Formed at the beginning of the 2010–2011 school year, Columbus College of Art & Design’s Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) has proven to be a proactive program that works to identify, assess, and intervene with students who show signs of severe distress or engage in disruptive or potentially harmful behavior.
“The BIT arose from the global reality that some students now come to college with pre-existing mental issues and histories of concerning behaviors,” said Chris Mundell, assistant dean of students and chair of the BIT. “Instead of reacting to the situations that may arise due to these issues, we have adopted a community approach to awareness. All members of the CCAD family are invested in identifying students who may be in distress and getting them the help they need.”
CCAD President Dennison W. Griffith recently issued a reminder that awareness and intervention are key to maintaining safety on campus.
“The continued success of CCAD’s Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) is imperative in maintaining the safety and well-being of our students and community,” Griffith said. “With classes resuming Tuesday, Jan. 18, and in light of the recent events in Arizona, we all are reminded of the importance of identifying and assisting individuals who exhibit high-risk behaviors as early as possible.”
At the beginning of each semester, the BIT reminds faculty, staff, and parents to contact them if concerned about potentially harmful, threatening, or disruptive behavior of a student. Depending on the nature of the behavior, the severity of the safety risk, and the needs of the student, the BIT may respond with a behavioral contract, parental notification, a student conduct response from Judicial Affairs, a psychological assessment, or mandated medical leave.
Mundell holds a Master’s of Science Degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Miami University and serves as president-elect of the Ohio College Personnel Association, a state division of the American College Personnel Association. He has worked as a student affairs administrator for seven years and contributed to an upcoming book, Contested Issues in Student Affairs by Peter M. and Marcia Baxter Magolda, which is due out in July.
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