‘Early Warning System’ alerts students to falling grades

By on October 24, 2006

Think that one “F” on a quiz in class won’t come back to haunt you? Think again.

When a student is not performing as expected in a class, professors have the opportunity to give them a little incentive.

With the “Early Warning System,” a program run by The Learning Center, a professor can submit an online form reporting on a student’s academic performance in a given class.

The form has four different check boxes to let the center know what areas are giving the student the most trouble.

They can check a box if a student fails a quiz, fails an exam, has excessive absences, or consistenly does not turn in class assignments.

There is also a box open for comments where a teacher can elaborate on the student’s problems.

Once this form is submitted to the Learning Center, the staff will e-mail the student to let them know that their professor has suggested they get some extra help and to schedule a meeting. The student’s advisor is also alerted to the situation.

It is then up to the student to take the initiative and get assistance. If the student does not respond to the first e-mail, another will be sent to follow up.

After the second letter, if the student does not respond, it is considered out of the hands of the Learning Center, according to Bernard Grindel, assistant director of the Learning Center.

He said that the system, which is in its sixth year, promotes student improvement.

“The reason now [for the system] is to provide an extra incentive for students,” he said.

Though the program offers support for students who are struggling, Grindel says that this does not mean the center is trying to pressure students.

Grindel could think of only one disadvantage of the system.

“A student with low self-esteem might think they are being pressured,” he said.

According to Grindel, students should be aware that the Learning Center is available for help and can be used at their discretion.

“If I were to tutor a student referred by the Early Warning System, I would want to engage in a conversation at the beginning of the tutorial to get their perspective of where the problem lies and how it is affecting their performance in the class,” said Jennifer Pescik, a tutor at the center.

The Learning Center is located in Tator Hall and is open six days a week: Monday through Friday and again on Sunday.


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