To GradesFirst or not to GradesFirst…that is the question

Where do you stand on early alerts such as GradesFirst?  Do you buy into it or do you hold one of the following (albeit not mutually exclusion nor exhaustive positions)?

1. Faculty know their students best.  Classes are structured to provide students with mechanisms for support.  Syllabi, classroom discourse and office hours allow faculty to keep their finger on the pulse of their students.

2. This is college.  Students need to take responsibility.  If they are not succeeding, they need to seek help (assuming they know where they stand).

3.  It is our role as faculty to reach out to students in need, since many may not know that such support is available.

This post comes in response to the e-mail sent by Kojo this morning.  If you missed it, here’s the info about this GradesFirst campaign. Note that the language in the student e-mails has changed.   Also note that the term “progress report” is being thrown around.  This is the term used within GradesFirst, but doesn’t it feel like high school?  Perhaps it’s just my connotation of that word, to echo the previous post.

Please take some time before February 13th to click the link in this email and submit Progress Reports for students in your classes. This process is referred to as an early alert and is part of our 16 week case management advising strategy. We are using the student support system – GradesFirst – to further connect students, faculty, advisors, and tutors to facilitate student success.

I ask you to identify students who are in need of support to succeed in your class.

After you submit a progress report indicating that a student is “at risk”, two things will occur:

1. The student will receive an email, with the subject line: We are concerned about your progress in class. The email advises students to seek support.

2. The assigned college advisor will receive a notification that students in their caseload have been sent progress reports. The advising center will then follow up with those students via phone, email, or text within 48 hours.

You can log into GradesFirst at any point in the semester, after the campaign ends, to initiate your own individual progress reports. The campaign mode is designed to make it easy for faculty across the District to submit reports early in the term.

If you have any questions, please reach out to the Associate Dean of Student Services at your college for assistance.


Kojo Quartey

Feel free to comment anonymously.  In typing this post, I have not committed to one side or another (or another).  But I am curious about how others feel?  This isn’t the first conversation about GradesFirst. See here and here.