Early Alert

The goal of Early Alert is to identify and effectively intervene with students who are exhibiting at-risk behaviors by providing strategies, support, and resources to improve course success and overall retention of students. 

How to submit an alert

Faculty can submit an early alert for a student through Faculty Portal or Ellucian Experience. The Faculty Portal provides your course roster(s), and your alert history in the setting menu. 


Identifying the proper alert

Type of Early Alert Referral When to choose this referral Possible Interventions
Advising Referral – Failing Grades due to Engagement or Attendance
  • Student shows up to class, but is not actively participating
  • Appear distracted
  • Attendance patterns of not showing up to class at all, they are arriving late, or they are leaving early
  • Attendance patterns and strategies for improvement
  • Resources to assist with non-academic factors, such as transportation, caregiving duties, food or housing insecurity
  • Evaluating implications of withdrawing from the course, or considering a leave of absence for sudden or traumatic life events

Counseling Referral ‐ General Wellbeing

(This alert is not appropriate for crisis situations, BIRB, or Disruptive Student/Conduct. See guidelines (PDF).)

  • Struggling with the loss of a loved one, a relationship ending, test anxiety, or coping with a situation
  • Needs to be connected to campus or community resources (Food Pantry, Disability resources, Delta’s Closet, Student Success Workshops) 
  • Interventions will be assessed as appropriate by a Licensed Professional Counselor and are confidential as outlined by HIPAA.
Tutoring Referral – Learning, Study, & Testing Strategies
  • Needs assistance with focus or concentration
  • Students know content but have difficulty accessing it during a test
  • Demonstrating techniques to manage time/priorities, monitor concentration, direct and maintain attention, eliminate distractions, and redirect focus. 
  • Individual or group review of effective test preparation tips and test-taking strategies. 
Tutoring Referral – Content-Specific Course Support
  • Additional review/practice in subject area
  • Needs to build familiarity with basic technology use
  • Individualized explanations of content, assistance utilizing resources, practice problem-solving and/or applying course concepts. 
  • Helping students acquire the requisite tech skills they need to access, complete, and submit class assignments and/or receive other College services. 
Tutoring Referral – Academic Writing and Reading
  • At any stage in the writing process for any discipline (and for any genre of writing assignment), from gathering ideas to reviewing final drafts.
  • To improve reading comprehension and understanding of academic reading material
  • Review of idea generation techniques, content development/organization strategies, and/or appropriate source integration/citation in MLA or APA format.
  • Review of various reading strategies, including those related to text interaction, vocabulary development, and content analysis.

Frequently asked questions


  • Reach and assist students early in the semester
  • Help students succeed in their classes by providing strategies, support and on-campus and/or off-campus resources
  • Increase communication between students, faculty, and staff
  • Increase student success

Measurable outcomes:

  • Improve student persistence
  • Decrease the number of students on academic probation and academic caution while protecting use of financial aid dollars
  • Increase the number of faculty who refer students for early alert each semester
  • Increase course success completion rate for student retention each year

All faculty can submit a student’s name for outreach through the Faculty Portal or Experience on the Alert Submission card.

Students and staff who wish to receive support should contact one of the following offices for support:

Unsure who to contact? That's ok. Log into Pioneer Connect to find supports and services. We'll help you get the support you need.

Faculty can submit an early alert for a student through Faculty Portal or Ellucian Experience.

The Faculty Portal provides your course roster(s), and your alert history in the setting menu. 

If you would like to view a demonstration of how to submit an early alert, please see this three-minute tutorial video

Please only submit one alert per type (Academic, Advising, or Counseling) for each student. If you think more than one alert per type is applicable, choose the alert of best fit, and include notes in your alert that include more about what the student needs. 

Each alert begins with Academic Referral, Advising Referral, or Counseling Referral. Please choose the one in those categories of best fit for the students you are submitting an alert. 

You are welcome to use different types of alerts for students. For example, if the student should be referred to both the TLC and Advising, you may submit an alert for both types. We ask that you simply don't choose more than one alert per type.

An email is sent to the student upon the creation of every alert you submit. 

Once the referral is received in the system, the student will receive an email notifying them of the referral and the purpose of the outreach. The email will encourage the student to reach out for assistance and give contact information for the Teaching Learning Center, Advising, or Personal Counseling Services  – based on the nature of the referral.

Depending on the nature of the referral, the student will either be contacted by the Teaching Learning Center to offer support, their Student Success Advisor is reaching out for Attendance, support, etc. in regard to absences, or a Counselor for mental health support or community resources.

Emails and phone calls will be made within 48 business hours to the student, giving the student a 14 day period to respond.

Interventions will be determined on a case by case basis. Be sure to include specific notes in your alert to help the staff have a conversation with your student. 

Within Faculty Portal, you can view your alert history in the upper-right menu options. Select the course for which alerts you would like to see. The status of the alert, in the far right column, will be one of three options: open, closed, or canceled. 

  • Open - the alert has been submitted to the owner of that alert to take action. We are in the process of reaching out to the student to provide services through a two-way conversation or to schedule an appointment. 
  • Closed - the student and staff member have made a two-way connection via a phone conversation or the student attended a scheduled appointment. If an appointment was scheduled, the alert is 'closed' only if the student attended the appointment.
  • Canceled - after 14 days, if the staff member was not able to make connection with the student, the alert is canceled. 

A history of your alerts is also in the Faculty Portal, in the upper-right menu options. 

Within your update or history, you will see the Owner of the alert. This is the person or shared office account that has been assigned the alert to provide outreach and support for the student. If you wish to contact them for follow-up, you are welcome to do so. Please note that some services, such as Counseling Referrals, will not be able to share confidential information. 

Delta College's Early Alert system was developed to provide a referral system for faculty who witnessed students struggling in their courses. The system was set up so faculty could easily refer names of students who may benefit from additional assistance outside of the classroom. Currently the system involves a faculty referral portal, facilitators who receive the referrals, an outreach model to contact referred students and the assistance of the Teaching Learning Center, Personal Counseling Services, and Advising staff to provide academic, advising, and counseling support services to help them be successful.