When is a Counselor not a Counselor: Resolving Confidentiality Issues for College Counselors, Faculty, and Administrators

A NASPA & ASCA Webinar:

Date: Friday, October 1, 2010
Time: 12:30 am – 2:00 pm CST
Location: Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum (view map)
RSVP: Please RSVP prior to September 30, 2010 to Troy Behrens at tbehrens@smu.edu

Webinar Overview

In today’s college environment, the term “counselor” and “counseling” have taken on many meanings. Academic, Career, Personal, Disability Services and Mental Health treatment are just a few of the roles and areas that muddy the water in dealing with students’ information. Add to that the mandated or encouraged reporting to Behavioral Intervention Teams, Threat Assessment Teams, and Student Conduct Offices, and the potential for an ethical, moral and legal mess increase for those who serve students (and sometimes faculty and staff) in grey areas regarding confidentiality, privilege and privacy. This webinar will help these professionals answer the questions that arise when FERPA, HIPAA, licensure requirements and potential personal, professional, and institutional liability seem to be in conflict.

After participating in this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • better understand how FERPA, HIPAA, and privilege intersect on their campus;
  • identify who are the counselors on their campus and what level of privilege applies to each;
  • examine and refine job descriptions, procedures and protocols to accomplish institutional goals and missions while complying with the laws regarding confidentiality; and
  • improve communication between staff and Behavioral Intervention Teams/Threat Assessment Teams on campus, as well as other campus partners.

Featured Speaker:

W. Scott Lewis, JD
President, Association for Student Conduct Administration (ASCA)
Partner, National Center for Higher Education Risk Management
General Counsel, Saint Mary’s College

Posted in FERPA | Comments Off on When is a Counselor not a Counselor: Resolving Confidentiality Issues for College Counselors, Faculty, and Administrators

A Life in Leadership: A Conversation with Warren Bennis

Brought to you by Leadership and Community Involvement.

Date: Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Time: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm CST
Location: Hughes-Trigg Student Center Atrium C&D (view map)
RSVP: Please confirm your attendance prior to August 24, 2010 to Carol Clyde at cclyde@smu.edu

About the Webinar

Warren Bennis, a giant in the leadership field, has written his definitive autobiography; his last word on a career in leadership spanning more than fifty years. This memoir: entitled Still Surprised: A Memoir of a Life in Leadership (written with Patricia Ward Biederman, Jossey-Bass/Wiley) – provides insight into the compelling life that has paralleled the rapidly changing times in America over the last century.

A renaissance man in the then-nascent field, Bennis’ unparalleled perspective on leadership has been informed by successful careers as both scholar and practitioner and by key, formative experiences both at home and abroad. His tenure at MIT exposed him to a bevy of notable, forward thinking scholars, which prepared him well for his experience teaching abroad at IMEDE in Switzerland, one of Europe’s pioneers in executive education. Still “hungry to…lead with the passion and skills of a change agent,” Bennis then served as acting executive vice president at the State University of NY at Buffalo before becoming president of the University of Cincinnati in 1971. In his youth, Bennis served as a 19-year-old second lieutenant in Germany during the final days of World War II and participated in the early days of T-group sessions and befriended social psychologists Abraham Maslow and Erik Erikson.

Together, these experiences made the man who predicted the huge shift from hierarchical, top-down leadership to today’s more team-oriented approach and who helped move the field of leadership from obscurity in theory to a topic discussed daily by individuals in all professions and regions of the world.

In the last three decades, Bennis has continued to spearhead the evolution of good leadership practice through his work at USC (including founding The Leadership Institute), his consultation with CEOs of major companies (like Howard Schultz at Starbucks) and political figures (including former US Vice President Al Gore), and his numerous books and groundbreaking essays in major publications.

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Aligning Values with Resources & Assessment Results

Date: Thursday, August 19, 2010
Time: 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm CST
Location: Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum (view map)
RSVP: Please confirm your attendance prior to August 18, 2010 to Troy Behrens at tbehrens@smu.edu

Featured Higher Education Presenter:
Marilee J. Bresciani, Ph.D.

The pressure has never been greater to make the right decisions. As you consider allocating your resources, and as you review your outcomes-based assessments, you have to ask yourself: What does my organization value most?

