Pellissippi State’s Behavioral Intervention Team certifies on two assessment tools

Portrait of female with short gray hair wearing a blue collared shirt.
Mary Bledsoe

Pellissippi State Community College has a new set of tools for evaluating campus threats, thanks to the college’s Behavioral Intervention Team.

Mary Bledsoe, Pellissippi State’s dean of students and BIT chair, and Holly Burkett, campus dean for the Blount County Campus, were certified to use two assessment tools at the recent National Behavioral Intervention Team Association conference. Bledsoe leads the five-member core group that makes up Pellissippi State’s BIT, while Burkett is a consulting member to the team.

The NaBITA Threat Assessment Tool, one of the tools added to BIT’s resources, is a standard aid that a number of colleges and universities are using, says Bledsoe. Known as SIVRA-35, the other tool is the Structured Interview for Violence Risk Assessment. SIVRA-35 (a 35-item inventory) is used, if needed, as a secondary step in conducting a more thorough and research-based violence risk assessment.

Portrait of female with short blond hair and a purple blouse.
Holly Burkett

“The NaBITA Threat Assessment rubric gives a wide focus for generalized risk, mental and behavioral health, and nine levels of aggression,” said Bledsoe, “while the SIVRA-35 enables BIT to fine tune the assessment of behavioral risk and/or threat.”

BIT represents a cross-section of college areas. Resources like the Threat Assessment Tool and the Structured Interview assist the team at Pellissippi State in the complicated and ever-evolving task of ensuring safety in the academic environment.

To learn more about BIT and its role at the college, visit www.pstcc.edu/bit.