First-Year Experience
Georgia Southern University

Good Questions to Ask about Early Alerts

Remaining interested in your student’s academic progress in college is natural and often important for his or her success.  Whenever possible, focus on asking questions and encouraging your student to seek help.

Q: Have you checked WINGS for Early Alerts?

WINGS holds lots of student information, including Early Alerts for students classified as freshmen. Faculty can post Early Alerts as early as the third week of classes. Your son or daughter can view his/her Early Alerts by going to my.georgiasouthern.edu, clicking WINGS, Student, Student Records, then Early Alerts. Your student may have a few or no alerts from the third week of school until the end seventh week, as faculty do not always submit alerts that early; but by midterm he or she should have Early Alerts for every class.

Q: How many Unsatisfactory alerts did you receive and why do you think you received them?

It’s common for freshmen to have one or more unsatisfactory Early Alerts, and a single one may not be cause for great concern. However, it may be a sign that your freshman isn’t adjusting well to college if he or she has multiple unsatisfactory Early Alerts. Regardless of the number of unsatisfactory Early Alerts, it’s important for your student to figure out why he or she received an unsatisfactory Early Alerts. If your freshman doesn’t know, recommend that he or she talks to the professor in person immediately.

Q: What classes did you earn Satisfactory alerts in?
Asking what classes students are doing well in is just as important as asking what classes they aren’t doing so well in. Ask your son or daughter about S grades. Then, ask what he/she is doing in those classes that resulted in an S. Helping your son or daughter understand why he or she is doing well in one class may help him or her understand how to improve in other classes.
Q: What numerical grade do you have in your classes?

Early Alerts really shouldn’t be surprises to your student if he or she is attending classes and reviewing returned homework, quizzes and tests. Asking your student where he or she stands numerically in a class can be instructive. Knowing that average can help a student prepare better. If he or she can’t explain this, then that is a cause for concern. Recommend consulting the course syllabus and speaking with the professor to get a better sense of where he or she stands in the course.

Q: What’s your plan to improve your grades?

If your student has unsatisfactory Early Alerts, ask him or her to create a plan of improvement. If your freshman has no idea how to go about improving his or her grades, suggest the following:

  • Talk to professors: Utilize office hours (listed on the syllabus) by dropping in and asking professors questions about course progress.
  • Visit the Academic Success Center. Students can take advantage of the FREE tutoring the Academic Success Center offers this semester, along with their FREE workshops.
  • Visit Counseling and Career Development Center. Georgia Southern Students get 12 free counseling sessions per academic year (from fall to spring). If your student is feeling stressed or depressed, he or she should strongly consider making an appointment.
  • Visit the Student Disability Resource Center. The SDRC provides accommodations for students who have a documented learning disability. In 2011-12, Georgia Southern students who returned their accommodation letters earned, on average, 1.08 GPA points higher than students who did not. If your student has, or think he or she has, a learning disability, the SDRC can help. Students should stop by the second floor of Cone Hall for more information.
  • Talk to an Academic Advisor. Especially if your freshman is thinking about withdrawing from a course, he or she should talk to his or her academic advisor first. Students can look under the student services tab on WINGS for advisor information.

Last updated: 12/5/2014

First-Year Experience • P.O. Box 8145 Statesboro, GA 30460 • (912) 478-3939 • fye@georgiasouthern.edu