Noteworthy News

Training course developed at WCU helps faculty and staff respond to distressed, disruptive and dangerous student behavior

A free, new course titled “Responding to Distressed, Disruptive and Dangerous Student Behavior” is being offered to Western Carolina University faculty and staff online and in workshop settings.

John Ritchie, director of Counseling and Psychological Services, developed the course with assistance from Anna McFadden, Jason Melvin and Chris Baxley of the Coulter Faculty Center in response to questions about how to prevent distressed students from becoming disruptive or violent.

“We wanted to share information to help faculty and staff feel more comfortable and confident in responding to these students,” said Ritchie.

The course includes two modules, each containing a video PowerPoint presentation with text on each of the presented topics.

The first module focuses on enhancing awareness of behavior signs and symptoms; advantages of discipline versus counseling responses or referrals; federal confidentiality guidelines; university student conduct, crisis response and threat assessment policies;  and campus consultation and referral options and resources.

The second module addresses developing skills and taking action through prevention steps; private individual discussion aids; helpful confrontation and limit-setting techniques; responding to dangerous students; student referral follow-up tips; post-intervention steps; and follow-up questions to be addressed by each department.

A 12-question, multiple choice pre-assessment quiz is posted online to help employees decide whether to watch the video PowerPoint.

Faculty and staff can access the online training course through WebCat, which can be accessed via a link at the top right of the WCU Web site. Logging in requires a 92 number and Banner password. WebCat support can be accessed anytime by calling 828-227-7487 and pressing option 1, or between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. by calling 828-227-2930.

A 50-minute group workshop will be offered at 2:30 p.m. Monday, March 1. To register for this workshop or another scheduled workshop, go to the Coulter Faculty Center Web site at and click on the event calendar at the bottom right.

For more information or to schedule a workshop for a specific group, contact Ritchie at 828-227-7469 or

Categories | The Reporter

Photos | WCU News Services

Commencement 2017
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