Behavioral teams soothe higher ed student distress
After the Virginia Tech tragedy, colleges began to build teams of administrators and faculty to better recognize and support distraught individuals on campus.
At Augusta University in Georgia, the Campus Assessment Response and Evaluation (CARE) team, a division of student life, includes:
- the director of student counseling and psychological services
- the director of health services, housing and student life
- the director of disability services
- a legal affairs staff member
- an academic success coordinator
Via an online portal, students and faculty can anonymously report concerns or unusual activity or behavior. CARE members reach out to individuals to discuss concerns and suggest relevant campus services.
The reportee also gets an update about how the situation is being handled, without disclosing confidential details, says Gina Thurman, associate dean of students and CARE director.
“When we reach out, the majority of people are a little embarrassed at first, but happy someone cares about their well-being,” says Thurman.