Early Alert at CUE
One of the most important values at CUE is providing a caring, personalized experience for all our students to prepare them to be independent thinkers, ethical leaders and citizens for the common good. The Early Alert system is a key tool allowing us to achieve this.
What is Early Alert?
The Early Alert system is a supportive, person-centered intervention strategy designed for concerned faculty and staff to identify at-risk students who need assistance because of academic performance. Assistance is provided to students through academic strategists in Student Life and Learning, and through referrals to appropriate Concordia Student Services. It is not disciplinary in nature nor mandatory for students to meet with the academic strategist. Nonetheless, it is a valuable tool to assist with student retention and persistence.
How does Early Alert help students?
The collaborative effort between student, professor or staff member, and academic strategists will make a big difference in addressing and mediating issues getting in the way of the student’s academic success in one or more courses. Some of the points may include taking into account learning style, specific learning challenges, assistance in time management, procrastination, organization and breaking down of assignments, study tips, test taking tips, anxiety and stress management, reading skills, presentation skills, and other techniques that promote self-guided learning.
When are Early Alert referrals most effective?
Early Alert referrals have proven most effective when made after the first assessment and prior to the second to last assessment in the semester. The earlier the student can access necessary supports, the more likely they are able to succeed in their courses. However, Early Alert referrals are accepted any time during the semester.
Do Early Alert referrals become a permanent part of a student’s record?
No! The Early Alert system is private and confidential, and only those staff members in Student Life and Learning who are directly involved in providing necessary support to the student know about the referral. No mention of the Early Alert is ever made on a student’s record or official transcript.
What are the most common reasons for making an Early Alert referral?
Professors and staff at CUE care about student success, and a change in typical behaviour can trigger concern that a student is struggling. The most common outward manifestations that a student is not thriving include excessive class absences, low performance on tests and assignments, and atypical classroom behaviour. Any one of these could cause concern, and an Early Alert referral form to be filed. It is important to note that the Early Alert is not a system that punishes these behaviours, but rather, offers supports to students at-risk of failing their classes.
How is an Early Alert referral made?
Once the professor or staff member and the student have discussed the concern and intent to refer the student to an academic strategist, a referral form can be submitted via the ‘resources and requests’ tab on Online Services, and soon, instructors will also be able to submit the form through a link in Moodle.
It is important to inform students of the intent of a referral to the Early Alert system in order to protect student privacy.
Once the referral is made, the student can expect to be contacted by an academic strategist in Student Life and Learning. The academic strategist and student may meet on a regular basis following the referral, or the student may be directed to other resources and supports on campus. An effective support system includes an avenue of communication between the instructor, the student, and the academic strategist.
Do students have to respond to an Early Alert?
Students have the choice to respond to the Early Alert to access essential services that will put them back on a path towards academic success, but the choice is theirs, and they can choose to respond or do nothing.