Faculty and Staff - Crisis Guide | Northcentral Technical College

Faculty and Staff - Crisis Guide

Faculty/Staff Guide

Students in Distress

The Behavior Intervention Team (BIT) has developed this informational guide as a means to assist faculty, staff, and the College community when dealing with troubled students.
If you are dealing with students in difficulty:
  • Be aware of location of nearest telephone, whether it is within the building, or a personal cell phone.
  • If the student is a threat to others, contact 911 immediately.
  • If the student is causing classroom disruption, but is not a threat to others, discuss with the student individually, AND report to the Behavior Intervention Team (BIT) using the Maxient Form located on the home page of the NTC Intranet.
  • You may always ask the disruptive student to leave the classroom.

If in doubt, call Campus Security: ext. 1111

Students with Disruptive Behavior

The Student Code of Conduct outlines expectations regarding students’ behavior.
For a complete version, visit: ntc.edu/current-students/guidelines-procedures

Disruptive Behavior is that which may disrupt the educational process.

  • Yelling or being excessively loud
  • Using vulgar or profane language
  • Violation of computer use policy
  • Distracting other students
  • Excessive hygiene concerns
  • Under the influence of substances
  • Refusing to leave or cooperate
  • Unauthorized, misuse, or distruction of property
May also include:
  • Not complying with instructions
  • Escalating low-level behaviors

Threatening or Concerning Behaviors

The following are examples of more threatening or concerning behavior, which you should call to the attention of Security at ext. 1111. For immediate concerns please dial 911.  It includes, but is not limited to, behavior that is:
  • Threatening or causes physical harm, severe verbal abuse, or other conduct, which threatens or endangers the health or safety of another person.
  • Intimidation (implied threats) or coercion
  • Physical abuse or threat of physical abuse to any person
  • Discriminatory harassment (Merely offensive or annoying behavior may feel like harassment, but to rise to the level of a Code violation, harassment must have the potential to cause a deprivation of the civil rights of a member of a protected class.)

The First Contact


If you see or are dealing with aggressive behavior or other unusual situations, contact Security at ext. 1111 or for immediate concerns, please dial 911.  

Disciplinary Issues

If you have observed behavior that is in violation of the Student Code of Conduct, or is disruptive to the learning environment, discuss with the student individually, AND report to the Behavior Intervention Team (BIT) using the Maxient Form located on the home page of the NTC Intranet.

Emotional Behavior

If you see, or are dealing with a student who needs to talk to someone about a personal concern or is experiencing a psychological or emotional crisis, contact NTC’s advising and counseling reception desk at 715-803-1797 to determine if the counselor is immediately available or to make an appointment. 


If you are dealing with a person with a disability, refer them to Disability Services at 715.803.1469 or DS@ntc.edu.

Early Alert System

Students who are having difficulty with absences, low performance in class, lack of participation, unusual behavior should be referred to their Academic Advisor using the Electronic Referral form located under Forms on the NTC Intranet, or from the employee My>NTC home page.

FAQ On Dealing With Students in Distress

Q. What are some signs that a student may be in distress?
A student in distress may not be disruptive to others, but may exhibit behaviors which indicate something is wrong, show signs of emotional distress and indicate that assistance is needed. They may also be reluctant or unable to acknowledge a need for personal help.
Behavior may include:
  • Serious grade problems or a change from consistently poor performance.
  • Excessive absences, especially if the student has previously demonstrated consistent attendance.
  • Unusual or markedly changed patterns of interaction, i.e., avoidance of participation, excessive anxiety when called upon, domination of discussions, etc.
  • Other characteristics that suggest the student is having trouble managing stress successfully e.g., a depressed, lethargic mood; very rapid speech; swollen, red eyes; marked change in personal dress and hygiene; falling asleep during class.
  • Repeated requests for special consideration, such as deadline extensions, especially if the student appears uncomfortable or highly emotional while disclosing the circumstances prompting the request.
  • New or repeated behavior which pushes the limits of decorum and which interferes with effective management of the immediate environment.
  • Unusual or exaggerated emotional responses which are obviously inappropriate to the situation.
Q. How should I respond to a disruptive student?
  • Remain calm and know who to call for help, if necessary. Find someone to stay with the student while calls to the appropriate resources are made. See referral numbers in this handout.
  • Remember that it is NOT your responsibility to provide the professional help needed for a severely troubled/disruptive student. You need only to make the necessary call and request assistance.
  • When a student expresses a direct threat to themselves or others, or acts in a bizarre, highly irrational or disruptive way, call 911 immediately.
Q. How should I respond to a student that is trouble or showing signs of distress?
For students that are mildly troubled you can choose to handle them in the following ways:
  • Deal directly with the behavior/problem according to classroom protocol.
  • Address the situation on a more personal level.
  • Consult with the Director of Student Development or the student’s academic advisor.
  • Refer the student to one of the College resources. Click here for the Keys to Success Resource handout.
Q. How should I respond when a student is disrupting my class?
Faculty members have broad authority to manage their classrooms and establish reasonable guidelines for class discussions that ensure everyone has an opportunity to discussions that ensure everyone has an opportunity to participate in an orderly manner. If you believe a student’s behavior is inappropriate, consider a general word of caution rather than singling a student out or embarrassing the student. “If the behavior in question is irritating, but not disruptive, try speaking with the student after class. Most students are unaware of distracting habits or mannerisms, and have no intent to be offensive or disruptive. There may be rare circumstances where it is necessary to speak to a student during class about his or her behavior. Correct the student in a manner, indicating that further discussion can occur after class.”
(Pavela, 2001, 5).
If a student’s behavior reaches the point that it interferes with your ability to conduct the class or the ability of other students to benefit from the class, the student should be asked to leave the room for the remainder of the class period. The student should be provided with a reason for this action and an opportunity to discuss the matter with you as soon as is practical.  It is important to identify to the student the disruptive behaviors that were observed and to clarify the expectations of the student in the classroom.  In such situations, consultation and referral to the Program Dean may be appropriate. 
This item adapted from ASJA Law & Policy Report, No. 26, ASJA & Gary Pavela, 2001.
Q. What are warning signs of disruptive student behavior?
Severely troubled or disruptive students exhibit behaviors that signify an obvious crisis and that necessitate emergency care. These problems are the easier to identify. Examples include:
  • Highly disruptive behavior (e.g. hostility, aggression, violence, etc.).
  • Inability to communicate clearly (garbled, slurred speech; unconnected, disjointed, or rambling thoughts).
  • Loss of contact with reality (seeing or hearing things which others cannot see or hear; beliefs or actions greatly at odds with reality or probability).
  • Stalking behaviors.
  • Inappropriate communications (including threatening letters, e-mail messages, harassment).
  • Overtly suicidal thoughts (including referring to suicide as a current option or in a written assignment).
  • Threats to harm others.
Q. How to make a referral:
While many students seek out campus resources on their own, your exposure to students increases the likelihood you will identify signs or behaviors of distress in a student. What can you do?
  • Refer students using the electronic referral form located under Forms on the NTC Intranet or on the my>ntc employee home page. 
  • Determine the student’s willingness to go to a helping resource. Reassure the student that it is an act of strength to ask for help.
  • Dispute the myth that only “weak or crazy” people go for counseling or use others for help.
  • Remind them that campus counseling resources are free and confidential services.
  • Offer to help make the initial contact with the helping resource.


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