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.

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 2020 - between September 1 and September 21, 2020
  • Spring 2021 - between February 2 and February 22, 2021
  • Summer 2021 - between the third and fifth course meeting date

Midterm grades

Midterm grades (View step-by-step instructions) allow 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.

Provost Hackett has asked that 100% of ALL undergraduate courses (not just 100 & 200 level courses) submit ALL midterm grades for ALL students. To facilitate this, you may now upload your midterm and final grades via an Excel spreadsheet to eServices. Instructors do not need to post midterm grades for students who are auditing or who have withdrawn from the class.

Midterm grades should be submitted during the following time periods:

  • Fall 2020 - beginning September 22 and no later than Friday, October 23, 2020
  • Spring 2021 - beginning February 23, 2021, and no later than Friday, March 19, 2021
  • Summer 2021 - midterm grades are not submitted in summer

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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