CAS Releases the Cross-Functional Framework for Identifying and Responding to Behavioral Concerns

The new Cross-Functional Framework for Identifying and Responding to Behavioral Concerns, produced by the Council for the Advancement of Standards for Higher Education (CAS), is essential to the work of people involved with behavioral intervention and threat assessment teams at institutions of higher education.

The Framework is designed to guide development, review, and quality improvement of behavioral intervention and threat assessment teams. Teams are defined as multidisciplinary or cross-functional with responsibility for supporting campus populations experiencing distress and/or those who may be at risk for targeted violence. The Framework focuses on evidence-based practices and protocols to aid in consistent and objective assessments and interventions to support the safety, health, and success of individuals and the broader campus community. Because each institution of higher education approaches this work differently in accordance with their culture, structure, environment, and available resources, the Framework focuses on process elements rather than restrictive approaches.

Institutions can look to CAS's Cross-Functional Framework for Identifying and Responding to Behavioral Concerns as a trusted resource for standards, guidelines, and best practice developed by experts and promoted by a reliable organization that, itself, is based on principles of cross-functional collaboration. Drawing on CAS's 40 years promoting standards in student affairs, student services, and student development programs, the Framework builds on principles, elements, and structures of CAS traditional functional area standards while being tailored to cross-functional teams.

The Framework was written by a committee whose membership includes Katherine Snyder, Catherine Cocks, and Rachel Boldman, with support from numerous experts and professional associations in the field. Snyder, who also serves on the CAS Council of Representatives on behalf of the Higher Education Case Managers Association (HECMA), expressed her hope that the Framework will “help promote the quality and improvement of cross-functional teams responsible for identifying and responding to behavioral concerns at institutions of higher education, and offer another resource for professionals striving to build the capacity to work efficiently and effectively in this area.”

The new Cross-Functional Framework for Identifying and Responding to Behavioral Concerns is available for purchase at the CAS store:

In addition to the Framework, CAS will be producing a Self-Assessment Guide that offers guidance for assessment of impact and outcomes of the cross-functional team as part of a self-study. The SAG provides a list of suggested evidence and documentation, rating scales, and summary questions.


The CAS Cross-Functional Framework for Identifying and Responding to Behavioral Concerns was developed with additional support from CAS member associations ASCA, ACCA, ACUHO-I, IACLEA, NASPA, and ACPA. Other experts who contributed to the development of this Framework include:

Peter Lake, Professor of Law, Charles A. Dana Chair and Director of the Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy at Stetson University College of Law
Dr. Robert Fein, retired Secret Service, former member of the Director of National Intelligence's Intelligence Science Board, current member of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence's Advanced Technology Board
Barbara O'Connor, former Chief of Police at the University of Connecticut
Laura Bennett, Title IX Coordinator at Nova Southeastern, and founder of the threat assessment team at Harper College
Raime Thibodeaux, Director of Student Health and Development at McNeese State University
Sompa Adhya-Taylor, Director of Counseling Services at Johnson and Wales University, Miami Campus
Denise Davidson, Higher Education faculty member, Bloomsburg State University
JJ Larson, Associate Director, Student Services for Health and Wellbeing, Richland College
Therese Smith, Director, Community of Concern program, University of Kentucky
Amy Powell, Associate Dean of Students and Director, DukeReach, Duke University
Chris Silva, Behavioral Intervention Team Coordinator, University of California Los Angeles