NaBITA Newsletter
September 30, 2015


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In NaBITA's monthly newsletter we share a Tip of the Week, spotlight a resource relevant to the field, provide news, and share information about our upcoming events. In addition, each NaBITA newsletter brings you information relevant to the field of behavioral intervention and prevention, with current events and relevant resources. If you like the newsletter, we hope you will join NaBITA so that you can receive the weekly version of this great member benefit. Click here for more information.


Resource Spotlight

NaBITA is pleased to spotlight Social Media Guidelines for Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention, by TEAM Up.


Tip of the Week

Sub-mild Behaviors: Keep Them on the BIT Radar?

by Brian Van Brunt, Ed.D.

For those familiar with the NaBITA Threat Assessment Tool, the central measures of threat are listed at Mild, Moderate, Elevated Severe and Extreme. The question we often hear is: should a team work with students whose behaviors fall below the mild range? In other words, what is the minimum cut off for a BIT case?


To read the complete Tip, click here.


Join us at the 7th Annual NaBITA Conference

and the 6th Annual Campus Threat Management Institute

November 17-21, 2015

The Westin Riverwalk in San Antonio, TX

Registration deadline is Monday, November 2, 2015.
Register today!

For more information, please visit the NaBITA Conference webpage or contact:

Amanda Tarczynski, or (484) 321-3651

Only 1 Month Left to Register. Register Today!

Keynote Speaker Sessions

Opening Keynote
The Evolution of Behavioral Threat Assessment: Future Directions for Violence Prevention
Presented by Dewey G. Cornell, Ph.D., forensic clinical psychologist and Bunker Professor of Education in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, Director of the U.Va. Virginia Youth Violence Project and a faculty associate of the Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy. 

This presentation will examine how threat assessment has evolved from the broader field of risk assessment and what improvements are needed to establish it as an evidence-based practice. In the past 20 years behavioral threat assessment has emerged as a form of risk assessment with a distinguishing emphasis on targeted violence, attention to social ecology, and prevention through problem resolution. The advancement of threat assessment requires continued progression from an emphasis on prediction to multi-tiered prevention, from decisions guided by intuition to empirically-informed assessment, and from case reports to controlled studies. The presenter will illustrate these points with case experiences and research in Virginia public schools and higher education settings.

Dr. Cornell is a forensic clinical psychologist and Bunker Professor of Education in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. Dr. Cornell is Director of the U.Va. Virginia Youth Violence Project and a faculty associate of the Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy. His research and teaching is concerned with the prevention of youth violence and bullying, as well as the facilitation of healthy student development and achievement through a supportive and structured school climate. Dr. Cornell has worked with juvenile and adult violent offenders, testified in criminal proceedings and legislative hearings, and consulted on violence prevention efforts. He has authored more than 200 publications in psychology and education, including studies of juvenile homicide, school safety, bullying and threat assessment. Two of his books are School Violence: Fears Versus Facts, and Guidelines for Responding to Student Threats of Violence. He is currently conducting a federally-funded study of school climate and bullying in more than 700 Virginia secondary schools.

Closing Keynote
Learning to Kill: The Impact of Media Violence
Presented by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, U.S. Army (Ret.), former Professor of Military Science and Psychology at West Point, co-author of Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill: A Call to Action Against TV, Movie and Video Game Violence, and author of On Killing:  The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society.

This presentation will address several diverse topics which were brought together by the author’s experiences as:  (1) a military and law enforcement trainer and psychologist, (2) a trainer of health professionals, law enforcement personnel, and first responders in the aftermath of the Jonesboro, Springfield, Littleton, Nickel Mines Amish School, and Virginia Tech school shootings, (3) a consultant in the Paducah school shootings and other major murder cases, and (4) a speaker to the annual conventions of the AMA, APA and AAP.

