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Central Michigan University improved training and assessment to better support students of concern

Quick Facts

Institution: Central Michigan University

Campus Unit: Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT)

EAB Partnership: Student Affairs Forum

Total Enrollment: 21K+

  • The Challenge

    The behavioral intervention team (BIT) at Central Michigan University (CMU), called the Care Team, wanted to formalize their responsibilities to increase efficacy and reach to students in need of mental health support services. The team’s leadership hoped to offer additional trainings, both for team members and faculty and staff across campus on how to support students of concern. They also sought to better evaluate Care Team performance, and to use that data to improve retention for students they serve.

  • The Results

Changes in KPI tracking led to process updates to improve retention

In Summer 2019, the Care Team updated the data they collect on reports submitted after a student interaction to include EAB-recommended advanced key performance indicators (KPIs). The Care Team added the following KPIs to their annual report to the president and cabinet:

  • Number of referrals by department
  • Number of students accessing Care Team resources by academic college
  • Retention data for students of concern

With this additional data, the team adjusted the follow-up process for students of concern to increase post-interaction opportunities for support.

New trainings standardize interactions and expand access for students

Faculty and Staff Trainings: In Spring 2020, the Care Team will start offering behavioral intervention training to faculty and staff across campus; trainings will cover topics recommended in EAB’s Guidelines for Designing Behavioral Intervention Team Training Presentations, including:

  • How to recognize students in distress
  • How to provide initial support
  • How to connect students in distress to the Care Team

Trainings for Care Team Members: Video trainings watched together helped level-set members on the team’s purpose on campus and how each participant is expected to contribute.

EAB’s resources for behavioral intervention teams

EAB’s study Responding to Students of Concern and the associated toolkit outline several practices related to training and assessment that are being implemented by CMU’s Care Team, including:
  • Offering campus-wide introductory training on students of concern on an on-going basis, rather than only to new staff and faculty or at certain times of year

  • Differentiated training for BIT members to provide more context for their roles and standardize student interactions with team members

  • Tracking student outcomes after BIT interactions, and updating processes based on that data


The Care Team staff have read through this study many times and disseminated it widely – they rely on it more than anything else. We refer to it on campus as our Bible!


VP for Enrollment and Student Services, Central Michigan University