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EFFECTIVE PRACTICES FOR REACHOUTS
(reported by IRSC Faculty)

  1. Integrate ReachOuts into your class - Include in your syllabus a statement about the RiverSupport/ReachOut system. Here is a sample statement that you can insert in your syllabus or place on BLACKBOARD:

    This class uses the RiverSupport/ReachOut system. I will notify your Academic Advisor if you have struggled with academic concerns, excessive absences, incomplete work, difficulty with the course content, or other issues affecting your coursework.

    This warning is not an official grade, yet it indicates concerns about your progress that need to be addressed immediately. Since the ReachOut provides essential notices by email, a course requirement is that you check your RiverMail account frequently and respond quickly if you receive an email message regarding a ReachOut from RiverSupport.

    If you are contacted from an Advisor regarding a ReachOut, please respond to those individuals and also visit me during my office hours so we may talk about strategies for how you can be successful in this class.

    Make class announcements - Before submitting a ReachOut, communicate to your class reasons you may be submitting them and your expectations for students who receive them. Some faculty has created a homework assignment or have offered extra credit for students who complete DLAs (Directed Learning Activities) related to the ReachOuts such as extra credit points for using ASC services or creating an action plan.

  2. CATs, Early Assessment - Use CATs (Classroom Assessment Techniques) or other measures (syllabus quizzes, homework) early in the semester to identify “at-risk” students.
  3. For the initial student contact, consider using the “Meet with Instructor” Email referral to determine what is going on with the student – As instructors, we see behavioral traits that are symptomatic of “at-risk” students: Tardiness, Missed Homework, Poor quality of homework submitted, missed classes, disheveled appearance etc. We see the behavioral indicators that students are struggling, but we often do not know the reasons that lie beneath the behavioral indicators. Instructors have found the “Meet with Instructor” referral email, via Blackboard or RiverMail, to be effective as the initial referral as they can meet with the student to see what is going on. Here is a sample email that you can adapt for your class and/or student;

    Hello (student first name),

    I am glad that you are enrolled in my class (course name/number). Success in college can sometimes be challenging and I want you to know that I am here to support your academic goals. I am concerned that you are not experiencing the level of achievement in my class that you expect and want you to know that IRSC has many support services to aid your efforts.

    Please come and see me ASAP so that we can discuss strategies for your success in this course. Below are my office hours and location as well as my phone # and email. I look forward to working with you over the next several weeks.

    Office Location:
    Office Hours:
    Phone #
    Email:

    Sincerely,
    Your loving instructor

    After discussing what is going on with the student, the instructor can then best determine if the student needs additional resources and can initiate a ReachOut if necessary. If contact is not made with the student after several attempts a ReachOut can also be sent to aid in getting the student the information needed.

  4. Use ReachOuts Early in the semester – Students who have been referred early in the semester have a better chance of turning around their grades. Don’t wait until the latter part of the semester when students do not have time to turn their grade around.

    The best time to make a ReachOut is from Week 3 – 7 in the Fall and/or Spring semester.

  5. Use of IRSC RiverMail Required - Since the ReachOut goes to the student’s RiverMail email, require students to use their RiverMail account as part of the class (embed assignments within RiverMail, at the start of the semester have every student email you from their RiverMail account).

Important things to remember

  • Sending a ReachOut means this student is AT-RISK OF FAILURE. You should only send a ReachOut AFTER you have worked with the student on ways to be successful and feel that other outside interventions are needed.
  • RiverSupport is a communication system between the faculty member and the advisor. It is not a way to communicate directly with the student. Students will never see information that is placed in the ReachOut Details form.
  • Each ReachOut initiates three (3) automated emails
    — One to the student’s assigned Advisor with the details of the ReachOut
    — One to the student from their Advisor
    — A confirmation email back to you as the Instructor
  • Please allow the Advisor three (3) business days after the ReachOut has been sent to work on contacting the student. It is not necessary to send an additional ReachOut for the same issue while the advisor is in the process of contacting the student. Give them time to make contact and send you a response regarding the challenge.
  • Each time the Advisor responds to the ReachOut you will receive an email detailing the action(s) of the Advisor and the student’s response. There may be questions for you from the Advisor, please read the comments and respond if the student begins to make progress, you see a change in the student success or if there is other follow-up information needed. You can easily respond to the advisor by replying to the RiverSupport Advisor Response email for that particular student.
  • Once the ReachOut challenge has been resolved and no more actions need to be taken the ReachOut will be closed by the Advisor and you, the Instructor, will be notified that the ReachOut has been CLOSED and be given details regarding the final outcome of the ReachOut challenge.
  • The Early Alert system is still available and will function as normal. Please feel free to continue to use the Early Alert system as you are accustomed.



RIVERSUPPORT RESOURCES

riversupport resources online guide

RiverSupport's Online
Resource Guide

Issues outside of the classroom can often cause students’ work inside the classroom to suffer. At IRSC we are dedicated to helping you be successful. Utilizing RiverSupport’s Online Resource Guide you can browse a collection of Resources, both throughout our campuses and in the community.


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