UTC is committed to helping students make a productive transition to college life. Central to this commitment are various academic programs, resources and services, including the Freshman Academic Success Tracking initiative, designed to help first time freshmen become responsible, self-disciplined students.
“This initiative attempts to achieve this purpose by promoting responsible class attendance,” according to Dr. Fran Bender, Assistant Provost for Student Retention and Success. “Special emphasis is placed on the first six weeks of the freshman year when most academic problems begin although monitoring will continue throughout the semester,” Bender said.
This fall semester the freshman composition and Western Humanities instructors in the English Department are taking attendance in their classes. Once students have missed two classes, their instructors send the students’ names via computer to the Advisement Office, Residence Life, and Bender. Students living in on-campus housing are contacted by Residence Advisors who remind these students of the importance of class attendance to academic success. These students also receive a card detailing student resources for academic and/or personal issues. Students living off-campus receive a phone call from Blake Pierce in the Advisement and Retention Office.
“Contact, though brief and positive, is designed to encourage class attendance and consultation with the teachers about academic concerns. Students are contacted only once even though they may continue to miss class. The contact should serve as awake-up call and encouragement for students,” Bender said.
This initiative, modeled on those used by other universities to help freshmen get off to a good start, has proved successful. “We hope that we, too, get positive results,” Bender said.