Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Faculty & Academic Alerts
General Information

The Academic Alert System is a systematic method of notifying all stakeholders (student, instructor and advisor) when a student is experiencing academic difficulties. Instructors concerned about a student's performance may submit an academic alert via MU Online. Both the students and his/her advisor receive an email notification that an alert has been submitted, and details of the alert can be viewed by accessing MU Online. Through the Academic Alert System, instructors and advisors prompt students to take corrective action to improve their academic performance.

Instructors: Submitting an Academic Alert

1.Log onto MU Online at
2.Click on Faculty Services
3.Click on Academic Alert System
4.Select the current term and the course and click "Submit,"
5.Your course roster appears. Click "add" next to a student's name to submit an academic alert.

Advisors: Viewing an Academic Alert

1.Log onto MU Online at
2.Click on Faculty Services
3.Click on Advising Menu
4.Click on "View Advisee List"
5.Select the current term and click "View Advisee List"
6.Your advisee list appears. Click "alert" next to a student's name to view the details of the alert.

Guidelines for Using the Academic Alert System

* Utilize the academic alert system early in the semester, particularly for class attendance.  Individual academic unit (and individual instructors within those units) should use the academic alert system according to their unique student learning objectives. However, faculty should make every attempt to utilize the academic alert system as early in the semester as possible. Submitting an academic alert at the first sign of difficulty allows students and advisors more time for corrective action (seeking help during office hours, tutoring, dropping the course, etc.) than submitting an alert at a point where options have become limited.

In addition, faculty are strongly encouraged to utilize the academic alert system for attendance during the first three weeks of the semester. Students who "start behind" by missing a substantial amount of class early in the term are more likely to "stay behind" for the duration of the semester. In addition, excessive absence is an indicator of more serious problems that are likely affecting the student's performance in other classes. The sooner that students and advisors are alerted to these problems, the more time for corrective action.

* Develop an academic alert policy for your academic unit. To ensure the consistency and effectiveness of the academic alert system within your academic unit, you may wish to develop a formal policy governing how faculty, advisors and students will utilize the system.

Questions you may want to address in the policy include:

- For what specific reasons will faculty submit an academic alert?
- At what point in the semester are alerts most effective (i.e. timing of use)?
- How will academic advisors in the unit respond to the alert?
- What corrective actions should students take upon receipt of the alert?

* Communicate with your students about the academic alert system.  Many students become confused upon receiving an academic alert, particularly students who have never received an alert or have never heard of the academic alert system. Clearly articulate the purpose of the academic alert system and remind students of those who are notified when an alert has been submitted (instructor, advisor and student). Assure students that alerts are not a part of any permanent record and exist only to help them be successful.

* Use the "Other" option to clarify the reason for your alert and to call the student to action.  The most effective academic alerts are those that prompt students to take corrective action. Use the "Other" text box within the academic alert system to articulate specific steps that students should take in order to improve performance (go to tutoring, come to office hours, visit the Writing Center, etc.)

* Ask someone in the Student Success office to submit an alert on your behalf.  If you are not comfortable using academic alert system, communicate your concern to someone in the Academic Development office and request that they submit an academic alert on your behalf. By utilizing the formal alert system, staff in the Student Success office can more easily include the three critical parties (student, instructor, and advisor) in the communication while creating documentation of the concern.
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL