Published: Aug. 18, 2021

In its ongoing effort to support student success, the Office of Undergraduate Education is introducing changes to the undergraduate course alert process this fall that will allow instructors greater flexibility for submitting alerts based on their course timeline and students more time to respond.

“These changes are a direct result from the significant feedback we’ve received from instructors and faculty,” said Beth Myers, assistant vice provost for student success initiatives. “We now have the capability to include four-week, five-week, eight-week and 10-week sessions that were not included in the past.”

Course alerts are an important component in ensuring undergraduate student success. The process aligns with the university's strategic priority of creating a common student-centered approach to teaching and learning and aims to improve retention and graduation rates for students. If students are alerted early in the semester, they have the time to take action, whether this means seeking additional instructor help or guidance, engaging a tutor or modifying their schedule accordingly.

“We strongly recommend that instructors submit their alerts as early as possible, and well before the drop deadline for the term, to help students improve their academic performance in the class,” said Myers. “Instructors can submit their alerts more than once a term, but only once per student.”

A course alert may be submitted for undergraduate students who are not completing assignments, are missing class, are performing poorly on tests and assignments, or are otherwise struggling and may need help. Instructors of undergraduate lecture, seminar, studio, lab and workshop courses across campus are being asked to fill out a feedback form on student performance in their classes. Students are notified via email shortly after an instructor identifies them; additionally, advisors and other student success staff will then be able to reach out to students to offer resources and suggestions for improving performance.

“We find that sending messages directly to students encourages them to contact their instructor, go to office hours, use tutoring and academic support, and draw on mental health and wellness resources,” said Myers. “These are all important options that help keep students on track and contribute to their academic success.”

For more information about the university’s undergraduate student success initiatives and the course alert contact Beth Myers.

Course alert schedule expands for fall 2021

Changes to the course alert now accommodate four-week, five-week, eight-week and 10-week sessions. Instructors are encouraged to submit their alerts as early as possible and well before the drop deadline for the term to help students improve their academic performance in the class. Undergraduate instructors will receive a message with the instructions for submitting course alerts in the first few weeks of the semester.

For more information, visit the course alert page with the expanded fall schedule.