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Among the criteria set forth in the Middle States Commission on Higher Education’s Standard IV (Support of the Student Experience) is a requirement that colleges and universities possess “a process by which students who are not adequately prepared for study at the level for which they have been admitted are identified, placed, and supported in attaining appropriate educational goals” and “…advisement… to enhance retention and guide students throughout their educational experience.” One of the tools available at Lehman College is the Student Tracking Early Alert Retention (S.T.E.A.R.) System.
The system is a web-based tool that allows faculty members to identify students who are potentially at risk for a variety of reasons (chronic lateness or absence, in-class conduct, academic performance, etc.). Students are e-mailed a notice informing them that an alert has been activated on a particular issue and the academic advisor who has been assigned to that student receives a copy of the alert. The advisor then reaches out to the student. Faculty and advisors collaborate to develop plans to facilitate student success, provide students with relevant support services, etc. The tool contains a log of faculty-advisor discussions to allow them to monitor student progress.
S.T.E.A.R.’s intended outcomes include targeting adequate support to at-risk students, increasing faculty-advisor collaboration to promote student success, increasing student retention and graduation rates.