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 Behavioral Intervention Team

 BIT Overview

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The District Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) engages in proactive and collaborative approaches to identify, assess, and mitigate risks associated with students and visitors exhibiting concerning behaviors or thoughts. By partnering with members of the community, the BIT strives to promote individual student wellbeing and success while prioritizing community safety. ​​​​​​

BIT Membership

​​You may call any of the BIT members listed, at any time, for consultation, no matter how insignificant your situation may seem. We encourage you to assist us in preventing crises before they occur.  If you have questions about anything related to possible intervention, contact us at 559-730-5470 /BIT@cos.edu.​

The team members are also available on an ongoing basis to provide non-emergency consultation.

Emerg​enc​ies

If you feel that a situation requires an immediate response contact: District Police (559) 730-3999 or 911 immediately.

Team Members


Michele Brock (Chair)

Dean of Student Services​
(559)737-5441


Jenny SaeChao

Dean of Student Services
(559)737-5443

Juan VaZquez

Dean of Student Services
(559)737-5440

Kevin Mizner

Chief of Police
(559)730-3862

Jill Maze

Full-time Faculty, Mental Health Counselor
(559)730-3988

Jesse Wilcoxson

Dean, Business, CFS & SS, Acad. Svcs., Business & Soc. Sci.
(559)737-6281

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Behavioral Intervention ​- ​FAQ​​​​​​​

Who can make a referral?

Anyone who is concerned that a currently enrolled COS student is exhibiting behavior that could escalate if not addressed, even if you feel the person may not pose an immediate threat to the safety of him/herself or others.

What are important pieces of information to report?

To the extent possible, use the five "W​'s" 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:

  1. The team may communicate within the group to determine the best course of action;
  2. The reporting party may be contacted for further information/clarification;
  3. The team may elect to seek additional information from other instructors or Student Services areas to determine whether the behaviors have been observed elsewhere;
  4. 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;
  5. 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 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.

Will the student know that I am the person who referred her/him to BIT?​

The BIT will not tell the student who specifically made the referral, however, a referred student will be given specific information about the behaviors/actions that occurred so they can respond to the concern.  It is possible that a student may know who made the referral through the circumstances described to them, however, the BIT will not readily provide the student with the name of the reporter.

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. 

What if I'm not ready to make a referral, but I just need some advice about handling a student issue?​

You can always contact the Dean of Students office regarding the handling or management of a student behavior of concern. In many cases an individual only needs ideas on how to approach a student about their behavior.  The Dean of Students office can provide tips, suggestions, and resources on how to approach a situation.  This may or may not result in a report.

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 District Police and/or the Dean of Student Services for consultation or necessary follow up.​

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Kognito Training

Since 2011, the California Community Colleges Student Mental Health Program (CCC SMHP) has been implementing a statewide effort focusing on prevention and early intervention strategies to address the mental health needs of California community college students.  One of the programs the CCC has implemented is a training for faculty and staff to empower them with the tools they need to intervene with a student in distress. The training is interactive and walks you through a series of scenarios that require you to choose how you would respond to the situation. The training is free and COS offers flex credit for participation. Participants receive a certificate at the end of the training. 

The following link https://www.kognitocampus.com/faculty/ccc will take you to the CCC/Kognito website where you will be prompted to register and then choose a training module.  There are several trainings offered, however the one that I recommend is titled "At Risk: For Faculty and Staff."  There are also trainings specific to assisting Veterans, and they are currently updating the training specific to the LGBTQ population.

 How to Make a Report

​​​There are five types of reports that can be filed.  These reports are:

1. Student Conduct Violations

2. Academic Integrity Violations

3. Student of Concern

4. Student Complaint

5. Sexual Abuse / Title IX

To file a report on-line, simply go to https://www.cos.edu/en-us/student-support/tell-a-giant and select the appropriate report.  

Reports may be made anonymously.  

Use of the reporting 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 bit@cos.edu or contact one of the BIT members listed on this page.

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Dealing with Disruptive Person

The protocols for handling a student who is disrupting classrooms or normal operation on campus is broken down into three levels, Level I being the least disruptive and ranging to Level III, an extreme risk.

Level I

Level I may be more indicative to an issue that has recently changed in the student's life and may be causing stresses that they are reacting to.  There may also be potential disability issues that are not immediately apparent, but begin to manifest as coursework increases in difficulty.  Warning signs may include:

  • Pronounced and sudden change in attendance patterns.
  • Change in behavior (withdrawn, irritable, depressed, angry, confrontational).
  • Change in attitude and interaction with staff or students.
  • Minor disruptive behavior.

Level I staff responses

  • Make time to meet with the student, individually, either after class or during office hours.
  • Comment on your concern for the student and point out you direct observations (avoid presumptions).
  • Invite the student to discuss problems that may be interfering with academic goals.
  • Inquire as to what circumstances may be causing the changes in behavior.
  • Refer the student to the appropriate Student Services office.
  • Use your good judgment to decide whether this is something you should document in a report (i.e. Early Alert, Behavior Intervention Team (BIT) referral, incident report, etc.).

Level II

Level II can be described as negative/hostile attention seeking behavior including:

  • Threats of harm to self or someone else, even if done in a covert or disguised manner (i.e. jokes, sarcasm, hints, symbolic gestures, drawings, writing assignments, etc.).
  • Depressed, withdrawn behavior of increasing concern.
  • Overly anxious behavior (heightened agitation, nervous behavior, avoidance of activities that might be anxiety producing).
  • Openly confrontational behavior with faculty, staff, or students. (Intimidation).
  • Odd or bizarre behavior that might indicate mental health or substance abuse problems (agitation).

Level II Staff responses

  • If you feel safe, meet with the student as you would with a Level I situation.  You may ask your Department Head or Division Chair to join you in the meeting.
  • Express you concern for the students well-being, but also be objective and firm in your guidelines for appropriate behavior.
  • Make referrals to appropriate Student Services and/or community resources.
  • Document behavior or concern, as well as any action taken, using a BIT form.
  • If you have further questions contact your Department Head or Division Chair or a designated student support or Behavior Intervention Team (BIT) member.

Level III

Level III would be an extreme risk behavior.

  • Immediate or continued demonstrations of odd or disruptive behaviors that have previously been reported.
  • Aggressive and threatening behavior or gestures.
  • Escalating threat, raised voice, extreme intimidation.
  • Visible physical tension and/or higher level of agitation.

Level III Staff responses

  • Call 9-1-1 immediately - Police will be dispatched (must give location).
  • Remain calm, do not engage in an argument with the student.
  • Keep a safe distance, avoid getting in the student's personal space.
  • Ask the student to leave the area.
  • Allow the student a way to exit, and do not allow yourself to be trapped.
  • Avoid excessive questioning, raising your own voice, etc. 
  • Use de-escalation techniques as best as possible.

Whenever there is doubt about your safety or the safety of other staff and students - call 9-1-1.

If possible leave the area or relocate to a safer environment.

It is always best to have your cell phone on you and turned on but silenced so it is quicker to call 9-1-1 should the need arise.

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When to Make a Report​

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​
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.
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​Campus Resources​


Health Center / Mental Health Services on each of the three campuses (559) 73​7-6195

District Police Department (559) 730-3999​
Emergency - Dial 911
https://www.cos.edu/en-us/student-support/police​

Access & Ability Center​​​ - 

The AAC advocates for equal access to opportunities for student success.

​https://www.cos.edu/en-us/student-support/access-ability


COS Food Pantry - https://www.cos.edu/en-us/Health-Services/Pages/Giant-Pantry.aspx

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