Initially, Col. Grossman will examine the magnitude of violent crime in the US and around the world, the factors that all the school killers had in common, and the role of media violence as a new factor contributing to this phenomenon.  Then he will address powerful new data demonstrating the actual impact of media violence upon the brain (Indiana University Brain Scan Study) and a powerful new study demonstrating a significant reduction in violence and bullying through media reduction in children (the Stanford SMART Curriculum).  Finally, he will address the role of violent visual imagery in TV, movies and video games in causing the current 'virus of violence' in families, and in developed nations around the world.

Col. Grossman is a former West Point psychology professor, Professor of Military Science, and an Army Ranger who has combined his experiences to become the founder of a new field of scientific endeavor, which has been termed "killology." In this new field Col. Grossman has made revolutionary new contributions to our understanding of killing in war, the psychological costs of war, the root causes of the current "virus" of violent crime that is raging around the world, and the process of healing the victims of violence, in war and peace.

Col. Grossman co-authored Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill: A Call to Action Against TV, Movie and Video Game Violence, which has received international acclaim. He is the author of On Killing, as well as On Combat; both books are on the U.S. Marine Corps Commandant's Required Reading List, as well as required reading at the FBI academy and numerous colleges and universities. He has presented to over 100 different colleges and universities worldwide, and has trained educators and law enforcement professionals, in the field of school safety, at the state and regional level, in all 50 states and over a dozen foreign nations. He helped train mental health professionals after the Jonesboro school shootings, and he was also involved in counseling or court cases in the aftermath of the Paducah, Springfield, Littleton, Virginia Tech, and Nickel Mines Amish school shootings.

Featured Speaker Sessions

A sampling of Featured Speaker sessions include:

Confluence of Title IX Responses and BIT
Presented by Saundra K. Schuster, J.D., NaBITA Past-President; Partner, The NCHERM Group, LLC; and W. Scott Lewis, J.D., NaBITA Past-President; Partner, The NCHERM Group, LLC

Title IX is a Federal law that prohibits sex and gender discrimination at education institutions that receive federal funding.  The accompanying Office for Civil Rights Guidance mandates that institutions must respond to notice of sex/gender misconduct by taking action to stop the prohibited behavior and prevent the recurrence.  As schools work to respond appropriately to sexual misconduct they often find that the misconduct involves behaviors that suggest obsession, violence, threats, and dysfunctional behaviors.  Utilizing Title IX Officers on your campus BIT, as needed, when behaviors are reported to the BIT and training your BIT on appropriate referral to the Title IX Coordinator when behavior is reported to your BIT that suggests sex/gender misconduct is essential.  This session will discuss the intersection of responsibilities between BITs and Title IX and the way in which cross-training is an important approach to most effectively address behaviors through both types of protocol.


Violence Risk Assessment of the Written Word (VRAW2)
Presented by Brian Van Brunt, Ed.D., NaBITA 2015 President; Senior Executive Vice President for Professional Program Development, The NCHERM Group, LLC

Join Dr. Van Brunt as he shares case studies involving emails, creative and non-fiction writing that contain direct threats or violent themes of concern. He will discuss how a team can deploy a set of questions to determine whether these threats are true threats or if they are simply howling behaviors or part of the student’s creative process. Learn the new rubric for Written Word Violence Risk Assessment (VRAW2) and how to apply it in the context of the NaBITA Threat Assessment Tool and the Structured Interview for Violence Risk Assessment (SIVRA-35). Participants will receive a copy of the VRAW2 and instructions on how to use it to assess the likelihood of violence from written word communication.


Starting a BIT Without Support
Presented by Brian Van Brunt, Ed.D., NaBITA 2015 President; Senior Executive Vice President for Professional Program Development, The NCHERM Group, LLC

Sometimes you have everything you need to start a BIT on campus except the support of those in leadership who hold the power and the purse strings. You’ve learned all about the NaBITA Tool, threat assessment, case management, electronic data base systems, intervention techniques, psychological assessments, record keeping and advertising—but how do you bring back these ideas to a campus setting that is unreceptive? How do you plant the BIT seed when the soil isn’t fertile? Join Dr. Van Brunt as he shares with you some ideas to bring BIT concepts back to your college or university in a slower, staged process to ensure successful growth.

