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Students of Concern and Violence Prevention Plan

PART I - Introduction

While interacting with students across the College, staff may be confronted with situations in which a student displays concerning behaviors or comments, is disruptive to the campus environment or creates an environment that may be intimidating or threatening to others. By providing information and assistance, the Students of Concern and Violence Prevention Plan is designed to assist faculty, staff and administration in responding to these behaviors.

The Students of Concern and Violence Prevention Plan was developed around implementation of a Students of Concern and Violence Prevention Team (SCC). The overall goal of the SCC is to promote a safe environment for all students and staff focused on student learning and student development.

The Students of Concern and Violence Prevention Plan was developed in accordance with the College and University Students of Concern Committee (CUBIT) model that was introduced by the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management in response to the Governor’s Panel Report on the Virginia Tech shootings and the Assessment-Intervention of Student Problems (AISP) model introduced by Ursula Delworth. The Students of Concern and Crisis Prevention Plan complies with recommendations of the April 2008 State of Illinois Campus Security Task Force Report to the Governor and the Illinois Campus Security Enhancement Act.

Overall, the Students of Concern and Violence Prevention Plan seeks to formalize the College’s processes for greater communication, collaboration and coordination in responding to concerns regarding student behavior.

Students of Concern and Violence Prevention Team
Functions - The Students of Concern and Violence Prevention Team (SCC) is a multidisciplinary team that meets regularly to serve six major functions for the College:
 
1. Provide staff training to recognize concerning, disruptive and/or threatening behavior;
2. Provide consultation and support to faculty, staff and administration in assisting students who display concerning or disruptive behaviors;
3. Gather information to assess situations involving students who display concerning or disruptive behaviors including implementation of a formal Students of Concern process;
4. Recommend appropriate intervention strategies or disciplinary sanctions;
5. Connect students with needed campus and community resources; and
6. Monitor ongoing behavior of students who have displayed disruptive or concerning behavior.

Team Membership
The SCC is composed of representatives from six critical areas of the campus community and includes:
   :: Vice President of Student Affairs/ Dean of Students
   :: Director of Security
   :: Director of Residential Life
   :: Director of Templeton Counseling Center
   :: Director of Chesley Health and Wellness Center
   :: Associate Dean of the College
A referral agency is available for further mental health consultation if warranted.
Additional members from the campus community are included in meetings of the SCC as necessary.

Meetings
The SCC meets regularly to discuss topics related to student behavior and intervention and violence prevention. These discussions include information such as trends in student behavior, best practices in intervention and available resources. Additional meetings are held to assess, intervene and monitor student concerns brought to the attention of the SCC.
 
Reporting Process
The Importance of Reporting Red Flag Behaviors - The overall goal of the Students of Concern/Violence Prevention Plan is to promote a safe College environment for all students and staff focused on student learning and student development. By encouraging all members of the campus community to report behaviors that are concerning, the SCC will be able to reach out to students to intervene, provide support and connect them with resources that can assist them.  As such, the SCC asks that the campus community report concerning, “red flag” behaviors.

Identifying “Red Flag” Behaviors - Recognizing that it is not uncommon for college students to display some questionable or inappropriate behaviors, “red flag” behaviors are those questionable, suspicious or inappropriate behaviors that go beyond what seems normal or reasonable for the situation. “Red flag” behaviors may be presented through a student’s appearance, spoken or written words or specific actions. 

Examples of “red flag” behaviors include:
   :: Behaviors which regularly interfere with classroom environment or management
   :: Notable change in academic performance – poor or inconsistent preparation
   :: Notable change in behavior or appearance
   :: Impairment of thoughts – verbal or written 
   :: Overly aggressive behaviors toward others; inability to set limits or re-direct focus
   :: Poor decision-making and coping skills
   :: Inappropriate or strange behavior
   :: Low frustration tolerance
   :: Overreaction to circumstances
   :: Lack of resiliency
   :: Writings and comments endorsing violence; unusual interest in violence
   :: Indirect or direct threats in writings or verbalizations
   :: Lack of empathy and concern for others; inability to care
   :: Anger management problems
   :: Threats to others
   :: Appearance of being overly nervous, tense or tearful
   :: Expression of suicidal thoughts or feelings of hopelessness

Behavioral Incident Referral
The Behavioral Incident Referral is designed to enable faculty, staff and students to voluntarily report “red flag” behaviors that may raise concerns and incidents of student misconduct at Illinois College.  An incident, in this context, is an event that does not warrant immediate intervention. In the event of an emergency that requires immediate intervention, call 911 or the Office of Campus Security.

In accordance with the Illinois College Student Community Standards and Policies, information provided in the Behavioral Incident Referral may also be considered in determining appropriate disciplinary action with students.

Student Concerns Regarding Other Students
Any student with a concern about another student may submit a Behavioral Incident Referral form. As with staff, students can identify themselves in the report or can submit the report anonymously. Behavioral Incident Referral forms are available to students in Chesley Health and Wellness Center, Templeton Counseling Center, Office of the Dean of Students and Office of Campus Security.

