Why develop a Behavioral Intervention Team?
Miramar College's Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) was developed to provide an efficient method to collect and follow up upon reported student concerns. The BIT's makeup, functions and goals are similar to team models within institutions of higher education across the United States. The “team” approach expedites intervention versus relying upon a single individual to follow up on concerns.
Who are the BIT members?
The BIT is a small group. It is comprised of campus administration, faculty and staff. The BIT meets on a regular basis and as needed to discuss referrals.
What are important pieces of information to report?
Use of the referral form is strongly recommended as it provides a template of information the team would like to review. If you prefer not to use the form, you may send an email to DLforMiramarbehavioralInterventionTeam@sdccd.edu. To the extent possible, use the five "Ws" within the email message or body within the referral form:
- Who: Who was involved? Multiple persons? Witnesses?
- What: What happened? Details of observation?
- When: When did the event occur? Date/Time?
- Where: Where did the event take place?
- Why: Did something else happen leading up to the observation/event?
What happens once a referral is submitted?
When a referral is received, multiple BIT members will be able to review it. Depending upon the reported behaviors and detail listed within the referral, the following may occur:
- The team may communicate within the group to determine the best course of action;
- The reporting party may be contacted for further information/clarification;
- The team may elect to seek additional information from other instructors or Student Services areas to determine whether the behaviors have been observed elsewhere;
- A member of the BIT may contact the student to provide campus/community resources or to schedule a time to meet to discuss their concerns;
- Dependent upon the reported behaviors of concern, the student, Dean of Student Affairs, or College Police may be consulted for follow up.
Should I be worried about confidentiality?
The interest of the team is to follow up and provide interventions if needed to help protect the student, college and community. Confidentiality is taken seriously by the District, College and Miramar's BIT. Opinions or direct observations you report are not student records. If a student requests that you not speak to anyone about the information they are about to or have shared with you, you're encouraged to advise them that you cannot withhold information if you believe there may be safety risk.
What if I'm not sure the behavior I observed or concern is important?
It's better to report something than to do nothing. The BIT members will determine if the concern requires further examination. One of the primary purposes of the BIT is to bring together pieces of information. Individually, a concern you may have may be minor. But if multiple sources are reporting the same or other concerns regarding the same student, this provides more context. Please see the “Behavioral Reference Guide” within IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS for a list of behaviors and offices to contact for follow up.
Should I try to discuss my concerns with the student?
If you're comfortable doing so, it's highly recommended that you advise the student about your concern. When doing so, it's important that you reference the observed behaviors or written/verbal communication they've shared. If you feel that the student is threatening, aggressive, or an immediate danger to him/herself or others you should immediately contact Campus Police and/or the Dean of Student Affairs for consultation or necessary follow up.
What are some examples that would be considered concerning behaviors?
The following is a list of examples in which the BIT could be helpful for referral purposes.
- A professor receives a submitted mid-term with the following handwritten at the top of the first page, "Failing this class. Father is going to kill me if I don't pass".
- Based upon information submitted within a student's essay assignment, a professor believes a student in their class may be in a physically abusive relationship.
- A student meets with his professor during office hours and is observed to be highly anxious as he reports concern that he's not passing the course and the course grade will likely result in a denial of his financial aid. The student indicates that his family relies upon his receipt of financial aid.
- During class, overhead noise from a helicopter is heard within a classroom. Upon each occurrence throughout the course of the semester, a particular student abruptly leaves the classroom without comment.
- A student is consistently observed to sit in the back of the classroom with her head down. A classmate meets with the professor after class to report their concern. The classmate states that the student of concern shared that they recently went through a breakup.
- A student in class has become increasingly verbal in class. The student asks questions unrelated to the lecture, topic, and/or course. The student seems to become agitated by the verbal and non-verbal responses of her classmates.
- A student meets with his instructor and tells the instructor that his father recently passed away. Without notice or request for absence, the student does not attend the next three class meetings.