Developing an Early Warning System: Proactively Supporting Student Learning

TitleDeveloping an Early Warning System: Proactively Supporting Student Learning
Duration1 Year
Project Summary

Last year, Arts Academic Advising Services with the support of Student Development and Services and PAIR increased "intervention" activities for first-year students; all first-year students with poor Term 1 grades were contacted through e-mail and invited for an appointment. Analysis of new first-year students' performance indicates students who came to Advising experienced a larger grade increase (12.02%) than those who did not (6.86%, this number is based on new and continuing students). Research also indicates that intervention programs increase student satisfaction and connection to the university community (Ableman; Poynter Jeschke).

Therefore, Arts Academic Advising Services is planning on repeating the intervention program. We propose, however, to enhance this project through implementation of an "early warning system." Early warning systems enable mid-term intervention in both terms. This proposal is based on our evaluation of the previous intervention program. Analysis of grades for the entire first-year Arts class indicates that Term 1 grades were not a fail-safe predictor of academic standing. Approximately half the students who ended the year on Academic Probation did not fit into the intervention category at the end of Term 1. At the same time the number of students who booked appointments was smaller than hoped. These results lead to the suggestion that intervention might assist more students more effectively if it were targeted at the different points in the year-specifically when students experience difficulty with mid-term examinations. Since our experience with first-year students suggests that they often hesitate to seek assistance or have difficulty identifying resources, we feet it is essential to reach out to students at the moment of difficulty. To do this necessitates earlier information about performance as well as regular interventions based on the information.

Funding Details
Year 1: Project YearYear 1
Year 1: Funding Year2004/2005
Year 1: Project TypeSmall TLEF
Year 1: Principal InvestigatorSusanne Goodison
Year 1: Funded Amount44,993
Year 1: Team Members

Susanne Goodison, Associate Director, Student Development, Arts Academic Advising Services, Faculty of Arts
Ulrich Rauch, Director, Arts ISIT, Faculty of Arts
Wendy Trigg, Director, Arts Academic Advising Services, Faculty of Arts