Researchers on student retention and student graduation have found that early alerts from instructors concerning students who may be having academic challenges are strongly correlated with improving student success. With this in mind, during the 2008-09 academic year, Partners for Success initiated an experimental student early alert system in support of the Student Success subcommittee and the university's enrollment planning effort.
The early alert pilot project was developed by Associate Vice President for Student Services/Dean of Students Mike Hostetler, Partners for Success Coordinator Carol Menard-Fulthorp and Joe Som, Student Services computer technician/programmer. Twenty-six first-generation freshmen in Partners for Success were selected for the pilot project which focused on students who were taking pre-baccalaureate writing and math. The students’ instructors were contacted and utilized the early alert pilot system to inform Ms. Menard-Fulthorp if they detected that a student needed extra assistance. In turn, Ms. Menard-Fulthorp informed the student's Partners mentor and members of a CSULB interdivision action team to help the student in question.
The majority of the 26 students were offered extra advising, mentoring or tutoring. The results showed that all the students passed their writing and math courses and all earned a successful grade point average for the semester. These highly positive results exceeded expectations and bodes well for the possibility of a CSULB-sponsored early alert system in the future.
Partners wishes to thank participating mentors, service providers and the 26 students for their participation and their success.