administrators, including the impact of the team’s work on student success.

The Forum advises teams in this category to integrate BIT data into strategic planning by Forecasting Future Student Needs.

A Troubling and Surprising Gap

The Status Quo Regarding BIT Assessment Initiatives

Although institutions are increasingly investing in recordkeeping and case management systems, few BITs currently have robust assessment initiatives. While many groups can point to anecdotal evidence of success, experts note that systematic outcomes assessment is a very challenging endeavor in this terrain.

+ Download Graphic

“Results Data is Nice to Have But…”

Common Reasons Why Teams Lack Assessment Initiatives

Forum research illustrates that few BITs currently dedicate time to data collection and results communication. When pressed to explain this oversight, some interviewees suggest that senior administrators are not interested in receiving granular data while others highlight growing caseloads, noting that they are too overwhelmed to aggregate and share key metrics.

As a result, BIT work usually remains invisible on campus with many institutional leaders unaware of the amount of time, effort, and resources invested in supporting students of concern.

+ Download Graphic

Monitoring Complex Cases

Practice #16: BIT Operations KPIs