Porterville College

Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT)

What is BIT?

The Behavioral Intervention Team, or BIT, at Porterville College serves as the centralized coordinated body for discussion and action regarding students exhibiting behaviors that indicate distress, cause of disturbance in the community, and/or present a danger to oneself or others. Committed to proactive, early intervention, the BIT supports students directly through consultation with campus partners.

BIT Team Mission & Objectives

The Behavioral Intervention Team provides proactive assessment and early intervention to individuals who are exhibiting concerning behaviors, to both support students and assist faculty/staff. The team is committed to ensuring community wellness and safety to the campus community by providing an environment where individuals are free to work and learn in a safe and supportive environment.

  • Provide de-escalation tools and training for the campus community.
  • Provide training and awareness to the campus community in managing and maintaining a safe environment conducive to learning.
  • Develop strategies that best utilize campus and community resources to assist students, faculty, and staff to address early intervention.
  • Develop a Behavior Intervention Team workflow and individualized plans based on referrals.
  •  Intervene early. Provide support and timely response to students displaying varying levels of disruptive, disturbed, or distressed behaviors.
  •  Utilize behavior intervention best practices.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Behavioral Intervention Team, or BIT, at Porterville College is a group of staff members from various departments across campus who meet regularly to address behavioral concerns that include:

  • Repeated threats of suicide
  • Violence against others
  • Violent or strange behavior

The BIT’s goal is to successfully engage support and minimize the concerns associated with students in distress. Accomplishing these goals requires a coordinated institutional response that includes all members of the college community.

The team consists of representatives of the Office of Student Services; Vice President, Safety & Security Program Manager, DRC Coordinator, Office of Student Services Director, & Human Resources Manager.

A person of concern can be a member of Porterville College (faculty, staff or student) dealing with an emotional, psychological or physical crisis that may interfere with his or her ability to continue attending classes or working at PC.

It is best to report any concern about a student’s mental wellbeing, students who might present a threat to the campus community or themselves, or displaying academic dishonesty.

Signs and symptoms of student distress

  • Loss of academic efficiency, serious grade problems; excessive absences; marked change in previous level of performance
  • Withdrawal, significant relational/social isolation • Anxiety, pacing, muscle tension, sweating, impaired thinking, worrying, ruminating, easily distracted, etc.
  • Depression, excessive crying, fatigue, change of appetite, disturbed or excessive sleeping, change in hygiene, negative thinking along themes of hopelessness and helplessness
  • Dramatic increase in alcohol or drug use
  • Bizarre or out of the ordinary behavior, acting out, emotional outbursts, loss of rationality, venting, screaming, swearing, high energy output
  • Intimidation, individual is verbally or nonverbally threatening

Faculty and staff should note that all members of the College community are expected to act towards one another with sensitivity, consideration, understanding, appreciation, tolerance, civility, and an active concern for one another. Porterville College is particularly concerned that its members show respect for others regardless of race, creed, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, and other characteristics protected by law, and refrain from all forms of harassing or offensive behaviors that demean the inherent dignity of others (see Student Conduct Handbook)

On rare occasions, you may find yourself with a student who is experiencing extreme distress so as to pose a possible danger to themselves or others. Such cases are psychological/behavioral concerns that require immediate intervention. Signs of an emergency include:

  • Threatening to harm self or others
  • Acting out
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Loss of rationality
  • Venting, screaming, swearing, etc.
  • High energy output

If the student is in significant distress but not a life-threatening situation, call the Counseling department in addition to completing the BIT Form. These verbal intervention tips may help you:

DO DON'T
Remain calm Overreact
Isolate the situation Get in a power struggle
Enforce the limits Make false promises
Listen Fake attention
Be aware of non-verbal cues Be threatening
Be consistent Use jargon

BIT Report Form

   Behavior Intervention Manual 

What Should I Report?

  • Plagiarism/Cheating
  • Marked Change in Academic Levels
  • Social Withdrawal/Depression
  • Alcohol/Drug Use
  • Bizarre or out of the ordinary behavior
  • Threats of Violence or Intimidation

Process

Making a Referral

The referral process begins by making a report. Once a referral is made about a student of concern, a staff member from Porterville College’s Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) will review the information and may contact you for additional information about the student.

Helping Persons of Concern

Once a person is reported, outreach will begin. Staff member will gather more information about the person of concern and may reach out to that individual by phone call or, in some cases, by a series of meetings. 
 

Resources 

Kern Community College District