The College has developed a team to assist with holistic support for our students.

The College’s Crisis, Assessment, Response and Education (CARE) Team is a group that meets regularly to evaluate the behaviors of Sussex County Community College students. Students referred to the CARE Team are expressing behavior that causes community members to be concerned. The CARE Team collects information about referred students and identifies and enacts appropriate strategies and responses for addressing the situation with the goal of supporting the student.

In addition to supporting students through holistic intervention plans, the Team will offer training and professional development activities on campus.

If you believe the situation warrants such action, call 9-1-1 first and notify security at 973-300-2222.

CARE Team Members:

  • Todd Poltersdorf (Chair), Associate Dean of Students
  • Keith Festa, Head of Security and Transportation
  • Jamie Borger, Director of Student Success
  • Jason Fruge, Dean of Technical Occupations
  • Vicky Hoskin, Director of Continuing Education
  • Pam Cavanagh, Student Accessibility Coordinator

Processing an Incident:

When the CARE Team first learns of a new report of a threat or aberrant or concerning behavior from Security or another Department, the team (or one member of the team) will collect initial intake information about the behavior, the concerning person (i.e., the person who engaged in the threatening behavior; the person to be assessed), and other information that is readily available.

Meet with the student and screen for immanency (of the threat or concerning behavior).

  • Immediate Threat: Contact Security
  • Imminent Threat: Contact Security
  • Potential Future Threat: Move to Step 3

Gather and coordinate documentation regarding the person(s) displaying the concerning behavior and situation from various sources These sources include, but are not limited to, teachers, coaches, parents, and peers. The objective of gathering this information is to provide a holistic view of the situation. It is critical to ensure efficiency and timeliness throughout this process.

After ensuring there is a holistic view of the situation, the CARE Team will:

  • Develop an intervention plan designed to support the well-being of the student and/or the filer.
    • This intervention plan may include internal or external resources.
      • Bridgeway Behavioral Health Services,
      • Sussex County Mental Health Hub,
      • Student Success Center,
      • Family Promise,
      • Etc.

Meet with the student(s) to discuss the concerning behavior and the proposed holistic intervention plan.

  • Connect them with the resources the CARE Team is recommending (ensure a good connection)
    • Contact information
    • Face-to-Face meeting
    • Virtual meeting
  • Monitor, re-evaluate, and modify plan as needed to ensure that the identified intervention(s) is effective, and the individual of concern no longer poses a threat of violence or self-harm.
  • Re-assessing the person of concern, going through the assessment questions again.
  • If there are still concerns, team will continue to monitor, adjust plan, and re-assess as needed until there is no longer a concern of harm to self and/or others, and the individual is on a better path.
  • When the team’s assessment is that the concerning person no longer poses a threat of violence or self-harm, the team can close the case or place it on inactive status.
  • The threat assessment team should be sure to document the case, including scheduling any future dates to check-in or follow-up, as needed.
  • The documentation should be stored in a confidential file, with only authorized personnel having access

Aberrant Behavior: Atypical for the person or situation and causes concern for the safety or well-being of those involved. Aberrant behavior for an individual involves actions, statements, communications, or responses that are unusual for the person or situation; or actions which could lead to violence toward self or others; or are reasonably perceived as threatening or causing concern for the well-being of the person.

Concerning Behavior: An observable behavior that elicits concerns in bystanders regarding the safety of an individual or those around them. Behaviors that may elicit concern can include unusual interests in violent topics, conflicts between classmates, increased anger, increased substance use, or other noteworthy changes in behavior (e.g., depression or withdrawal from social activities). Some concerning behaviors may be defined as prohibited behaviors and should trigger an immediate response. Prohibited behaviors can include threats, weapons violations, and other aggressive or violent behavior.

Concerning Communication: Unusual, bizarre, threatening, or violent communication made by an individual or a group that elicit concerns for the safety or wellbeing of the individual or others. Concerning communication may allude to violent intentions, violence as a means to solve a problem, justifying violent acts, unusual interest in weapons, personal grievances, or other inappropriate interests. Concerning communications may also allude to hopelessness or suicide. Concerning communications may be made in the form of written or oral statements, gestures, or visual/electronic media. Communications may be considered concerning regardless of whether a direct verbal threat is expressed.

Multidisciplinary Threat: Assessment Team A team composed of highly trained school personnel with diverse positions, backgrounds, and experience. The team will receive reports about concerning person and situations, gather additional information, assess the risk posed to the community, and develop intervention and management strategies to mitigate any risk of harm.

Targeted Violence: A premeditated act of violence directed at a specific individual, group, or location, regardless of motivation, and generally unrelated to other criminal activity.

Holistic Wellness Model

  • Student Success Center: (973) 300-2207 Email:
  • Mental Health First Aid Training
  • Prevention Workshops
  • The Nutrition Center
  • Writing Center
  • Degree UP
  • Tutoring Center
  • Library resources
  • Student Success Center

  • Center for Prevention and Counseling: (973) 383-4787
  • Peer Mentors: Campus Life
  • Sussex County Recovery Community Center: (973) 940-2966

Wellness Apps:

  • U-Will
  • Headspace
  • Happify
  • Mediatopia

Topics may include:

  • Stress Management
  • Art Therapy
  • How to help a friend
  • Student Engagement
  • SCCC Personal Counseling, One-on-one Consultation
  • Student Success Center: (973) 300-2207

Topics may include:

  • Anxiety Management
  • Social Skills
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Self-Harm Prevention
  • Bridgeway Behavioral Health Services :(973) 383-8670 Email:
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988
  • Crises Text Line: Text “Home” to 741-741
  • Telahealth: U-Will

Brief Screening for proper referral of care

  • Crisis Intervention: Wellness Hub/Psychiatric Emergency Service and Screening Center
    (973) 840-1850
  • Atlantic Health Emergency Hotline: (973) 383-0973