Frequently Asked Questions about EPR (Early Progress Report) 

What is an EPR and how will my course information help advisors? 

When you provide your course-level information, it will support a larger student success effort at Pitt by assisting advisors, mentors, and administrators in identifying and helping students who may be encountering trouble in multiple courses. While we know that individual instructors and/or teaching assistants may reach out to students about their own courses, it is valuable information for academic advisors and mentors to understand when a student may be struggling in multiple courses and be able to intervene early (e.g., for academic resources, tutoring, personal or counseling resources, withdrawal). It is important to note that this effort is in no way a violation of FERPA and University policy as it aligns with a need to share student information for a legitimate educational purpose.

As well, early feedback is important to your students, who will receive a notification that a concern has been raised about their performance and better understand whether or not their study strategies align with your expectations.

How were my students and/or courses identified to participate in the EPR?

In our ongoing efforts toward undergraduate student success, we asked for volunteers to pilot an early progress reporting program for the Spring 2022 semester. Six units agreed to join our efforts and your course happens to be one of those who services those students:

What kind of information could I provide so early in the term?

Of course, we encourage you to utilize your Canvas course gradebook, when possible, to identify students who are struggling academically. But we recognize we are asking for course feedback quite early in the term. Some instructors may not have grade information yet and that is perfectly fine. Most importantly, we ask you to think holistically about the students you are most concerned about per your definition for your course (e.g., never attended, never turned in assignments, is not engaged in course material, earning zeros on all assignments, seems withdrawn, etc.). If you have any tips or tricks for completing the EPRs, please let us know as our goal is to help faculty keep this as simple as possible.

What information are you exactly asking for in the EPR?

During the reporting period of February 1 to February 14 you will be able to identify students about whom you are concerned and generate “alerts” to make both advisors and students aware of student progress. You can choose none, one, or multiple alerts from the following list for as many or as few students on your roster as applicable:

In danger of failing
In danger of earning a C- or D
Attendance concern
Missing assignments
Other academic performance concerns
Kudos – keep up the great work!

While not required, you may also choose to include additional “comments” in the report to provide both advisors and students more information.  Some examples include but are not limited to missing assignments, low quiz/test scores, should seek tutoring resources, technology concern, showing good improvement, and good class participation.

Remember, students, advisors, and other support staff will be able to view these comments.  In addition, comments are part of a student’s record and are expected to meet the standards of recording-keeping consistent with federal guidelines. If you have any questions or need guidance on documentation, visit the Documenting Student Interactions section of our website.

Who receives the EPRs?

EPRs are only sent to instructors identified in PeopleSoft as the primary and/or secondary instructor for a course. If a course has a primary and secondary instructor, the EPR will be sent to both individuals, however, only one instructor needs to complete the EPR. Individuals identified in PeopleSoft as teaching assistants will not receive the EPR.

Are EPRs sent for labs and recitations?

If labs and recitations have a primary and/or secondary instructor assigned to them in PeopleSoft, the instructor(s) will receive an EPR. However, if the lab or recitation is not graded and tied to performance in an associated lecture, only one EPR needs to be completed for either the lecture OR lab/recitation. Individuals identified in PeopleSoft as teaching assistants will not receive the EPR.

I don’t see a student I am concerned about on my list. How do I let someone know?

Pittsburgh Campus:  
If you are concerned about someone who is not on your list, you can submit a non-emergency referral (even if you do not have access to Pathways) using the Academic Advisor referral type. When you complete this form, the student’s advisor will be made aware of your concern.  For non-Pathways users, please use the Pathways Website page: Referral in Pathways submit a referral for a student. See the Referral Table or the full list of referrals that can be made.

Greensburg Campus:  
If you are concerned about someone who is not on your list, you can make a referral using the Pathways Advising Website. Choose the student about whom you want to make a referral, click the “Issue an Alert” link, select “Greensburg Campus Student Referral”, add additional comments, and click “Submit”. When you make this referral, a full-time professional academic advisor will be notified. They will interpret the situation and take appropriate action.

Johnstown Campus:
Please use the Academic Alert system (available through the Campus Services web site), for academic concerns throughout the semester, or for information that you do not wish to be shared with the student. For personal, behavioral, or health concerns about a student, please use the Care Report system.

What happens with the information that I provide in the EPR?

As soon as you complete the progress report, the student will get an automated email about the alert raised. Then, after the progress reporting period ends advisors will be encouraged to act and provide outreach to students, as needed.

How do I complete the EPR?

Early progress reporting (EPR) is completed in the Pathways for Student Success platform, accessed through the link below. You do not need to be an advisor or have previous access to the system to utilize EPRs. For more resources, such as video tutorials on how to complete EPRs, visit the Early Progress Reports section on the Pathways website.