Home > RooSuccess > Raising a Flag

Best Practices for Raising a Flag

Jump to: Sample Emails to students

The  purpose of raising a flag on a student is to clearly communicate to the student that they are not performing at a level that will lead to the successful completion of the course.  An early alert flag is most effective when it is sent while there is still time to improve and when it contains suggestions on how to do so. Every flag has room for the instructor to write a personalized comment to the student directly.  Others in the student’s Success Network can also check in to be sure that the student knows how to act on the flag. 

We already have a culture of using early alerts on our campus.  They are encouraged early in the semester, and particularly in 100-level classes.  However, flags do not have to be limited to these times.  Raising flags puts faculty and secondary advisors (EOP, TRiO, CSTEP, Veteran’s, etc.) in a position to notice a trend or a change in the student’s performance. 

Here are some tips: 

  • Any comments should be directed at the student. (not to the advisor or anyone else) 

  • Clearly, state the issue. (For example, “You scored a 43% on the first test.”)

  • Then offer suggestions (There is still time to improve your grade if you are willing to put in the time and get assistance)

  • Include personalized and specific language (I’m worried, please come and see me, you have one week to submit the missed discussion board post)

  • Offer comments that encourage growth (I know you can do this but the semester can go by fast)

  • Provide feedback promptly raise flags when there is still time for the issue to be addressed. 

  • Include information on how to follow up on the flag (please contact me, go to tutoring, make a point to be in class). 

  • If the flag is being raised with the specific intent of asking for 3rd party help, then make that clear (“You can see the Counseling Center for help with your sleep issues.”) or make use of the Referral feature in RooSuccess instead of raising a flag to notify the office that you want the student to see them (Current referrals include Counseling, Tutoring and Career Services).    

  • Raising flags is meant to nudge the student to action.  If the first flag is for withdrawal/dismissal, it is not an effective motivator. 

Instructors do not need to:

  • Use flags to document every missed/late class, assignment, etc. (Use the Attendance feature.)

  • Use flags for documenting an issue after the fact (Use the Notes feature if there is documentation that others in the student’s network should be aware of.)

 

SAMPLE EMAILS TO STUDENTS

Raise a Flag (formerly MTS) Emails

Engaged/Not Engaged/Missing Emails

Kudos

Student Raised Flags

Raise a Flag Email Examples

EXCESSIVE ABSENCES:

From Flag Raiser
Reply To Flag Raiser
Subject [RooSuccess] Excessive Absences in Introduction to Microbiology

Dear Rachel Lands,

Your absences have reached a point that I am concerned about your success in Introduction to Microbiology, BIOL101-003-FA2014.

Instructor Comments: You have missed class or been late 3 times and it is still early in the semester. The attendance policy states that you cannot miss class more than four times or you risk failing the course.

Please contact me (ygold@excellent.edu) if there is an issue that I can help with.
Attending class is the first step towards being successful and accomplishing your goals. Missing class content can affect your grades and academic performance, which in turn can impact your ability to pass the class. It's not too late for you to change your attendance habits.

You can also contact your academic advisor or others in your Student Success Network in RooSuccess for assistance and suggestions on how to be successful in this course.

If you are struggling with personal or health issues, consider contact Davis Health Center or our Counseling Center for help. If you are struggling in other classes too, consider working with your academic advisor or the Tutoring Center.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Yolanda Gold
ygold@excellent.edu


PARTICIPATION WARNING:

From Flag Raiser
Reply To Flag Raiser
Subject [RooSuccess] Participation warning in Introduction to Microbiology

Dear Rachel Lands,

I'm concerned by your level of participation in Introduction to Microbiology, BIOL101-003-FA2014.

Instructor Comments: You have missed two discussion board posts and two Blackboard quizzes. Also, you are not spending anywhere near enough time with the materials posted in Blackboard.  I recommend that you set up a schedule for yourself that allows you to spend at least 5 hours per week on this course.

Please contact me (ygold@excellent.edu ) if there is an issue that I can help with.
You can also contact your academic advisor or your Student Success Network in RooSuccess for advice. If you are struggling with the course content, consider using the Tutoring Center.

Sincerely,
Yolanda Gold
ygold@excellent.edu


PERFORMANCE ALERT:

From Flag Raiser
Reply To Flag Raiser
Subject [RooSuccess] Performance Alert for Introduction to Microbiology

Dear Rachel Lands,

Based on your current grade, I'm concerned about your ability to passIntroduction to Microbiology, BIOL101-003-FA2014.

