The Early Alert system is an online tool for staff and faculty to identify at-risk students and connect them to relevant supports. This non-disciplinary, person-centered intervention strategy helps students address barriers to their academic success early, thereby contributing to a positive learning experience and student retention.
When should you make an Early Alert referral?
If a staff or faculty member is concerned about a student for any reason, they can talk to the student and make a referral. The ABC’s of warning signs that could warrant an Early Alert are:
• repeated absences
• regularly coming late and/or leaving early
• reduced class participation (disengaged or “spaced out”)
• sleeping in class
• marked changes in behaviour, appearance, or affect
• being disruptive or withdrawn in class
• classmates have expressed concern about the student
• student communicates feeling distressed, anxious, etc.
• multiple missed or failed assignments or exams
• apparent difficulty concentrating, staying organized, or remembering information
• poor performance despite the student’s efforts
• declining grades
• repeated requests for extensions, incompletes, or withdrawals
How to use the Early Alert system
Faculty and staff who are concerned about a student are encouraged to take the following steps:
1. If possible, talk to the student about your concerns and let them know that you plan to make an Early Alert referral.
2. If you continue to feel the student needs additional support, make the Early Alert referral.
3. Complete the Early Alert referral form, which can be accessed through the Department Resources section of Online Services or on your Moodle home page.
Student Life and Learning receives the referral form and takes the following steps:
1. Student Life and Learning contacts the student to arrange a meeting. To protect student privacy, no other areas of the university are informed of the Early Alert, and it does not appear in a student’s records.
2. The student is under no obligation to attend a meeting, but if they choose to do so they will meet with the Learning Services Coordinator to discuss their needs.
3. The student decides with the Learning Services Coordinator whether to establish regular academic strategy sessions and/or make appointments with other services, such as Counselling Services, Learning Accommodation Services, Career Services, and/or the Registrar’s Office.
For more information, contact:
Lily Peters, Academic Strategist
Toll free: 1-866-479-5200 x389