Campus Threat Management Institute

Dates: November 17th - November 21st, 2015 (Tuesday evening to Saturday afternoon). The NaBITA Institute runs concurrently with the NaBITA Annual Conference, and then continues for two additional days. Institute registrants will attend the NaBITA Conference (included in the Institute registration fee), in an optional special track for Institute registrants. Attending the 2015 NaBITA Conference is a pre-requisite to attending the 2015 NaBITA Institute. You are not able to register for just the weekend sessions. The NaBITA Institute offers an intense level of depth and training for those charged with campus behavioral intervention and threat assessment responsibilities. One of the benefits of the Campus Threat Management Institute is a small faculty:student ratio. As such, the Institute is only open to current NaBITA members.

The NaBITA conference begins with the Opening Keynote on Tuesday, November 17th, at 7:30pm. The conference runs until 1:00pm on Thursday, November 19th. The Institute continues for the remainder of Thursday the 19th, all day on Friday the 20th, and then concludes at 1:00pm on Saturday, November 21st, 2015.

Institute Session Descriptions

A sampling of Institute sessions include:

Case Management and Intervention
Presented by W. Scott Lewis, J.D.,NaBITA Past-President; Partner, The NCHERM Group, LLC; and Brian Van Brunt, Ed.D., NaBITA 2015 President; Senior Executive Vice President for Professional Program Development, The NCHERM Group, LLC

This course will offer BIT members clear guidance and skills when it comes to intervening with an at-risk student and managing the student after the initial assessment and intervention. Intervention and case management in higher education has been a growing area within counseling centers, behavioral intervention teams, student conduct, and student affairs. The need for BIT members to develop case management skills extends beyond just the person on your team who may have “case manager” in his or her job title. Join Lewis and Van Brunt as they bring together their expertise in student conduct and psychology during this practical skill based course.


The program will offer guidance in the following areas:

  • Fundamental principles of case management

  • Foundational skills on deescalating crisis events

  • Handling mental health crisis events

  • Discussing communication and information sharing with others

  • Overview of approaches to engaging students through change theory, motivational interviewing, and harm reduction

  • Overview of approaches to helping students create and stick to a plan through cognitive behavioral therapy and reality therapy techniques

A National Dialogue on Ending School Shooting: School and District Tools that Build a National Plan for Prevention
Presented by Jonathan Doll, Ph.D.

This presentation walks participants through a three-part behavior intervention journey for distressed/at-risk students in schools, as published in the book, Ending School Shootings. This builds on a foundation of partnership by mental health providers, law enforcement, and educators. Interviews with school shooting survivors and those connected with school tragedies are combined with scholarship-based practices. Also, as a result of his work and research, the presenter has submitted House Bill 399 to Massachusetts.


Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to implement strengths-based interventions with distressed/at risk students with efficacy. This includes using two proven methods of helping students realize their strengths and then learning how to emphasize these as alternatives instead of the traditional punishment paradigm.

  • Participants will be able to contribute to transformation of school culture through student strengths and what that entails.

  • Participants will gain deep understanding of school shooting incidents, 1999 to present.

  • Participants will be able to implement strengths-based pilot research as prescribed by state legislation/extend this process to their state.