Instructor Comments: Your grade is a 43% at this time.  You seem to do well on the homework, but not on the tests. Consider going back over the questions that we cover in lab as a way to learn the material better.  Consider coming to the study sessions that I offer before each test or making use of the science tutoring center.

Please contact me (ygold@excellent.edu) if you are struggling with the material, I am happy to help.

It's common for students to go through challenges like this and overcome them, but you need to take action sooner rather than later.

College courses take dedication and hard work. Consider if you are: 1) Attending and participating in class; 2) Taking good notes; 3) Reviewing your notes and studying frequently—essentially, putting in the best effort that you can.
You can also use Tutoring Services for assistance with this course. If you are struggling with more than this one class, consider talking with your academic advisor or others in your Success Network in RooSuccess.

Sincerely,
Yolanda Gold
ygold@excellent.edu


DISMISSAL FOR ETHICAL REASONS:

From Flag Raiser
Reply To Flag Raiser
Subject: [RooSuccess] Notice of dismissal for Introduction to Microbiology

Dear Rachel Lands,

You are dismissed from Introduction to Microbiology (BIOL101-003-FA2014) for ethical reasons.

Instructor Comments: I caught you cheating on the first test and told you that was unacceptable.  While that behavior seems to have stopped, I can tell that the CSmart Steps Schedulehapter 5 questions that you turned in were not your own work as you left your classmate’s name on them.

This means that a grade of F will be assigned to you for this section. You cannot withdraw to avoid this. A record of dishonest behavior is kept with the Provost's office to track this behavior across classes. You are welcome to review Smart Steps Schedule if you choose to.

If you believe this message to be an error, please contact me (ygold@excellent.edu) immediately.

Contact me or your academic advisor if you have additional questions.

Sincerely,
Yolanda Gold
ygold@excellent.edu


CONSIDER WITHDRAWAL:

From Flag Raiser
Reply To Flag Raiser
Subject: [RooSuccess] Consider withdrawing from Introduction to Microbiology

Dear Rachel Lands,

You have reached a point that it is very unlikely you will be able to pass Introduction to Microbiology, BIOL101-003-FA2014 this semester.

Instructor Comments: You have missed class five times, have not taken the second test and have made no effort to work with me to catch up.

If there are special circumstances, please contact me(ygold@excellent.edu) right away. You are welcome to see me for strategies for how to be successful the next time you take this course.

I encourage you to reach out to your academic advisor to discuss whether you should withdraw from this course. It is possible that a withdrawal or a failing grade will impact your financial aid and your timeline to degree completion.

Sincerely,
Yolanda Gold
ygold@excellent.edu

You can find out who else can be of assistance to you by visiting your Success Network in RooSuccess.

Engaged/Not Engaged Survey flag notifications

MISSING:

From Flag Raiser
Reply To Flag Raiser
Subject [RooSuccess] Missing in Introduction to Microbiology

Dear Rachel Lands,

I have marked you as Missing in Introduction to Microbiology, BIOL101-003-FA2014 because you have never attended or participated in this course.
Instructor Comments: I have not heard anything from you and you have not logged into the course.

Sincerely,
Yolanda Gold,
ygold@excellent.edu

Additional Information

Are you attending or participating in this class?

  • Check your schedule on UCanWeb to be sure that you are attending the correct section.
  • Contact your instructor (ygold@excellent.edu) right away to figure this out

Intending to drop/withdraw from this class?

  • You are still registered for this course and should address this right away
  • Check your schedule in UCanWeb for section details
  • If you need to withdraw from this course, fill out a Course Change Notice and contact your advisor.

Intending to keep this class?

  • Respond to this email right away to determine if you have the ability to pass at this point.
  • If you are off to a late start in more than one class, contact your academic advisor to discuss whether you can make up the material or if you need to withdraw from a course.

Don't know who your advisor is? They are listed in UCanWeb under Student Menu then Student Records.

Take action to resolve this flag! It will stay up until you work with someone to resolve it.

This message is part of a campus-wide effort to let students know how they are doing in class at the end of the third week of the semester. We call it the Engaged/Not Engaged survey. For more information, contact me, your academic advisor, your academic dean's office or the Advising Center.

For more details, login to RooSuccess.


NOT ENGAGED (Attendance/Participation):

From Flag Raiser
Reply To Flag Raiser
Subject [RooSuccess] Not Engaged (Attendance/Participation) in Introduction to Microbiology

Dear Rachel Lands,

I have marked you as Not Engaged in Introduction to Microbiology (BIOL101-003-FA2014) for attendance and/or participation.

Instructor Comments: We have just been in class for three weeks and you have already missed class twice. This is not a good strategy to be successful in my class.

There is still time to be successful in this course, but immediate improvement is needed. College-level courses take plenty of hard work and dedication. Please utilize my office hours or contact me for suggestions (ygold@excellent.edu)

Sincerely,
Yolanda Gold
ygold@excellent.edu

Additional Information

If you are struggling to understand the material, consider making use of the Tutoring Center. You can see the hours and subjects on their website. You do not need an appointment and they do have options for fully online students.

If you are missing class/assignments because you are ill, seek out help from our Health Center so that you can get back on track.

If you need other assistance, consider checking in with your academic advisor or your Success Network on RooSuccess.

This message is part of a campus-wide effort to let students know how they are doing in class at the end of the third week of the semester. We call it the Engaged/Not Engaged survey. For more information, see me, your academic advisor, your academic dean's office or the Advising Center.


NOT ENGAGED (Attitude/Behavior)

From Flag Raiser
Reply To Flag Raiser
Subject: [RooSuccess] Not Engaged (Attitude/Behavior) in Introduction to Microbiology

Dear Rachel Lands,

I have marked you as Not Engaged in Introduction to Microbiology (BIOL101-003-FA2014) because or your attitude and/or behavior.

Instructor Comments: I’m concerned about your lack of interest in my course.  College level courses take much more dedication than simply showing up and sleeping at your desk.  You need to take steps to be an active member of our class and to get your work turned in on time.

There is still time to be successful in this course, but improvement is needed. If I can help, please contact me (ygold@excellent.edu) for suggestions.

Sincerely,
Yolanda Gold
ygold@excellent.edu

Additional Information

If you are struggling with personal or health issues, consider our Health Center or Counseling Center for help.

Our Dean of Students, Courtney Bish, can also be an advocate and a resource for you.

If you are struggling to understand the material, consider making use of the Tutoring Center. You can see the hours and subjects on their website. You do not need an appointment and they do have options for fully online students.

This message is part of a campus-wide effort to let students know how they are doing in class at the end of the third week of the semester. We call it the Engaged/Not Engaged survey. For more information, see me, your academic advisor, your academic dean's office or the Advising Center.


NOT ENGAGED (Effort/Performance)

From Flag Raiser
Reply To Flag Raiser
Subject: [RooSuccess] Not Engaged (Effort/Performance) in Introduction to Microbiology

Dear Rachel Lands,

I have marked you as Not Engaged in Introduction to Microbiology (BIOL101-003-FA2014) because of your effort and/or performance level.

Instructor Comments: You have missed two assignment deadlines already. You cannot make those up.  You will have to do the work if you plan to pass this class. Please make a better effort to get your work done and turned in on time or you will risk failing this course.

There is still time to be successful in this course, but improvement is needed. College-level courses take plenty of hard work and dedication. Please contact me (ygold@excellent.edu) for suggestions on how you can be successful in this course.

Sincerely,
Yolanda Gold
ygold@excellent.edu

Additional Information

If you are struggling to understand the material, consider making use of the Tutoring Center. You can see the hours and subjects on their website. You do not need an appointment and they do have options for fully online students.

If you need additional assistance, consider checking in with your academic advisor or your Success Network on RooSuccess.

This message is part of a campus-wide effort to let students know how they are doing in class at the end of the third week of the semester. We call it the Engaged/Not Engaged survey. For more information, see me, your academic advisor, your academic dean's office or the Advising Center.


NOT ENGAGED (Other)

From Flag Raiser
Reply To Flag Raiser
Subject [RooSuccess] Not Engaged (Other) in Introduction to Microbiology

Dear Rachel Lands,

I have marked you as Not Engaged in Introduction to Microbiology (BIOL101-003-FA2014).

Instructor Comments: Rachel missed 3 classes this month.

There is still time to be successful in this course, but improvement is needed. College-level courses take plenty of hard work and dedication. Please contact me (ygold@excellent.edu) for suggestions.

Sincerely,
Yolanda Gold
ygold@excellent.edu

Additional Information

If you are struggling to understand the material, consider making use of the Tutoring Center. You can see the hours and subjects on their website. You do not need an appointment to utilize this resource.

