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Early Alert FAQs

  • We believe every student can succeed at BYU. We also know that life challenges may occur during a semester, making it difficult to complete academic work. Challenges may include:

    • Financial stress
    • Family struggles or emergencies
    • Excessive working hours
    • Mental and physical health challenges
    • Less effective study strategies
    • …and many other issues

    Once these challenges begin to impact a student’s academic performance, we believe it is important to resolve them as quickly as possible before recovery seems or becomes unattainable. Our experience shows that when a student’s academic performance is suffering, the earlier it is addressed, the easier it is for them to recover during the semester.

    We want to offer support to students as quickly as possible and provide resources to help you get back on track and feel successful.

  • The Early Alert system uses computer modeling and campus data to identify students who might need additional support to be successful in their classes. We identify these students based on two predictions:

    1. How likely they are to earn below a C grade in their classes, based on how they are doing so far in the semester
    2. How engaged they were with their classes during the past few weeks, based on things like submitting assignments and taking quizzes, compared with other students in the same class.

    Every day of the semester, students are assigned a new risk status (low, medium, high) and an engagement status (average or low) based on their current interactions with their classes.

  • Challenges are a normal part of attending a rigorous college. It is normal and expected that students will need extra support at times while they are at BYU. BYU advisors have access to Early Alert scores to allow them to reach out to students. If an advisor contacts you, please consider it an expression of care. They can help you identify resources as well as discuss potential options to navigate the challenges you are facing.

    You might receive messages from multiple people from various offices on campus. You can choose the advisor that you work best with. If an advisor reaches out to you, we encourage you to respond to their outreach. They sincerely want to help you be successful.

    We hope students do not feel embarrassed or discouraged if they are contacted based on their risk status. We created this system with the intention of reaching out to you because we care about every student on our campus. We believe that with the right support, all students have the potential to be successful at BYU. Experiencing challenges or needing extra support does not mean you are not qualified or valued.

    If you are struggling or if you are not sure who to contact, do not hesitate to make an appointment with your academic advisor or any of the specialized advisement offices on campus, such as:

    First Year Experience MentorsBYU First Year Experience provides a mentor for each first-year student and any transfer students who request one. Your mentor is there to answer questions, point out resources, and talk about your overall BYU experience.
    Academic Support OfficeThe ASO promotes students’ academic success and assists degree-seeking, undergraduate students who are experiencing academic difficulty. This is also the office who guides students through academic standing toward success.
    Multicultural Student ServicesThe Multicultural Student Services office serves American minority students and the university community at BYU by offering a number of programs and services. They provide advisement in academic, cultural, financial, social, and personal needs.
    International Student ServicesBYU International Student and Scholar Services provides personal, cultural and academic advisement while assisting students and scholars in maintaining their lawful status so that they may have an enriching and successful BYU experience.
    University Accessibility CenterThe University Accessibility Center seeks to provide students with disabilities equal access to all opportunities at BYU and to create an environment that facilitates learning and assists students in reaching their full potential.
    College Advisement CentersAdvisement centers are located throughout campus in the buildings that house the specific college. Advisors are there to help you declare or change a major, choose the classes you need, and answer questions about completing your major and preparing for a career. If you don’t have a major yet, you can visit the University Advisement Center—or Open Major Advisement—located at 2500 Wilkinson Student Center (801-422-3826).

    In addition to personal advisement outreach, the Early Alert system will also send out automated emails suggesting general or course specific resources that might help students with a high risk status.

  • We share the risk and engagement status with college academic advisors who provide academic support to students. Academic advisors only have access to the status of students who have majors in their college or who are under their stewardship.

    Additional offices who provide individual support for students may also access the status of students for whom they provide services. These include offices such as the Multicultural Office, Accessibility Center, Office of First Year Experience, and the International Office.

    PLEASE NOTE: We do not share these scores with individual instructors or teaching assistants (TAs). Daily risk and engagement status DO NOT have an impact on grades or academic standing.  Risk and engagement scores do not become a part of a student’s academic record. 

  • Your data privacy is respected and kept confidential through strict adherence to all FERPA guidelines and requirements. The University Accessibility Center, BYU Health Center, and Counseling and Psychological Services records are NOT included in the Early Alert tool. Nobody but you and your instructor know your actual grade in your course or your grades on individual assignments or tests.

    Our algorithms are created from the statistical modeling of hundreds of variables across multiple years-worth of information. All the data calculations occur behind the scenes in a very protected environment, known as a “black box model.” Daily risk statuses are not retained and are not a part of a student’s academic record.

    PLEASE NOTE: We do not share these scores with individual instructors or teaching assistants (TAs). Daily risk and engagement status DO NOT have an impact on grades or academic standing, and they do not become a part of a student’s academic record.