Unfortunately, most administrators don’t understand how to make decisions based on their school’s true values. They have neither a firm understanding of the organization’s values, nor do they understand the methodology for making decisions in the context of those values.
In this online audio seminar, you can learn how to develop a “values-based framework” to make these key decisions. Led by your instructor, Dr. Marilee J. Bresciani, this seminar will help you in several critical areas:

  • Identifying and prioritizing values to make decisions.
  • Allocating resources within the context of quality and values.
  • Integrating outcomes-based assessments based on your overall values.
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Achieving Success One Conversation at a Time

Date: Monday, August 2, 2010
Time: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm CST
Location: Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum (view map)
RSVP: Please confirm your attendance prior to July 30, 2010 to Troy Behrens at tbehrens@smu.edu

A Fierce Conversation is one in which we come out from behind ourselves, into the conversation, and make it real. Success increasingly hinges on engaging colleagues, customers, friends, and family in conversations that interrogate reality, provoke learning, tackle tough challenges, tap our deepest aspirations, and enrich relationships.

In this Soundview Live webinar, Susan Scott will show you how to transform the conversations central to your success with principles, examples, tools, stories, and exercises.

  • How to create positive organizational change.
  • How to achieve greater effectiveness in everyday interactions.
  • How to discover a renewed sense of purpose.
  • A new way of relating to people at work, home and in every area of your life.
Posted in Student Success | Comments Off on Achieving Success One Conversation at a Time

First Generation Students: Programs, Resources & Support

Date: Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Time: 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm CST
Location: Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum (view map)
RSVP: Please confirm your attendance on or before June 8th to Troy Behrens at tbehrens@smu.edu

Who are today’s First Generation Students and how can colleges better understand the challenges these students face on campus?

  • Roughly 30% of entering first-year’s in the USA are first-generation college students.
  • 24% – 4.5 million – are both first-gens and low income.
  • Nationally, 89% of low-income first-gens leave college within six years without a degree.
  • More than a quarter leave after their first year — four times the dropout rate of higher-income second-generation students.” Source: USA Today 3/29/10 

More and more students, whose parents didn’t attain a college degree, are going to college and the college community has an opportunity to help each first generation student realize their fullest potential and walk across that graduation stage. However, it takes special attention.

Posted in Student Success | Comments Off on First Generation Students: Programs, Resources & Support

Deconstructing Campus Climate: The Negative Impact of Bias Related Acts and Hate Crimes

(Sponsored by Residence Life & Student Housing)

Date: Thursday, May 27, 2010
Time: 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm CST
Location: Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum (view map)

Dr. Alvin Sturdivant, Director of Housing and Residence Life, Saint Louis University
Deborah Schmidt-Rogers, Director of Residential Education, DePaul University

On October 28, 2009, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HCPA) was signed into law, yet ignorance, insensitivity and narrow-mindedness remain on parade and threaten the very nature of healthy institutional climate. In 2008, The FBI reported a record 7,783 bias motivated incidents, the highest total since 2001; with the largest number of crimes and incidents directed at Blacks, Jews, gay men and lesbians. In more recent history, many campuses have been threatened by racially themed parties, blatant use of racial and other biased epithets, findings of swastikas, nooses and other symbols of hate. This session aims to address the enormous challenge of creating a safe, healthy and inclusive campus climate while in the midst of managing campus incidences motivated by bias and hate. More specifically, this session will assist participants in coordinating efforts to prevent, deter and respond effectively to bias and hate motivated by bigotry and prejudice.

Webinar Outline

  • Explore the differences between bias incidents, hate crimes and hate speech.
  • Understand and examine the impact of bias related acts and hate crimes on the residential and overall campus experience of students, faculty and staff.
  • Explore structural diversity and campus demographics and its influence on campus incidences of bias and hate.
  • Discuss the implications of mismanaging campus responses to bias incidents and hate crimes.
  • Establish plans of action for preventing, deterring and responding to bias incidents and hate crimes.

Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Establish a common understanding of bias incidents and hate crimes
  2. Understand the cycle of oppression and its relationship to campus bias and hate
  3. Understand the “isms” most commonly experienced on college campuses
  4. Understand the impact of bias related acts and behaviors on campus climate
  5. Understand the psychological and behavioral dimensions of institutional climate
  6. Break down institutional history and organizational culture
  7. Understand the importance of creating a diverse learning environment
  8. Understand how to develop plans of action to combat campus bias and hate
Posted in Violence & Crime Prevention | Comments Off on Deconstructing Campus Climate: The Negative Impact of Bias Related Acts and Hate Crimes

Assessment Practices: Data Driven Decision Making in Higher Ed

Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Time: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CST
Location:Crow Building Room 195 (Cox Business School) (view map)

For many in higher education, the process of "assessment" is understood and practiced. However, learning how to successfully apply that data and make decisions with that data – that final step in the assessment process – can be a challenge. 

