New Pathways Resource for Referring Struggling Students on the Pittsburgh Campus!
As part of the Office of the Provost’s commitment to student success, an additional resource is now available for instructional faculty on the Pittsburgh campus to alert advisors when a student is struggling. This new tool offers a way to streamline the process of identifying struggling students and connecting them to appropriate resources.
In short, Pittsburgh campus instructors (as listed in PeopleSoft) can choose to use the Pathways advising and student success platform to make referrals for students enrolled in their courses. Once a referral is made for a student, the advisor will reach out to the student based on the principles outlined in this Referral Table. When the advisor “closes the referral,” the instructor will be emailed some brief notes about the support the student received.
This new process goes hand in hand with the early progress reporting (EPR) initiative launched in fall 2021. The EPR initiative allows instructors to identify select students in their courses as “of concern” based on early course performance and behavior. However, because the EPR is only open at the beginning of the semester for select students, the new process described above fills an important gap by allowing instructors to identify any struggling student throughout the entire semester.
What does this mean for you?
If you are an instructor on the Pittsburgh campus and you are concerned about an undergraduate student enrolled in one of your classes, you can decide to log in to the Pathways platform and make an “Academic Advisor” referral for that student. Review the step-by-step instructions on how to make a referral. Note that only faculty members listed as the primary and/or secondary instructor in PeopleSoft are able to log in to the Pathways platform to make referrals for students enrolled in their classes. If you have questions about your access, please contact PathwaysHelp@pitt.edu. If you want to make a referral and cannot log in, please see the section below on “How can others make referrals.”
If you are a faculty member on one of the regional campuses, you can choose to continue to leverage the existing processes (provided below) your campus has for alerting advisors about struggling students.
• Bradford/Titusville Campus resources: Student Care & Conduct
• Greensburg Campus resources: Log in to the Pathways platform and make a “Greensburg Campus Student Referral.”
• Johnstown Campus resources: Academic Alerts
Making a referral for a student does not violate the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). However, the information included in a referral would be subject to a student access request under FERPA. If you are not familiar with FERPA, the Office of the University Registrar has some great information on FERPA Training & Resources. In addition, the Pathways team has developed a robust set of resources on documenting student interactions in Pathways.
How can others make referrals?
Anyone (such as a TA or those instructors not listed in PeopleSoft) can make a referral (even if you do not have access to Pathways). You can submit a non-emergency referral using the Academic Advisor referral type. When you complete this form, the student’s advisor will be made aware of your concern.