Everyone at the university has a vested interest in students doing well in their courses. The Early Alert Project exemplifies how Suffolk is an academic community, in every sense of the word. We come together to support those who are in need of assistance and to support student learning.

  • Program description


    The Early Alert Project is a university-wide collaborative effort designed to support student learning by identifying and warning students who may be in danger of failing one or more courses.

    After the first month of the semester, faculty is asked to identify undergraduate students in their classes who may be in danger of failing as well as the reason for their concern. Alerts may be issued for excessive absences, trouble with subject matter, not completing assignments, and writing deficiencies.

    Early Alerts are not grades. They are a means for faculty to communicate to students that a change is necessary and to activate outreach of additional resources that can support students' learning.


  • Important Early Alert dates

    Early Alert codes can be submitted Tuesday, February 9 through Friday, March 4. Students receiving early alert codes will be contacted by email once an alert is submitted.

  • Faculty FAQ

    Q: When and how do I submit an alert?

    Early Alerts are issued around the first month of the semester. Faculty are sent reminders and an email explaining the procedure for sending an alert as the deadline approaches. In the email, steps will be outlined as follows:

    •  Access MySuffolk: www.suffolk.edu/mysuffolk
    • Click on Faculty
    • Click on College Grading
    • Select Term from drop-down menu, i.e. 16/SP
    • Click on the appropriate course and choose Early Alert Grading
    • Your choices for codes are: NC-Not completing assigned work, TS-Trouble with subject matter/course content, WD-Deficiencies in writing skills, SL-Difficulties with English as a Second Language, EA-Excessive absences from class, L-Has never attended class
    • Click Submit

    Q: Why is Early Alert administered after the first month of the semester?

    Alerting a student earlier in the semester allows more time to change these behaviors and access helpful resources.

    Q: What if I am concerned about a student before or after the Early Alert Deadline?

    Faculty can always refer a student to the appropriate tutoring services or an academic coach in the Center for Learning and Academic Success by calling the CLAS or using an online referral form. Before making this referral, faculty are encouraged to inform students that a referral is being made and explain why.

    Q: Why must I submit an alert for all students?

    This program is a collective, campus-wide effort to identify students in need of assistance. Some students receive multiple alerts, and this indicates a higher and more urgent need to contact the student from multiple services.

    Q: I have submitted an Early Alert and received an error message. What do I do?

    The most common error message is a result of submitting an alert for a graduate student. Early alerts are only processed for undergraduate students. Other error inquiries should be directed to the registrar's office.


  • Suggestions for administering Early Alert Codes

    1. Include in your syllabus a statement about Early Alert. Here is a sample statement that you can insert in your syllabus or place on BlackBoard:

      This class uses the Early Alert Service. After the first month of the semester, I will notify the Center for Learning and Academic Success if you have struggled with writing and language skills, excessive absences, incomplete work, or difficulty with the course content. This warning is not an official grade, yet it indicates concerns about your progress that need to be addressed immediately. If you are contacted about an Early Alert, please respond to those individuals and also visit me during my office hours so we may talk about strategies for how you can be successful in this class.
    2. Be prepared to submit alerts after the first month of the semester. While alerts can be issued simply for attendance, incorporating some form of assessment early in the semester provides the students some means to assess their own preparation and progress in the course.
    3. Before submitting Early Alerts, communicate to your class why you are submitting them and your expectations for students who receive them.
    4. Students who are issued an alert will receive an email message that encourages them to speak with their professor and seek out resources. Be ready to provide specifics as to how each student you alerted is performing in your class. Alerted students need to know if they can feasibly pass your class, or if they need to withdraw.
    5. Once Early Alert is over, CLAS will provide you with feedback as to the outreach outcome for each student you alerted