In the upcoming weeks, students struggling academically may find themselves with an email offering support and solutions to their academic needs.
Five years ago, UVU received a Title III grant to fund programs helping retention rates in universities.
The Early Alert program, headed by Marcy Glassford, program director for Student Success and Retention,
is a “best practice across the country” which connects students with faculty.
Mid-semester, the Student Success and Retention Center asks faculty to fill out a survey to find out if students are attending and if they aren’t doing well.
The survey generates an email which is then sent out to the students it applies to. The email contains the professor’s and their advisers contact information, along with the contact information for the Student Success and Retention Center.
After the email is sent, the Center’s retention mentors follow up with a phone call to the students to see if they have received the email and inform them of all the resources available to them.
Retention mentors are trained and are experts on the services available at UVU. They help students withdraw before the withdraw deadline and inform them of how withdrawing from a class will affect their financial aid, if they are receiving it. They also get them in touch with tutoring services on campus.
“This program lets students know early to give them a chance to improve their academic success,” Glassford said.
The emails are sent during the third week of classes. Knowing by the third week of the semester, gives them enough time to catch up.
Students are put on early alert if they have less than 30 credits, and any student taking a class with a high failure rate, such as Math or Biology, are also on Early Alert.
Early Alert is also available for block classes, and the emails for students struggling in first block classes have already been sent.
Though faculty has not been as responsive to this program, the Center hopes that they will begin to take advantage of this resource.
“They are very important when it comes to student success,” Glassford said.
If a faculty member is interested in including their class in the program, they should contact the Center sooner rather than later so that they have enough notice to still send out the emails during the third week of school.
Glassford says that students that have been contacted in the past have been very appreciative of the program.
“I hope they don’t see it as a bad thing,” Glassford said. “It’s there to provide support and is proactive in reaching out to them.”
A part of Early Alert is a program called Stop Light. This is a report created for advisors to help keep tabs on students that may be more susceptible to academic struggles.
A student is given a color based on the number of alerts they fall under. For five alerts, a student is given red; the highest risk level. With two to four alerts, a student is assigned yellow. Green is given to students with only one alert, and students, which do not fall under any of the alerts, are not assigned anything.
Though the program is fairly new, the Center hopes that it will be advantageous to both students and advisors.
“We want advisers to take the report and use it to give students some personalized advising,” Glassford said.