The Behavioral Intervention team at College of DuPage acts as a “centralized collection” point of information that addresses a spectrum of risk from a position of care and concern: odd, disturbing or disruptive behaviors; unexpected change in academics; potential targeted violence; harm to self; and provides guidance to campus offices with regard to student success and safety.
What is the Behavior Intervention Team?
The College of DuPage Behavioral Team (BIT) has been established as a part of the College Campus Threat Assessment and Violence Prevention Plan. The primary purpose for the establishment of the BIT (hereafter referred to as the BIT) is to create an interdisciplinary alliance of College departments with the focus on a caring, preventative, early intervention with individuals whose behavior is disruptive or concerning. In addition, the team investigates reports of potential or real violence that have occurred or potentially may occur within the College community. The College recognizes the importance of interdepartmental communication in helping to identify and respond to such acts of violence against self or others.
The purpose of the team is to
- Educate the campus community about behaviors of concern and reporting procedures.
- Provide guidance to faculty, staff, administration and students in assisting individuals who display concerning, disruptive, or disturbing behaviors.
- Serve as the “Centralized Collection” point of information that addresses a spectrum of risks from a position of caution and concern.
- Identify patterns of behaviors from multiple sources that suggest a need for intervention.
- Review all referred incidents of actual or potential violence, as soon as reasonably possible: It is recognized that some referrals, by their very nature, will require immediate review and response while others may be dealt with during regular BIT meeting.
- Early intervention to assist individuals with supportive services and referrals to outside agencies to help with needs and stressors that are impacting their behavior and success.
- Assess levels of threat and risk and determine the most appropriate response to ensure safety for the individual, as well as, the campus community. The BIT will use a fact based assessment process to determine if a threat or risk exists and to develop an appropriate plan of action. Action plans should take into consideration the potential for incidents of targeted violence to self and others and should be incident specific.
- Take appropriate action to implement the plan and mitigate the danger to the individual and the campus community. The BIT shall implement the agreed upon action plan and assure that all necessary follow up and documentation conducted. Any action plan shall make available, and use as needed, a full range of support services including mental health, crisis management, as well as victim services.
- Conduct follow-up at determined intervals to ensure continued support of referred individual.
- Assess long-term success for interventions.
In addition the BIT may call upon others that can be helpful in sharing unique perspectives of the individual in crisis.
Within the parameters of existing state and federal statutes, the members of the BIT shall have access to all pertinent records and information, held within each member’s department, which would aid the BIT in fully investigating, reviewing and determining a course of action to properly resolve incidents reported to the BIT. BIT files shall be maintained by the Dean of Students.
Understanding FERPA and BIT
FERPA protects the privacy of students’ education records. FERPA does not prohibit or in any way restrict a College employee from sharing what they personally observe. In other words, a College employee would not violate FERPA by advising the BIT of what he or she saw or hears when directly interacting with a student, when observing a student interact with others, or when otherwise observing a student’s behavior or demeanor.
In addition, if a College of DuPage faculty or staff member notices disturbing content in a student’s writing or artwork, the faculty member should refer this to the BIT. Although the student’s writing or art work would likely be an education record protected by FERPA, FERPA authorizes school officials (such as faculty) to disclose education records, without student’s consent, to other school officials who have a legitimate educational interest in those records. Since the BIT is responsible for identifying, responding to, and supporting at-risk College of DuPage students while simultaneously attending to the needs of the College of DuPage community, the members of the BIT would have a legitimate educational interest in examining the student’s writing or artwork.
Protecting student privacy is a high priority of the BIT. Record and proceedings of the BIT are kept confidential and shared only on a “need to know” basis in a manner that is consistent with College policy and the College’s obligations under applicable laws, including FERPA.
Employees of the college are directed to cooperate with investigations conducted by the BIT.
What happens to a Behavioral report once submitted
- A report is submitted and is entered into a secure database
- Chair/Dean of Students reviews report
- Notification goes out to team members to gather information about the referred individual
- Reporting party may be contacted for additional information
- Referred individual is contacted to meet in a timely manner (usually within 48 to 72 hours) based on the urgency of the report
- A meeting is called in critical case reports to evaluate level of risk and a course of action is developed
Potential Outcomes of Reports
- Recommend no action, pending further observation/monitoring
- Assist faculty, staff, and administration in developing a plan of action, including who to assist referred individual
- Refer individual to existing on-campus support services
- Continued monitoring meetings with a case manager
- Refer individual to appropriate community resources
- Mandated mental health assessment
- Transport to emergency services
- Refer student for Code of Student Conduct violations in situations where only necessary
- Interim suspension where serious threats of harm to college community
Behavioral Intervention Team
24-hour DuPage County Crisis Line: (630) 627-1700