If you are struggling with personal or health issues, consider our Health Center or Counseling Center for help.

You can contact your academic advisor or see your Success Network on RooSuccess for suggestions and help.

Our Dean of Students, Courtney Bish, can also be an advocate and a resource for you.

This message is part of a campus-wide effort to let students know how they are doing in class at the end of the third week of the semester. We call it the Engaged/Not Engaged survey. For more information, see me, your academic advisor, your academic dean's office or the Advising Center.

KUDOS

KUDOS: I CAUGHT YOU BEING EXCEPTIONAL

From Flag Raiser
Reply To Flag Raiser
Subject [RooSuccess] Kudos! Keep up the good work in Introduction to Microbiology

Dear Rachel,

Way to go! I appreciate your dedication and hard work.

Here are my additional comments: Has maintained a 98% in the class.

Just wanted you to know that I noticed. Keep it up!

Sincerely,
Yolanda Gold


KUDOS: KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK

From Flag Raiser
Reply To Flag Raiser
Subject [RooSuccess] Kudos! Keep up the good work in Introduction to Microbiology

Dear Rachel,

Way to go!

You are doing great in Introduction to Microbiology, keep it up!

Here are my additional comments: Has maintained a 98% in the class.

College courses aren't easy, and I can tell you are working hard.

Sincerely,
Yolanda Gold


KUDOS: SHOWING IMPROVEMENT

From Flag Raiser
Reply To Flag Raiser
Subject [RooSuccess] Kudos! Keep up the good work in Introduction to Microbiology

Dear Rachel,

Way to go!

I have seen an improvement in your work recently. Keep it up!

Here are my additional comments:
Has maintained a 98% in the class.

Continuing working hard to reach your goals! This class is not easy, but you are figuring it out.

Sincerely,
Yolanda Gold

Student raises flag on self:

STUDENT RAISED FLAG – I NEED HELP IN A COURSE:(to student, instructor and advisor)

From roosuccess@canton.edu
Reply To roosuccess@canton.edu
Subject [RooSuccess] Confirmation and tips for success!

Dear Rachel,

Thanks for being proactive in finding assistance for the course you are struggling in. We have received your concern and it has been forwarded on to your instructors and advisor so that they can provide you with individualized information.

In the meantime, have you considered:

  • Reaching out to the instructor directly for assistance in understanding the material, how your grade is determined and suggestions for how to improve your grade?

  • Visiting our Tutoring Services website for details on the courses they provide help for, the hours that tutors are in the labs and hours for tutoring for online classes?

  • Attending a Smart Steps workshop to brush up on your academic skills.

  • If you do not have the course materials, do you know that our library stocks many of the textbooks used in your classes? See http://researchguides.canton.edu/reserve for a current listing.

  • If you are struggling in class because of a personal or a health issue, don't struggle alone. Contact our Health Center, Counseling Center, or Diversity office for referrals or more in-depth assistance.

Being proactive in reaching your goals is the first step. Now be prepared to follow-up!

Sincerely,
RooSuccess Team


STUDENT RAISED FLAG – I CANNOT AFFORD THE COURSE MATERIALS:

From roosuccess@canton.edu
Reply To roosuccess@canton.edu
Subject [RooSuccess] Confirmation and tips for your course materials.

Dear Rachel,

Thanks for being proactive in finding assistance in obtaining your course materials. We have received your concern and it has been forwarded on to your instructors and advisor so that they can provide you with individualized information. Please give us a day or two to respond.

In the meantime, you might be able to consider these options:

  • Check out the collection of reserves at the library? They keep a listing of all of the current, required textbooks and will tell you if it is in print or online.
  • Check with your specific instructor for advice. They will be the best resource for how to access alternate versions of the text.
  • Check in with the financial aid office to see if you have any chance of accessing additional aid to be able to pay for course materials. You can stop in, or see their website for other ways to reach them.
  • Is it possible to pick up a used version or to rent the textbook? See our Textbook Center for options depending on the book.
  • Our Dean of Students, Courtney Bish can also help direct you to resources, depending on your specific needs.

Sincerely,
RooSuccess Team


STUDENT RAISED FLAG – I AM UNSURE OF MY MAJOR/CAREER GOALS:

From roosuccess@canton.edu
Reply To roosuccess@canton.edu
Subject [RooSuccess] Confirmation and tips for assistance in deciding on a major/career

Dear Rachel,

We are so glad you are reaching out for assistance with deciding on a major/career! We have received your concern but it can take us a day or two to respond.

