A Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

A Toolkit for Violence Prevention on College Campuses

A Toolkit for Violence Prevention on College Campuses

Other START Researchers: 
Peter Weinberger

Project Details


This project will address how a multiple hazards approach to violence prevention can be developed on university campuses. 

The project will specifically develop a toolkit to pilot on the campus of the University of Maryland, and then make available for deployment on other college/university campuses to mitigate the likelihood of acts of targeted violence. The toolkit would embody a public-health approach to the issue of violence prevention, involving four elements:

  1. A diagnostic tool to help a campus understand: a) how/if students feel safe on campus; b) how/if students understand the nature of threats related to targeted violence or lone-actor terrorism; and c) the extent to which students perceive the presence of hate/intolerance on campus or subscribe to hateful ideologies.
  2. A design-thinking curriculum for use in the classroom to develop organic violence prevention programs for the campus.
  3. An evaluation and assessment guide for the campus to employ over time as they implement those violence prevention programs.
  4. Training resources (such as bystander videos for online discussion to help campuses implement these programs).

The methodology will build on bystander intervention theory, which focuses on education to: 1) notice a concerning event; 2) interpret it as a problem; 3) feel responsible for dealing with it; and 4) have the necessary skills to act.

It will further build on threat assessment models used in educational settings to help: 1) develop a rapid and context-specific analysis of a potential threat posed by an individual; and 2) connect the person of concern to protective resources that will mitigate his/her context-specific issues moving him/her along a pathway into violent action.


Project Period: 
July 2017 to July 2018