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Academic Alert Initiative UMass Amherst STudent Success

PROVIDING EARLY FEEDBACK AND RESOURCE CONNECTION TO SUPPORT COURSE PERSISTENCE.

The UMass Amherst Academic Alert Initiative partners with instructors and advisors to connect undergraduate students with the resources needed to meet the rigors of college-level academic work and expectations. Through a coordinated referral network, students are guided toward resources that support mastery of course content and academic skill development.

Goals

Connect undergraduate students experiencing academic difficulty with the resources needed to meet the rigors of college level academic work and expectations through a partnership with instructors and advisors.

Be a resource to instructors wanting to connect students in their courses with resources on campus.

Track and monitor students with early academic warning indicators to inform larger campus-wide student success needs and initiatives.

Why Early Academic Alert?

Early feedback makes a difference!

Since our program started in Fall 2018, we've had over 200 instructors participate each year. Referrals with early feedback submitted by instructors assist over 1000 students per semester (on average) connect with academic support and resources.

The Referral. Instructors are asked to provide feedback through online student success technology, Navigate, regarding student progress in the course. Observed classroom behavior identifying academic concern for the student’s ability to persist in the course, such as course absences, low assignment or test grades, lack of participation, overall course performance, etc. is requested through the academic alert initiative. By issuing concerns based on observed behaviors, faculty/instructors are not asked to determine the student’s need, but rather to share their experience and observations.(Students are able to view referrals so that the feedback provided can be used to inform their next steps.)

The Alert. Students with concerning progress reports are contacted by their college’s academic dean's office. The goals of this communication are to let the student know we are concerned about their progress in the course and to provide suggestions for next steps. Students are encouraged to reach out to their instructors to discuss their progress.

The Support. The information provided in the referral is reviewed by advisors and staff prior to an intentional conversation with the student where they discuss the student's performance in the course and provide connections to resources and strategies. Working with an advisor, students co-design an action plan for their success in the course. (Students are able to view referrals so that the feedback provided can be used to inform their next steps.)

Referrals - A Two Part Approach

The Academic Alert Initiative reaches out to instructors at key points in the semester with referral reminders and requests.

  1. Anytime Referrals - Instructors can refer any undergraduate students in any undergraduate course at anytime during the academic semester.
  2. Population Specific Referrals - Instructors will be sent a list of students with a request course progress updates on the specific students listed.

Breaking Down the 'Alert'

After an alert is submitted through Navigate, the information is available for review by the student and academic alert partner advisors.

Within 24 business hours after the alert is submitted, the student receives the 'alert' email from their home academic college. The message invites the student to take action to support their course progress and provides some suggestions.

Example Alert Email

The UMass Academic Alert Initiative is a collaborative effort amongst - instructors, staff, advisors, the academic colleges and academic support services. As we often say in Student Success, supporting the success of our students is everyone's business and the Academic Alert Initiative is a perfect example of many areas of campus working together to support students.

Thank you for all that you do to support the success of our UMass Amherst students.

Ready to get started?

Learn more and find directions for submitting referrals online.

https://www.umass.edu/studentsuccess/academicalert

Thank you for partnering with us to support the success of our students!

academicalert@umass.edu

Credits:

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