In today’s turbulent times, "closing that loop" is more important than ever. Understanding how to use data collected to improve programs; allocate human and financial resources; market services and communicate accomplishments can be a valuable skill in making difficult, but important decisions.

In this webinar, you will learn:

Assessment Data Distribution (Pre-decision Phase)

  • Identifying what data is to key to share
  • Matching key data "owners" with the collected data
  • How to choose what to share and how to share it
  • Group distributions: Can data go too far?

Data in The Decision Making Process

  • Staff performance, metrics and staffing models to design staffing patterns
  • Budget allocations. Program by program assessment with measurable impact.
  • Grants and Fund raising. Analysis of efforts versus revenues achieved.
  • Examining program decisions, development, goals and metrics
  • Short term planning with assessment data in hand
  • Long range plan with assessment data as a guide

Presenting and Sharing Data (Supporting Decisions)

  • Making data accessible
  • The ethics of data driven decisions
  • Successful strategies for presenting data driven decisions
  • Building consensus for "unpopular" decisions
  • The critical element of transparency in the process
Posted in Assessment | Comments Off on Assessment Practices: Data Driven Decision Making in Higher Ed

Involuntary Withdrawals: Prevention, Procedures & Protection

Date: Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Time: 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm CST
Location:Crow Building Room 195 (Cox Business School) (view map)

When, why, and how should you ask a student to leave your institution?
Although many mental health issues are covered by mandated assessment, behavioral contracts and judicial code application, sometimes you need to face the issue of involuntary medical withdrawal to protect students or the community from risk or harm.

When a student puts himself or herself and others, as well as the community at risk, administrators must make the difficult choice to consider and initiate involuntary withdrawal. These special cases must be carefully considered and cautiously pursued.
Join your peers and our expert presenters, Dr. Brian Van Brunt, Director of Counseling and Testing Center at Western Kentucky University (bio available here) and Jason Ebbeling, Director of Residential Education and Services at Southern Oregon University (bio available here) as they discuss the prevention, procedures and protection of involuntary withdrawals. 

In this presentation, you’ll learn:


  • How to identify behaviors and medical problems that place students or the community at risk . . . so you can be proactive.
  • The pros and cons of on-campus vs. off-campus assessment and treatment.
  • Discreet differences between voluntary withdrawal and involuntary medical withdrawal . . . to define your best course of action.


  • How to define and understand threat levels  . . .  so you create proper policies to protect students and the community.
  • The best ways to assess risk.
  • Judicial and behavioral steps you should take prior to enacting involuntary medical withdrawal.
  • Sample policies for involuntary medical withdrawal.
  • Case studies for student situations that should and should not be considered for involuntary medical withdrawal.


  • How to avoid ethical minefields when utilizing this approach to psychological problems.
  • Legal concerns your school should be aware of prior to separating students from campus.
  • The ways HIPAA, FERPA, ADA, and confidentiality rules apply to the process.
Posted in Student Success | Comments Off on Involuntary Withdrawals: Prevention, Procedures & Protection

Records & Reports: Virginia Tech Records & Reports on the NIU Shootings

Date: Thursday, October 8, 2009
Time: 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm CST
Location: Hughes-Trigg Forum
Please RSVP to tbehrens@smu.edu to reserve your seat before October 7th.

The recent release of records in the Cho Seung-Hui shooting at Virginia Tech., along with a report offering details in the Northern Illinois University shooting and the release of a report by the National Campus Safety and Security Project offers campus administrators a unique opportunity.

These reports give campus officials a chance to gain new insights into the events which ended in the country’s deadliest shooting. Additionally the report in the N.I.U. incident offers some clear recommendations in dealing with campus emergencies and how best to respond to these tragedies while working with emergency service personal.

The reports – collectively and individually – offer useful information for campus officials to consider as we begin a new year on campus.

Take the time to learn from these tragic events. Join a unique webinar where two expert panelists will guide you and your team through 10 key lessons that can be drawn from these important reports:

Top 10 Lessons Learned that the presenters will address:

  1. Helping counseling centers understand the importance of what to include in clinical documentation, threat assessment and third party record requests.

  2. Understanding the nature of email communication and how to use to a departments advantage rather than its detriment.

  3. Understanding the details of a pre-psychiatric admission screening in terms of mental status exams, suicide assessment, toxicology, medical summaries and past narrative.

