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Tip of the Week: Implementing the NABITA Standards for BITs (Part VI)

NABITA membership has more than doubled over the last year. To help new members implement the NABITA Standards for Behavioral Intervention Teams (BITs), and to provide continuing members with a refresher, NABITA is launching a Tip of the Week series specifically focused on the BIT Standards. Twenty standards, twenty Tips of the Week (maybe more) aimed specifically at the practical application of the BIT Standards (Note: the twenty Tips may not be published consecutively so that NABITA can bring you timely updates regarding other topics).

Standard 7. Team Mission: Teams have a clear mission statement which identifies the scope of the team, balances the needs of the individual and the community, defines threat assessment as well as early intervention efforts, and is connected to the academic mission.

Whether you are developing a mission statement for a new BIT or considering revising your existing mission statement, it is important to recognize that the team’s mission statement “communicates a commitment to intentional action.”[1] A team’s mission statement should be deliberate, connected to the institution’s strategic plan, and communicate what type of referrals the BIT addresses in order to “guard against becoming the landing place for all reported problems on campus.”[1]  

The mission statement should reflect the balance of BIT’s preventative nature, as well as its ability to respond to threats. If the mission statement only uses words such as “threat” or “risk,” the BIT will likely receive a disproportionate number of elevated referrals. Similarly, if the mission statement only emphasizes supporting individuals who are struggling, the BIT may only receive low-level academic or student success referrals. The mission statement should also be specific enough that it clearly distinguishes the role of the BIT from other groups or services within the institution.

Practical tip – When developing and/or reviewing the BIT mission statement, ensure the following components are present:

  • Scope – For whom will the BIT conduct assessment and intervention (e.g., students, employees, former students, non-credit students)?
  • Safety – The BIT should balance the needs of the individual with the safety of the community.
  • Focus – Articulate the BIT’s focus on both threat assessment and early prevention and intervention.
  • Connection – The BIT’s goals align with the institution’s strategic plan and academic mission.

For more information regarding team mission, click here.

Tim Cason, M.Ed.

Consultant, TNG

 [1] NaBITA. (2015). Who’s on the Team? Mission, Membership, and Motivation [White paper]. Access here.