PART II – Students of Concern/Violence Prevention Team (SCC)

Students of Concern/Violence Prevention Team Assessment
While there is no single set of warning signs that will reliably predict student behavior or campus violence, the assessment process looks for behavioral evidence that a student is planning or preparing to act out inappropriately or carry out some type of threat. Assessment is designed to distinguish between threatening and nonthreatening cases in order to ensure the safety of the student of concern and any others potentially involved, as well as to resolve concerns that initiated the inappropriate behavior.

Assessment assists in early identification of situations that may pose a threat to others, creates a baseline of information against which to assess future behavior and provides a means for implementing interventions to increase the likelihood of a positive and safe resolution.

Assessment Process
Information Gathering and Assessment - Once a Behavioral Incident Referral has been received by the Students of Concern Committee, the case manager from the SCC will implement the assessment process. The most appropriate time to include the student in the process will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

In general, the SCC will gather preliminary information regarding the concern and then the case manager will interview the student as part of the initial assessment process. The interview is mandatory to assure safety and failure to comply could result in disciplinary action.  It will provide the opportunity for the student to share his/her concerns about the situation and ask for needed assistance in solving it. Information gleaned in this initial interview will be helpful in determining appropriate intervention strategies.

That process may include any of the following data gathering processes:
   :: Interviews with all available parties with information about the situation
   :: Interviews with the person alleged to have displayed inappropriate/concerning behavior
   :: Assessment by counselor/mental health professional
   :: Interview with any identified potential targets of inappropriate/concerning behavior
   :: Contacting a student’s parents or family members
   :: Review of student’s academic and disciplinary history
   :: Legal/criminal background check
   :: Implementation of the Students of Concern Checklist and other Students of Concern models appropriate to the situation.

Intervention Strategies
In most cases, a student displaying concerning behaviors is willing to work with the College and to obtain the assistance necessary to complete their educational program.  When a student is in distress, feeling that they have support for resolving the concern may serve as prevention and provide the opportunity for student learning.

Based on the behavior displayed by the student and the assessment by the SCC, the SCC may make any of the following recommendations for intervention. Recommendations are made in consultation with the appropriate College department or administrator who takes any final action.

  • Referral to College and/or Community Resources - The SCC 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 SCC, 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 Disciplinary Process – The SCC will make this referral to the vice president for student affairs (VPSA) when it is determined that the student behavior may be in violation of the student code of conduct.
  • Mandatory Direct Threat/Safety Assessment – The SCC may recommend to the VPSA that students determined to be at high risk for danger to self or others be required to participate in a mandatory assessment by the College’s mental health consultant (at no cost to the student). The mental health consultant 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 SCC.
  • Involuntary/Voluntary Psychiatric Hospitalization - When a student, based on the safety assessment of a mental health consultant, is believed to be: 1) imminently suicidal, 2) acutely dangerous to others, or 3) unable to take care of him or herself as a result of impaired psychological functioning, appropriate personnel may be notified to arrange for hospitalization. In times when a mental health professional is not available on campus, the campus security officer on duty will conduct a screening of the student as to these risks utilizing the SAD PERSONS and Levels of Risk Scales. If the officer’s screening finds, in the officer’s judgment, a substantial risk exists, the officer will call 911 to secure an ambulance to transport the student to the hospital for assessment by a mental health consultant. In all instances, the student’s emergency contact of record will be notified of the student’s condition as well as the specific steps the College is taking to address the student’s condition. The SCC will also be notified. (If the psychological crisis occurs after hours, the security officer on duty will notify the College administrator on-call to make the initial notification to the student’s emergency contact. If during regular hours, the VPSA, or designee, will make the initial notification. The VSPA will also make any additional notifications to the student’s emergency contact to keep this contact abreast of the situation.)   
  • Interim Suspension – The SCC may recommend to the VPSA that a student determined to be at high risk for danger to self or others be temporarily removed from the College based on imminent safety concerns. Generally, the interim suspension will require a mandatory direct threat/safety assessment evaluation prior to return.                  
  • Involuntary Withdrawal – In extremely high risk situations, the SCC may find it necessary to recommend to the VPSA an involuntary withdrawal for a dangerous student who will not comply with the requests of the SCC or agree to a voluntary withdrawal. Involuntary withdrawals will be determined based on the opinion of the mental health consultant that the student poses an imminent risk of serious harm to self or others. The length of withdrawal and conditions for re-enrollment at the College will be determined by the VPSA at the time that the withdrawal is imposed. (see policy in Appendix B)
  • 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.  The director of security will ensure a comprehensive investigation is conducted and determine whether probable cause exists for the filing of criminal charges.  If probable cause is established, the SCC will consider prosecution as an intervention option.

Follow-Up and Monitoring
In addition to any of the specific intervention strategies described previously, the SCC will determine a plan for follow-up monitoring of each student. This follow-up monitoring will be conducted by the case manager and may include checking with faculty and staff regarding student behavior, checking the progress of the student in counseling and periodic meetings with the case manager.

Feedback to Referring Individual
In accordance with FERPA, following assessment and intervention with the student of concern, the SCC will provide feedback to the referring individual to inform them of resolution of the case and any ongoing follow-up in which they may need to be involved.

Record Keeping
All records of the Students of Concern and Violence Prevention Team pertaining to students will be stored on a secure site on the College's Moodle site. Records will be maintained throughout the student’s enrollment at the College.
 

    
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