4.2 Mandated Assessments and Mental Health Concern
The College of Western Idaho is concerned for every student on our campus and for our entire campus community. In an effort to more effectively serve our students and our community, a number of procedures have been put in place to help reach students who may be in need of support but who are unwilling or unable to take advantage of these services.
A. What is a Mandated Assessment?
A mandated assessment is an opportunity for the College to determine if a student is in need of help or support. The assessment involves an individual meeting with a designated staff member. Following this initial meeting, additional services may be deemed necessary by the designated staff member. These services could include, but are not limited to, referral to Crisis Management for additional evaluation, or referral to an outside agent for additional assessment.
B. How Does a Student get referred for a Mandated Assessment?
Any College employee or student may recommend a student for possible mandated evaluation. Reports also may come from parents/family or others concerned about a student. Once the College determines that a mandated assessment is necessary, the process is set into motion.
C. Who Makes the Decision that a Student be provided a Mandated Assessment?
The decision is made by a team of college officials after careful consideration of the information given and determining the best course of action.
D. What Behaviors Typically Lead to a Mandated Assessment?
Behaviors that may lead to a mandated assessment include, but are not limited to:
Threat to others
Concern that the student may not be fit to function in or remain in the academic community.
E. Is the assessment confidential?
Yes, the session with the counselor is confidential. However, the student will be required to sign a release of information so that the counselor can communicate with College personnel to help make recommendations for further action. No one else will have access to any information without written permission from the student being assessed. While the initial referral to assessment is part of the student’s file kept with the Dean of Students, any counseling notes are confidential and not part of the student’s file.
F. What happens once the student is referred for assessment?
Once the team has determined that a mandated assessment is needed, the student will be contacted by a representative regarding an appointment with the staff member. This will take place as soon as possible.
G. Can the assessment be done by someone other than the Counseling Services staff?
Yes, a student may choose to have a similar assessment completed by a licensed mental health professional with credentials comparable to those of the Counseling Services staff. The student will be responsible for the cost of this assessment and must sign a release allowing the College to communicate with the professional conducting the assessment.
H. What happens following the assessment?
The results of the assessment are provided to the Dean of Students, who will make the decision as to what actions are necessary for the student’s well-being and the College community. Possible outcomes following the assessment could include, but are not limited to, no further action required (student continues enrollment at the College), referral to the Counseling Services staff for additional evaluation, referral to outside agency for additional assessment, possible judicial intervention, or the invocation of the Involuntary Withdrawal Policy.
I. Does the student have the right to appeal the decision?
Yes, a student may appeal the final decision to the Dean of Students. The appeal will follow the same guidelines outlined in the Involuntary Withdrawal Policy.
J. What if the student refuses to comply with the mandated assessment?
If a student refuses to participate in the mandated assessment, the College may begin the process of invoking the Involuntary Withdrawal Policy.
A mandated assessment will only be one part of the overall picture of the student and will not be the sole determining factor for action taken regarding the student.