  4. The nature of prevention vs. response in terms of campus violence.

  5. Understanding who is involved in Emergency Preparedness plans and which departmental positions take leadership roles. Campus differences in armed and unarmed police over 4 year public/private and 2 year public schools.

  6. How schools utilize emergency broadcast systems, behavioral assessment teams and how schools communicate with parents, spouses, faculty, staff, and students during and after an emergency.

  7. Discussion of the recommendations from the 342 school report by the National Campus Safety and Security Project Survey. These include: dedicated emergency response leadership, ensuring complete campus coverage in communication, review of access cards and exterior cameras and developing mutual aid agreements.

  8. Review of differences between Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University shooters.

  9. Public Affairs suggestions on how to respond following a campus shooting including: developing a plan, treating media as partners, reach out and accept help, keep key stakeholders informed and having backups for all key positions.

  10. Identifying stakeholders in need of future support in terms of families, students, counseling students, CISD for professional responders and developing long-term support following the tragedy (review of V-tech and NIU offices of support and advocacy)
Posted in Violence & Crime Prevention | Comments Off on Records & Reports: Virginia Tech Records & Reports on the NIU Shootings

Assessment: A Critical Student Affairs Skill

Date: Two Parts: July 15 & 23, 2009
Time: 1-2:30 pm CST (both dates)
Location: Hughes-Trigg Forum (both dates)
Contact: Troy Behrens at tbehrens@smu.edu

Assessment is not a "nice to know skill" – It’s a need to know tool for operating efficient and effective programs in student affairs. In today’s tough economic environment, programs need to show that they are reaching their goals and serving students and the community.

Part 1 – Reinforcing Critical Skill Sets

Designed for those beginning the assessment journey and those who could benefit from an intensive review, this event will focus on the language of assessment and dispel some of the myths that student affairs professionals may encounter as they dig into what assessment is and what it can do for an institution.

An expert panelist, Dr. Emily Langdon will help you explore the role of learning outcomes in assessment and discuss how they are crafted and measured for optimum success. There will be a brief discussion of two current national databases — CIRP and NSEE — and how to incorporate their use into departmental, divisional, or institutional assessment plans. And, finally, you will learn how student affairs professionals can work with other key actors on campus to create a culture of assessment at the institution.

Join us as we address the following questions:

  • What is assessment? Revisit basic vocabulary in the assessment field.
  • Why do assessment? Understand reasons that assessment is important and what keeps many student affairs professionals (and faculty and academic affairs administrators) from doing proper assessment.
  • How does assessment serve student affairs? Identify and understand key ways that assessment will help us do our work more effectively and provide information to decision-makers about programs and services that will help in difficult budget times.
  • What are learning outcomes? Explore how to design and measure learning outcomes.
  • How do I get started? Learn about two existing national datasets and how they can be utilized for campus assessment.
    What do I do with all these data? Discuss how to design your own campus-based data collection strategies and turn data into an effective report.
  • How can I get some help with this? Generate ideas for a team approach to campus-wide assessment, which will help move an institution closer to that ideal culture of assessment we strive to attain.

Part 2 – Reinforcing Critical Skill Sets

This webinar is designed to take program evaluation and assessment to the next level. To help professionals use assessment and program evaluation techniques to better address the key problems addressing student affairs (retention, working with academic missions and cost analysis of programming).

An expert panelist Dr. Brian Van Brunt will address how to create quantifiable learning objectives, assess knowledge retention over time and how to creatively make use of business and program evaluation assessment modeling within student affairs. He will be taking the best principals from graduate assessment classes and will be applying them to practical cases on campus.

This more advanced Assessment webinar will cover the following four areas:

I. Introduction to Advanced Assessment Terms and Techniques:

  • How to use data to answer specific questions
  • The use of pre/post test design to show learning
  • Using and creating quantifiable learning objectives

II. Applying Business/Program Evaluation techniques to Student Life:

  • Consumer Approaches
  • Management Approaches
  • Summative vs. Formative Assessments; Objective vs. Subjective
  • Naturalistic Inquiry vs. Scientific Method

III. Applying Assessment to common Student Affairs Questions:

  • How can I determine if our programming is improving retention?
  • Is Student Affairs working in tandem with academic institutional goals?
  • Calculating the factors in student programming when looking at funding..

IV. A review of third party companies and how they can be used to assist:

  • Survey Monkey
  • Student Voice
  • Eduventures
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