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The University of Tennessee


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Teaching in Alumni Auditorium

» early alert

Student success, persistence and graduation are vitally important to the campus. Research on first-year student retention supports early warning/intervention programs as high impact activities that positively affect student success. The Early Alert Program is run by the First Year Studies (FYS) office. Please do not hesitate to contact them with questions.


You can do a great deal to make the University of Tennessee a better institution by providing feedback on student engagement and performance early in the term:

• Request to meet with students who are missing class, not completing homework or doing poorly on assignments, quizzes and exams. Personal contact with the instructor is the most impactful intervention!

• Participate in Early Alert by providing feedback on first-year students to the student and First Year Studies via Early Alert. FYS will follow up with the student by recommending appropriate interventions, such as SSC Academic Coaches and designated advisors/counselors.

Contact the SSC and provide the names and net ID's of students that you feel would benefit from academic support.

• Utilize the "Early Alert" function of your Blackboard course site that will automatically send emails to students who have not completed quizzes or designated assignments as specified by you.

• Refer students to the SSC web site and ask they make an appointment with an Academic Coach.

Please note: The Early Alert interventions fall under the "need to know" clause of FERPA, permitting the release of academic information by faculty/instructors to academic administrators, advisors, and counselors. A signed statement by the student permitting release of information for FYI purposes is NOT required. Visit for more information.

For student-athletes: The university is required to track student-athlete class attendance as dictated by the South Eastern Conference (SEC). Class attendance is linked to eligibility to participate in competition and is documented by the feedback provided by instructors. If you have student-athletes in your class, you will be asked to provide feedback four times during the term using the FYI system described above in the second bullet.

Purpose of Early Alert

• Provide students with feedback concerning their overall, comprehensive performance in courses, in a way that individual grades do not always convey;

• Provide students with suggestions and strategies for their improvement in individual courses (e.g. class attendance, completion of assignments, individual conference with instructor, etc.);

• Provide student performance data to administrators, academic advisors, and academic coaches who are monitoring students enrolled in specific programs;

• Provide administrators, academic advisors, and academic coaches the opportunity to help students access resources for academic success (tutoring, supplemental instruction, conference with instructor, time management, and study skills) and reposition them for academic success; and

• Enable the university to better identify and intervene with first-year and other designated students at an earlier point.