Community colleges are examining their safety programs as they see more mental illness in their student populations, an issue highlighted by the Arizona-shooting suspect, whose behavior on campus had alarmed school officials, the Wall Street Journal reports. The scrutiny comes as enrollment grows and state funding shrinks for these colleges, which serve tens of thousands of students, who may take just a class or two and almost never live on campus.
“We feel the need to pay more attention to this subject than before,” said Rolando Montoya, provost at Miami Dade College, which hired a consultant to help formalize the procedures it uses to identify and deal with troubled students. Schools that don't have “threat assessment” programs are seeking consultants to develop plans, said Brett Sokolow of the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management. “They all want to know how quickly you can set this up,” he said.