BIT Protocol & Assessment
Members of the OC-BIT most often follow the general guidelines and recommendations of the national professional organizations of BITs and campus mental health professionals, the National Behavioral Intervention Team Association (NaBITA) and the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management (NCHERM). BIT will also operate with specific regard to the Odessa College Student Handbook and Board Policy of the Odessa Junior College District.
A report triggers the BIT response. Once a report has been received by the BIT, the Chair will utilize the National Behavioral Intervention Team Association (NaBITA) Threat Assessment Tool to assess whether or not there is an immediate risk/reason for concern. If so, the team will be called to meet immediately. If not, the case will be reviewed at the next regularly scheduled meeting.
Assessment/Determination of Risk
The BIT will use the NaBITA Threat Assessment Tool to best determine risk level. Summaries of each level is outlined:
- Mild risk – There is no threat to the individual of concern or others. At this level, the situation can generally be resolved by addressing the disruptive or concerning behavior. Counseling and follow-up support may be recommended. Generally, in this situation, the individual can acknowledge the inappropriateness of the behavior and engage in behavior to make amends with the other party. These individuals may be experiencing mental health concerns, but their conduct is not generally in violation with the College’s conduct policies.
- Moderate/Elevated risk - At this level, there may be a threat to self or others that could be carried out although there is no evidence that the student has taken preparatory steps. These individuals may be experiencing mental health problems and/or displaying disruptive behaviors.
- Severe/Extreme risk – At this level, there appears to be serious danger to the safety of the individual of concern or others, and immediate intervention by GRCC Police and other local resources is required. It appears that specific steps have been made to carry out a plan to harm.
Based on the behavior displayed and the assessment by the BIT, the team may make any of the following recommendations for intervention. Recommendations may be made in consultation with the appropriate College department or administrator before any final action is taken.
- Referral to College and/or community resources - The BIT may refer the student to Counseling Services for intervention and connection with appropriate College and community resources.
- Voluntary withdrawal from classes – Based on discussion with a counselor or member of the BIT, the student may choose to temporarily take time away from the College to deal with other concerns. The student may re-enter the College during any future semester.
- Referral to Code of Conduct process – The BIT will make this referral to the Vice President of Student Services or Director of Student Life, only when it is determined that the student behavior may be in violation of the student code of conduct.
- Mandatory direct threat/safety assessment – The BIT may recommend that students determined to be at high risk for danger to self or others be required to participate in a mandatory assessment by a community mental health professional. The mental health professional will conduct an assessment of direct threat, provide assistance in gaining access to emergency care for the student as needed, assist the student in establishing ongoing treatment as needed, and provide feedback and recommendations to the BIT.
- Involuntary Medical Withdrawal – The BIT may recommend those students determined to be at high risk for danger to self or others be temporarily or permanently removed from the College based on imminent safety concerns. For those allowed to return, specific conditions would need to be met before return would be approved.
- Criminal charges - Students who have engaged in behavior that may be in violation of local, state or federal law may be referred for criminal prosecution. Odessa College Police Department will take over the case in these circumstances.
- Follow-up and monitoring – In addition to any of the specific intervention strategies described previously, the BIT will determine a plan for the follow-up monitoring of each student. This may include checking with faculty and staff regarding student behavior and periodic meetings between the student and an assigned mental health professional.
Student records are subject to FERPA guidelines and are kept for a minimum of seven years. Confidentiality of student records and associated documents are respected by all members of the BIT.
Feedback to the Reporting Parties
In accordance with FERPA and other laws addressing confidentiality, the team will report back to the reporting party/parties only when appropriate with pertinent information about our findings and recommendations.