Early notification programs

VCU provides two methods to help faculty set and reinforce high academic expectations in their undergraduate classes by providing timely feedback to students regarding their academic performance: progress reports and midterm grades. 

Participation in both of these critical programs is vital to our students' success. If you have any questions, please contact navigate@vcu.edu.

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Progress reports

Progress reports (early alert) (View step-by-step instructions) are a notification process implemented very early on in the semester (between the third and fifth week) to allow all undergraduate faculty to communicate to both the student and the student’s academic advisor that they are exhibiting at-risk behaviors in their class that, if not addressed, could lead to low academic performance outcomes. Examples include low quiz scores, not logging in to Blackboard, missing class, not turning in homework assignments, etc. This process resulted in a 5 percent average decrease of the number of final grades of D, F, and W earned in participating Biology, Chemistry, Math and Business pilot classes.

Progress reports should be submitted during the following time periods:

  • Fall 2019 - between September 3 and September 23, 2019
  • Spring 2020 - between January 27 and February 16, 2020
  • Summer 2020 - between the third and fifth course meeting date

Midterm grades

The midterm grades (View step-by-step instructions, including submission by spreadsheet upload) process allows faculty to notify students through eServices of their current grade in the course between weeks 6 and 10, which is one week prior to the semester’s withdrawal deadline. Without these grades, both the student and their academic advisor assume that the student is performing adequately in your class. Midterm grades are not posted in summer semesters.

Our goal for Fall 2019 is to have 100% of ALL undergraduate courses (not just 100 & 200 level courses) submit midterm grades.

The withdraw deadline for Fall 2019 is Friday, Nov 1. In anticipation of this deadline, instructors should submit midterm grades in eServices no later than Friday, October 25.

Class attendance

Class attendance is one of the most predictive indicators of a student's final grade and GPA*. New students may lack the self-regulation necessary to maintain good attendance patterns during their transition to a college campus. Because of this, instructors are encouraged to remind students of the importance of attending class regularly. Instructors who choose to take attendance are encouraged to do so in Navigate, so that faculty, students and advisors can all view a student's course attendance patterns to better inform academic performance discussions.

If you are interested in using Navigate to send out automated course attendance emails, please email navigate@vcu.edu for more information.

*Credé, M., Roch, S. G., & Kieszczynka, U. M. (2010). Class Attendance in College: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Relationship of Class Attendance With Grades and Student Characteristics. Review of Educational Research, 80(2), 272–295. https://doi.org/10.3102/0034654310362998

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