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About Early Alert 2

The Early Alert system is an outreach program designed for early detection and intervention of students exhibiting signs of academic distress. Early alerts are reported through GradesFirst (a campus-wide coaching/advising and tutoring information system) to allow faculty to report student progress or distress. Reports entered by faculty are monitored by First-Year Studies which collaborates with other academic success departments to determine the best possible success intervention.

For the 2017-2018 academic year, for the fall semester, Early Alert will be launched on Friday, September 15 and closed on Friday, October 27. For the spring semester, Early Alert will be launched on Friday, February 2 and closed on Friday, March 16.


Student success, persistence, and graduation are vitally important to the campus.  Research on first-year student retention supports early identification/intervention programs as high impact activities that positively affect student success.

Which Students are Considered “At-Risk”?

An “at-risk” student is defined as any student

  • who is in danger of failing the course,
  • who is having attendance issues,
  • who may need tutoring, or
  • who is exhibiting time management, study preparation or academic motivation issues.

We provide resources for those issues and try to connect the students to those resources as soon as possible.

Note: If students are having other issues (of a serious nature), it is best not to describe that in the comments as students and others (advisors, coaches) can see those notes. We want to respect student privacy on serious matters and get them the help they need. 

What Faculty Can Do:

By providing feedback on student engagement and performance early in the term, you are connecting students to resources that may help them succeed and persist.

  1. Respond to early alert requests from First-Year Studies.
    Each semester FYS sends out requests for instructors to submit alerts for students in select classes.
  2. Submit individual alerts for students in non-early alert courses
  3. Let us know who is not at risk.

What Happens Next?

After reading your alert, a member of the FYS staff reaches out with a personalized message to your student that includes an appropriate intervention (tutoring, coaching/time management/study skills, advising). Additionally, if your student is affiliated with certain groups on campus (EAP, Honors, ROTC, etc.), there may be additional outreach from staff who know them best. All of this happens in a matter of 2-3 business days from the point of your alert.
When we combine this with alerts students may receive in other courses, we are able to focus on students who may be in particular need of support in a given semester. Additionally, when we receive notification that a student is “not at risk” in a course, this also helps us eliminate potential areas of concern and triangulate student need.

How to Respond to an Early Alert Request:

How to Issue Alerts for Individual Students and Students in Non-Early Alert Courses:

Instructor – Individual Alerts


If you have any questions regarding the administration of this program, please email Stella Bridgeman, Associate Director of First-Year Studies at


Please feel free to provide us with feedback on your experience with the system here.