In the meantime, you might be able to consider these options:

  • Talk with your advisor about the breadth of opportunities that your major can lead to. There may be jobs that you have not thought of.
  • Have you reviewed the other majors at SUNY Canton to see if there is a different one that appeals to you?
  • Take a Focus 2 Career Assessment for insights into your interests and strengths and how those match up to potential careers. Then, make an appointment to come and chat with us in Career Services about what the results can tell you!
  • Have your circumstances changed since you started college? Do you want to modify your four-year plan? Make an appointment with Advising & First Year Programs to go over your degree audit and determine how changing your major would affect your time to degree completion OR find out if it is possible to complete your degree at a different pace (faster or slower).
  • We look forward to chatting with you!

Sincerely,
RooSuccess Team


STUDENT RAISED FLAG – I AM STRUGGLING WITH PERSONAL OR HEALTH ISSUES:

From roosuccess@canton.edu
Reply To roosuccess@canton.edu
Subject [RooSuccess] Confirmation and suggestions for you

Dear Rachel,

Thanks for reaching out. RooSuccess is not an emergency notification system, so if you need immediate help, please call 911 or University Police at 315-386-7777. This flag will prompt someone to check in with you in the next day or two.

If this is not an emergency, but you just need some extra help, consider these resources:

  • Counseling Center. You do not have to be in a crisis to use the Counseling Center. Sometimes, you just need some help to figure out ways to cope with your stress or to work your way though a situation that you haven't had to deal with before. However, if you ARE struggling with bigger issues (death of a loved one, depression, assualt) they can assist you with working through those as well.
  • Davis Health Center. All current, local students, whether or not they live on-campus and whether or not you purchase health insurance through SUNY Canton, have access to Davis Health Center. They can assist with a lot (see list of services) and can refer you out if needed. Be proactive in taking care of your heath by calling or stopping in to see them.
  • If you are struggling to meet your basic needs, our campus stocks a food pantry and keeps some winter clothing on hand. See the Counseling Center or Dean of Students for these resources and for referrals to resources in the community if you need additional support.
  • Campus Ministries. Staffed by clergy from our surrounding community, someone is on campus each week day for you to stop in and chat with.
  • Campus Title IX coordinators can assist you with issues related to sex discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual violence.

You are encouraged to make use of campus resources as needed. They are in place to support you so that you can put your energy towards doing well in your classes.

Sincerely,
RooSuccess Team


STUDENT RAISED FLAG – I HAVE ADVISING QUESTIONS

From roosuccess@canton.edu
Reply To roosuccess@canton.edu
Subject: [RooSuccess] Confirmation of request and advising suggestions

‌Dear Rachel,

We are so glad you are reaching out for advising assistance!  We have received your concern but it can take us a day or two to respond.    

In the meantime, you might consider these options:    

Have you checked in with your faculty advisor?  
If you do not know who your advisor is, see your My Success Network in RooSuccess.

Do you need help registering for classes for next semester? 
You must meet (in person, via phone, email, etc.) with your faculty advisor to discuss the classes that you intend to sign up for and obtain a registration code.  The code gives you access to register yourself for classes on UCanWeb (see instructions here).  If you are getting an error message when you try to sign up for the course, use the "Online Request for an Override" from the Add or Drop classes page in UCanWeb.  

Do you have questions about your degree progress and timeline to completion? 
Check out your degree audit in DegreeWorks?  Review your current status on the Worksheet tab or use the Plans tab to create a semester by semester roadmap to graduation.  Additional instructions  on how to understand DegreeWorks can be found here

Are you planning to change your major? 
Fill out the Change of Major Form and submit to the department chair of the program you want to get into.  That person can also be a resource for what classes to sign up for next, even if you are not yet officially in the new major.  Also see the list of all SUNY Canton majors and the Career Services website for more ways to help you clarify what your next steps are.  

Do you want to withdraw from a course?  
Fill out a Course Change Notice and submit to your faculty advisor.  

Are you planning to withdraw from all of your courses?  
Log into UCanWeb.  Go to Student Menu -> Student Records -> Request to Withdraw this semester to get the process started.  

Have your circumstances changed since you started and you want to work out a new plan to complete your degree? 
Make an appointment with Advising & First Year Programs to go over your degree audit and determine what makes sense for you and your unique circumstances.  

We look forward to chatting with you!  

Sincerely,

RooSuccess Team