Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) in the College and University Setting

Requesting This Course:

Course Description:

Institutions of higher education are often confronted with critical incidents and traumatic events (student deaths, violence, natural disasters, campus scandals, etc.) that impact their communities.  Further, best practice standards in the industry of higher education expect that college and universities establish plans to effectively respond to critical incidents, such as student suicide (HEMHA, 2014), as well as active shooter situations or natural disasters (US DOE et al., 2013).   The CISM model provides guidelines for systems-level (e.g., strategic planning), large and small group, and individual interventions intended to mitigate the impact of the traumatic event on the well-being of community members and to facilitate referrals for further mental health counseling when warranted.  The current training will provide an overview of CISM with considerations relevant to applications in college and university settings and will include an opportunity for guided practice in strategic planning through real-world examples of critical incidents that may occur on a college campus.  

 This three-hour introductory course is intended for higher education administrators who are involved in the strategic response to critical incidents (President, VP of Student Affairs, Provost, Directors of Communication, Campus Safety, Student Engagement, Student Counseling, Student Health, Residential Life, etc.), as well as campus staff and/or student leaders who may pursue GRIN training to effectively provide individual and group interventions following critical incidents.


Course Highlights:

  • Rationale for and applicability of CISM protocols, particularly as related to understanding the range of critical incidents on college campuses, the impact of trauma on learning, and institutional identity as trauma-informed systems.
  • Crisis management needs and considerations relevant to higher education settings.
  • Crisis management guidelines for systems-level, large and small group, and individual interventions in higher education settings with introduction to best practice guidelines and considerations for campus-wide communications and briefings.
  • Appropriate campus and community resources and partners as needed for ongoing care.

Continuing Education Information:

Profession Specific Contact Hours:

  • 3 PDHs from EAPA– Employee Assistance Professionals Association (Expiration Date – May 31, 2023)
  • 3 CEs NAADAC- This course has been approved by International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF), as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider # 87914, International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF), is responsible for all aspects of the programing (Expiration Date – Feb 28, 2025)