Moving the needle on student success

Early alerts and midterm grades

decrease in final DFW grades (among highest DFW rate courses)

VCU provides two methods to help faculty set and reinforce high academic expectations in undergraduate classes by providing timely feedback to students regarding their academic performance - progress reports (early alert) and midterm grades. With faculty support last fall, some of our highest D, F, and W graded classes realized up to a 7% decrease in final DFW grades.

Here are important dates for participation in both of these critical student success programs this spring:

  • Progress reports (early alert) is a notification process implemented within the first two to five weeks of class that allow faculty to communicate to both the student and the student’s academic advisor that they are exhibiting at-risk behaviors in their class that, if not addressed, could lead to low academic performance outcomes. Examples include low quiz scores, not logging in to Blackboard, missing class or not turning in homework assignments. For the spring 2019 semester, instructors should submit progress reports before February 17.
  • The midterm grades process allows faculty to notify students through eServices of their current grade in the course between weeks 6 and 10, which is prior to the withdrawal deadline. Faculty have until Friday, March 15 to submit their midterm grades. Without these grades, both the student and their academic advisor assume that the student is performing adequately in your class. Although all faculty are encouraged to submit midterm grades, it is strongly encouraged for faculty teaching 100 and 200 level courses.

Detailed instructions on how to submit both progress reports and midterm grades are online on the Student Success website. Questions should be sent to