In the fall 2021 semester, the University of Pittsburgh made great strides in the space of student success, and we could not have done it without the support and commitment of faculty and advisors. Pitt is proving to be a leader in this area - see below for details about some institution-wide initiatives and preliminary results.
It is important to note that while individual instructors support students in their own courses, the initiatives outlined below support Pitt’s larger student success effort by providing support staff (e.g., advisors, mentors, administrators) with a holistic view of student performance. By identifying students who are struggling in multiple courses, support staff can leverage the most appropriate resources to help students (e.g., directing students to academic resources, tutoring, personal or counseling resources, withdrawal).
Early Progress Report Pilot
In the fall 2021 semester, the Office of the Provost piloted an Early Progress Report (EPR) campaign. EPRs allow faculty members to simply identify students of concern in their courses within the first few weeks of the semester. That information is shared with students and their advisors, who provide outreach to students as appropriate. The pilot was a huge success!
Pittsburgh Campus Results
- 1,161 faculty members across 1,934 courses were asked to complete an EPR, reflecting a total of 13,165 EPRs
- 46% of these EPRs were completed
- 285 unique students were identified as “of concern” by at least one instructor
- “Kudos” were offered for 298 EPRs
Greensburg Campus Results
- 139 faculty members across 318 courses were asked to complete an EPR, reflecting a total of 3,411 EPRs
- 60% of these EPRs were completed
- 172 unique students were identified as “of concern” by at least one instructor
- “Kudos” were offered for 315 EPRs
We are excited to continue the Early Progress Report campaign for the spring 2022 semester by partnering with the advisors in the following units:
- SSOE First-Year Advising
- SCI Advising and Student Success: First-year students
- Academic Support Services for Student Athletes (ASSSA)
- School of Nursing: Select student populations
- University of Pittsburgh Greensburg Advising: First- and Second-year students
- University of Johnstown Advising: All students
If you are asked to complete an EPR, we guarantee that advisors are ready to act on the information you provide. The spring 2022 EPR will launch on February 1 and will close on February 14.
New Mid-term Grading Process
Also in the fall 2021 semester, the University implemented a change to the PeopleSoft mid-term grading process to include all students in all classes. For this process, faculty utilized the traditional Faculty Center grade roster page to record student mid-term grades. This transition allowed faculty to record mid-term grades in much the same way that they report final grades (i.e. via direct input within PeopleSoft Classic, through the HighPoint CX platform, or through import into PeopleSoft Classic from their Canvas grade roster).
The midterm grades will be requested in March. Because the midterm grade process takes place later in the semester than the EPR campaign, formal grades are requested to help students (and their advisors) understand their performance at that point in the term.
It is important to note that these efforts are in no way a violation of FERPA and University policy as they align with a need to share student information for a legitimate educational purpose.
Thanks to all for your continued efforts in supporting undergraduate student academic success.