Confidentiality & Contributing: Navigating the Unique Roles Counselors Play on BITs
Presented by Amy Murphy, Ph.D., Dean of Students/Managing Director, Center for Campus Life, Texas Tech University; Aaron “Chip” Reese, Ed.D., Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Columbus State University, NaBITA President-Elect; and Josh Gunn, Ph.D., Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, Kennesaw State University, Past-President, American College Counseling Association

This presentation will help counselors and the other BIT members better understand the unique roles counselors find themselves playing on the team. Counselors will gain knowledge and skill needed to contribute to the their BIT, while also remaining true to their professional ethics and licensing laws. Other BIT members will walk away with a better understanding of the role of counselors and how to optimize their participation on the team. Specific topics of focus will include the intersection of mental health and licensure laws with FERPA and HIPPA; information and documentation on BIT software programs and in the counseling center; mandated assessment and tools that counselors use to assess risk; and postvention practices supporting the community and reporters. We will also review relevant case law and share personal experiences to further illustrate concepts and expand participants knowledge and skill.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to describe multiple roles that counselors play on a BIT.

  2. Participants will be able to articulate how mental health law, FERPA, and HIPPA relate to counselors ability to share information with the BIT.

  3. Participants will be able to list common tools counselors use to asses risk.

  4. Participants will practice with case studies and learn how to navigate the various mental health scenarios presented in cases.

Pre-Conference Sessions

NaBITA will host two half-day pre-conference sessions on Tuesday, November 17th. Pre-con sessions are not included as part of your conference or Institute registration and require additional payment. Conference or Institute registration is required in order to attend a pre-con session.

Pre-Conference 1: Assessing Threat on Social Media
Presented by Brian Van Brunt, Ed.D., 2015 NaBITA President; Senior Executive Vice President for Professional Program Development, The NCHERM Group, LLC

This pre-conference workshop will offer clinicians, administrators, law enforcement, student conduct officers and those familiar with threat assessment principles an advanced topic review on how best to identify and assess social media threats in a higher education setting. The presenter will focus on social media posts that occur on popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Yik Yak and offer guidance on how to identify, gather data, assign a risk rating and intervene.

The workshop will draw from real life cases of threat drawn from social media posts on college campuses. Central to the discussion will be sorting out the difference among true threats, angry or disenfranchised writing, impulsive utterances, assignment specific response, predatory writing, fantasy rehearsal and ‘howling’ threats with little evidence of lethality. Simply stated: How does someone conducting a threat assessment sort out who is frustrated and upset versus who is planning a violent attack?

Pre-Conference 2: The Dirty Dozen (DD-12): Identifying Twelve Risk Factors for Sexual Assault, Stalking and Intimate Partner Violence
Presented by Amy Murphy, Ph.D., Dean of Students and Managing Director for the Center for Campus Life at Texas Tech University, NaBITA Advisory Board member; and Brian Van Brunt, Ed.D., 2015 NaBITA President; Senior Executive Vice President for Professional Program Development, The NCHERM Group, LLC

We spend a good deal of time responding to and developing educational programming to prevent sexual violence on campus, but what do we really know about the underlying risk factors that contribute to these problems on campus? Join the presenters as they share their research related to the 12 risk factors that contribute to sexual violence on campus.

Campus Behavioral Intervention Teams have a clear responsibility to recognize these risk factors to better prevent sexual violence on campus. The identifying risk factors will provide participants with a better understanding of the contributing influences to sexual violence through case examples, news stories and interactive conversations.  Understanding these risk factors will provide administrators, conduct officers, law enforcement, prevention advocates and counselors insight into preventative education and better informed policy and procedures to reduce sexual assault in the college and university setting.

Registration deadline is Monday, November 2, 2015.
Register online
Download a registration form to pay via cheque.

Click here for more information on the 7th Annual NaBITA Conference.


Hosting a NaBITA Training Event

If your campus is interested in learning more about hosting a NaBITA training event or need information on additional training opportunities from our organization, please email Alisha DiGiandomenico, Assistant Vice President for Client Relations, or call at (610) 644-3387.

Should your campus/school/organization look to host an on-campus, public training event, NaBITA is currently collecting Request for Proposals for campus host sites for the 2016 calendar year.

For more information, click here.


