The email messaging system has been designed to be used by professors seeking to inform students of the dangers of falling behind in class due to factors such as absences, low test scores, or missed assignments and help them complete the course.
Every professor who sends out an Early Alert message can suggest ways to help the student with their difficulties such as tutoring, a meeting with professor or a counselor, or attending a college success workshop.
According to counselor Robin McBurney, who spearheads the program, the improved system is much easier to use for both instructors and students.
Using the program, instructors can easily select which students to alert, explain the reasoning behind the notification and a recommend possible helpful services for the student.
McBurney suggests that professors send out alerts every week until the drop date, but all instructors are given the option to send alerts at any time of their choosing until finals week.
Though all professors are encouraged to use the Early Alert system, they are not required to do so.
Math professor Victoria Dominguez intends to use the system to alert her students doing poorly within the first two weeks.
Dominguez said she would use the score on the first quiz and homework assignment to determine which students will receive an alert and refers her students to the math lab, or one of the “Math Anxiety” college success workshops in the hopes of helping students improve their grades.
The alerts are meant to be nonthreatening, early warnings to motivate students to succeed and possibly receive help from various services on campus.
“It would definitely help seeing more options [we] have,” said Sean Tejada, a 19-year-old nursing major from Covina. “That way [we] can’t blame the teachers for receiving a bad grade.”
Although an alert may have been sent to a student, he or she may not be aware of it if they do not check their student email regularly.
Though more students are accessing their Citrus email accounts due to the recent addition of waitlists, some don’t check often enough.
McBurney urges students to forward their Citrus student emails to an email they check frequently. That way, they will know when an alert has been sent to them.