The Early Assistance program provides college faculty and staff with a collaborative opportunity to identify students’ specific needs and subsequent access to carefully identified support services.
The program makes every effort to assist faculty and staff in improving the motivation and performance of students in order to advance their potential for success and improve the college’s ability to retain these students.
How does a student get identified for Early Assistance?
A student is identified by faculty if she/he is not doing well in a course. There are many factors that may contribute to a student having difficulty in a course.
Some examples include:
- poor attendance
- poor test scores
- possible learning disability
- need for library orientation or research assistance
- need for tutorial services
- need for psychological services
- failing work
- incomplete assignments
- lack of motivation
- financial hardships
- lack of childcare
Additionally, faculty may notice that students need additional support services that will help the students with career and transfer goals. The Early Assistance Program can help with referrals to services designed for those purposes as well.
Referred students will be entered into the Early Assistance database, and the program will generate an automatic email regarding their faculty referral and concerns.
How do I refer a student?
- Launch the Early Assistance Referral System.
- Enter your faculty username and password (Same as used for computer login).
- From the Early Assistance Information Screen, click on “Continue” located at the lower right-hand corner of the page.
- On the Early Assistance Referral Form enter your name under “Instructor/Course Information.” This will automatically take you to your class roster(s).
- From your section roster, select the student’s name that you are referring; his/her information will automatically be entered onto the form.
- Scroll down and check those reasons* that you would like to include in the referral.
- Identified reasons are automatically linked to specific Student or Academic Service Areas. In the case of reasons that are listed under the Instructor heading, the referral will be to see the instructor. While the instructor may see the student before referral to a college service area, it is an option, not a mandated part of the process.
- You have the option to write a specific message to the student or provide additional information to the service area. The student will not see the information provided to the service area. The service area will be able to see the information you provide to the student.
- Prior to submitting the form you can review your entries or simply click the “Submit” button.
- If you want to refer more than one student using the same reason, you can open the section roster and select students. Specific emails will be sent to each individual student but the reason and message will be the same.
The reasons are as follows:
- Excessive Absences (3 or more)
- Fail an Exam
- Failing a Course
- Financial Concerns
- Lack Library Research Skills
- Learning Disability
- Missed Assignments
- Personal Issues
- Subject Matter Comprehensive
- Work Related
- Lack Essential Classroom/Study Skills
What is the Early Assistance process?
Students referred during the semester will be contacted by email regarding their progress in the course.
Once a student has successfully contacted the service identified in the Early Assistance Program, the referring faculty will be able to access the Early Assistance database to follow-up on the student’s status.
Who does a student speak to if identified for Early Assistance?
It is recommended that the first time a student is referred through the Early Assistance Program that the referral be to come and speak with the faculty member.
If the faculty member feels that additional support is needed, an additional referral can be made. In that case, the student will receive an email specifying the reason for the referral, and the service that the student should contact for assistance.
How do students benefit?
An early referral can help students decide whether to stay in a class. Referrals later in the semester can help support a student before midterm exams, major projects, the final “W” date or the final exam.
Since the services available through Early Assistance include counseling, career, transfer, health, and academic support services, a referral at any point in the semester can meet a student’s needs.
How do faculty and staff benefit?
- Facilitates a communication loop between faculty, counselors, student support service professionals, academic support professionals, and students;
- Generates reports on referrals to distribute among student and academic support services for follow up purposes;
- Provides the opportunity for counseling and special programs to follow up with a student’s progress;
- Keeps faculty abreast of the college’s student and academic support services;
- Acknowledges to faculty that a referred student has been notified;
- Makes students aware of their progress early enough to counteract unsatisfactory progress; and
- Encourages dialogue between students, faculty, counselors, and academic support staff.