A Window Into BIT

BIT Meeting Simulation and Training
Window Into Bit

A Window Into BIT is a video-based training tool to enhance campus BIT and student of concern team professional development. Watch national behavioral intervention team experts and campus practitioners model a BIT meeting as they role-play key team roles. The one-hour video comes with a detailed transcript, sample documentation from the meeting, and discussion questions for your team to use as a training tool to better understand how to develop and improve BIT meetings.

What does a Behavioral Intervention Team meeting actually look like? How do counseling, conduct and residential life talk together about cases? How is the NaBITA rubric used in a meeting? When should an assessment be required? At what point should the SIVRA-35 or other tools be utilized? How are action plans developed? In what order are cases discussed? How is documentation handled? How are conflicts between departments resolved?

Watch how team members communicate with each other and put the NaBITA threat assessment tool to use in rating over a dozen varied cases. Learn how to attend to parental notification, apply OCR guidance, the ADA and Title IX to cases. Watch how the experts model interactions designed to reduce silos while building connection between the varied departments in the simulation. Listen to the discussions around mandated assessment, how counseling works with conduct, and how the BIT chair keeps the team focused and on task.

To view the 10-minute sample preview and for more information about ordering A Window Into BIT for $299.99, please click here.


Maintain Certification with the Continuing Certification Credit (CCC) Program

Has your BIT been certified by NaBITA? Are you considering obtaining these certifications? Do you benefit from ongoing professional development from The NCHERM Group? If so, the CCC program is for you. The NCHERM Group heard your requests to update and renew your certifications online, and is proud to offer an online professional development platform called the Continuing Certification Credit (CCC) program.

Who can earn CCCs? Our CCC program allows clients of The NCHERM Group, including those certified by NaBITA, to track, maintain and extend their professional development through our programs. CCCs are a cost-effective way to stay current and maintain your certification from the nation’s leader in higher education risk management.

Learn about our program here.

NCHERM Group Online TrainingsNCHERM Group Online Trainings

The NCHERM Group Online Trainings is an endeavor to provide quality, distance learning education and discussion opportunities to colleges and universities across the country and around the world.

Bringing experts from numerous fields, The NCHERM Group and its affiliated associations, SCOPE, ATIXA and NaBITA, will bring you quality programs that address the most pressing needs in threat assessment, prevention education, sexual assault prevention, higher education legal issues, administrative best practices and risk management.

Upcoming NCHERM Group Online Trainings Sponsored by NaBITA


Fall 2013, Spring, Summer and Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 Online Training Recordings Available for Purchase here

Looking for more topics? Click here for a list of upcoming Webinar Collaborations presented by The NCHERM Group experts, sponsored by Innovative Educators.

Resources Available for Purchase

Mental Health Cover_final Oct 2013book on BITA Faculty Guide to Addressing Disruptive and Dangerous BehaviorVanBruntHarmOtherscvr jpgEnding Campus Violence Book Cover

Links to Relevant Articles

Minnesota Native Recalls the Harrowing Events of Being Caught Up in the Recent Delta State Shooting


Teenager: 'Columbing' Video That Led to Campus Evacuation Was Joke


Iowa State Has Plan In Place to Prevent Shootings On University Property

Job Board

NaBITA has created a Job Board page on our website for you to share any BIT-related job openings on your campus. You can find this resource at Please email any position announcements to

Membership Renewal Reminder

If your NaBITA membership expires in August, September or October, now is the time to renew.  Renew your NaBITA campus membership or join for the very first time for as low as $639! Please download our membership renewal form here, or click here to renew online. 

Visit NaBITA!


NaBITA will be exhibiting at the 2015 ACCA Annual Conference in Louisville, KY, October 2-4, 2015. Come visit us!


For more information on NaBITA, visit or contact:

Amanda Tarczynski

1109 Lancaster Avenue  *new*
Berwyn, PA 19312
Phone: 484-321-3651
Fax: 610-993-0228