Genesee's 'Early Warning' Project Helps Students Overcome Academic Problem, Trustees Hear

Genesee Community College's innovative 'Early Warning' Project is helping to quickly identify and help students in danger of failing, two senior administrators told the Board of Trustees Monday evening.

Dr. Eunice M. Bellinger, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dr. Virginia M. Taylor, Vice President for Student and Enrollment Services, described for trustees how faculty members use the program to track - and report - students who do not attend class or who miss key assignments. Dr. Taylor's staff then contacts the students who are identified through the program, and attempt to arrange tutoring or other support services for the students. "The emphasis is on helping students to avoid grades of 'F' and remain in college," Dr. Taylor said.

The program began during the 2006-2007 year, involving nineteen faculty members. Since then the program has grown, and involves 41 full-time and 68 part-time faculty members. Although the program is still too new to evaluate results, College staff members believe that the program will make the difference between college success and failure for some students.

Dr. Bellinger told trustees that identifying attendance or academic problems early in the semester give faculty and staff members the chance to intervene. Dr. Taylor said that students who find themselves in academic trouble do not always want to drop out of college. "But they need to know 'what do I do now?'" she said. "We can offer support and options."