Student Success

Can Early Alerts Be Used as a Tool for Student Success?

Throughout the last few decades, numerous institutions have used early alert systems as part of a variety of measures to increase college retention rates. But have early warning systems outlived their usefulness? We certainly do not believe so– and with student retention at record lows, we might need early student alerts more than ever. 

On some college campuses, early-alert systems have a place. They can be a big assistance for students who are failing academically if they are installed and used correctly. Nonetheless, it’s critical to realize the potential holes in the support process that an early alarm system can create.

Early warning systems are widely regarded as unpredictable. Only a few schools are massively in favour, while many more are undecided. It’s a real mixed bag. Any technology that obtains such mixed or average assessments should be given more thought.

By leveraging data from all the systems at school, including learning management systems (LMS), attendance tracking, logging into tools, etc., higher education institutions like colleges can help identify students at risk before it is too late to act to help them back onto their learning pathways. With enrollment at all-time downs, this is critical to university and college success when it comes to retaining students.

In this guide, we’ll dive into more about what early student alerts are and why they are so beneficial.

Can Early Alerts Be Used as a Tool for Student Success?

Because students are unlikely to use campus support services on their own, many think that professors should initiate support interactions with students. The majority of campus support services, on the other hand, are neither equal nor easily accessible. It’s understandable if students don’t use them.

Students must send emails, locate a physical office facility, communicate with a chatbot, wait for an appointment, and so on in order to receive assistance. They have to go through a lot of hoops just to get in touch with the correct person, let alone get an answer to their question. Student help via early alerts must be simply available, equitable, quick, and accurate in order to be effective. Early alert systems can be a huge asset to an institution if they are implemented with the proper planning and operation

What are Early Alerts for Students?

What are student early alerts? Institutions use Early Alert, an online application, to identify at-risk students early in the semester. This tool enables schools to identify and eliminate impediments to student performance, resulting in higher student retention and a more positive learning environment.

Faculty initially observe that some students are having difficulties, and the system then reviews the issues and recommends relevant resources. Finally, academic advisers maintain contact with students and provide resources to assist them in regaining control of their lives.

Early warning systems feature both an alarm and an intervention component. Alerts identify who at a given institution requires assistance, whereas intervention refers to the outreach strategies employed by counsellors or advisors to connect students with useful resources.

How Early Alerts Can Be Used for Student Success

Early student alert systems have been in use over the previous decade as a result of significant advancements in academic technology. The success of early student alert systems is contingent on faculty, counsellors, and learning support faculty and staff using the system on a regular and integrated basis.

As “early alerts” prompted by academics trigger targeted and individualized answers by advisors, “closing the loop” is critical to the system’s design and success. Early Alert Programs use positive and integrated support to intervene in less successful student behaviours.

At various stages throughout the semester, these behaviours range from absence to a marked lack of academic preparedness for specific classes. Faculty, advisors, counsellors, and learning support staff and faculty, in turn, provide individualized assistance so that students can achieve both personal and institutional goals of persistence and retention.

This document’s key research on student involvement underscores the necessity for such an integrated strategy to fulfill the different demands of community college students. Social and psychological assistance, in addition to academic help, encourages students’ success and integrates support services in meaningful ways. EAP, as a technology, provides the opportunity to establish an integrated and meaningful support approach.

Students prosper in an academic environment when learning is linked to a social and cultural milieu that supports their efforts, according to research dating back to the 1970s. The Tinto model recognizes how well a student is integrated into college as a crucial influence in persistence. This is especially true in community colleges, where the vast majority of students are first-generation college students.

A student may be placed on an early alert system for a variety of reasons. A student may be qualified for an early alert system if they have had a lot of absences, need tutoring, have low test and quiz results, are not doing their homework, or are suffering personal or family problems. Enrolling a student in an early alert system may also be justified by a change in overall demeanor.

It’s important to remember that the early alert system is neither a substitute for competent classroom management nor a disciplinary tool. When employed early, the early warning system performs well. Students are more likely to succeed if they submit their work during the first four weeks of class.

To summarize, early student alerts aren’t going out of style anytime soon. In fact, with such low student retention rates among U.S. universities and colleges, it’s more important than ever to have early alerts implemented in academic student success platforms to help connect resources to students when they need them the most.


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