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ASC: Supports for Faculty and Staff - Help Your Students to Connect with Us

Early Alert Referrals

Early Alert Referrals: Frequently Asked Questions - Faculty and Staff

1. Why was the Early Alert Program developed?

The Early Alert Program was developed to enhance supports for students who are struggling academically. The program provides a crucial link between instructors who witness student performance first-hand, and the Academic Success Centre staff who can provide essential resources to support student success. Early Alert Programs are well-established at many colleges across North America and have proven to be very effective and well-received by students, faculty, and staff.

2. How does the Early Alert program work?

The Early Alert Referral program is designed to provide instructors with a method of flagging individuals or groups of students who might benefit from intervention and additional academic support. Instructors can refer students for extra support by filling out a referral form at, the Academic Success Centres online student support portal.

Early Alert supports can be requested for students demonstrating any of the following at-risk learning behaviors:

  • Attendance concerns
  • Low participation
  • Low scores
  • In danger of failing course

Upon receipt of an Early Alert referral, ASC staff will reach out to the students who have been identified and offer them help with problem-solving and learning strategies, while also connecting them to other ASC learning supports and resources that match their needs.

The supports offered can range from a recommendation to access self-directed learning resources for their course, through to ongoing, hands on, 1:1 tutoring support with ASC staff, depending on the details of the referral. In addition to ASC academic supports, student can be further referred to other student services on campus as required, such as: Student Wellness and Mental Health Services, Counselling and Accessibly services, International Student Supports and Indigenous Student Supports.

While the ASC will make every effort to engage with students that are referred for Early Alert support, student participation in the ASC Early Alert program is entirely voluntary.

Instructors are notified by email when a referred student has responded to and/or engaged with the ASC supports offered to them. Ongoing student engagement with ASC Early Alert supports can be tracked through the student’s visit history.

For support with the Early Alert process send an email with the subject “Early Alert Support” to

3. What is the role of the Instructor in the Early Alert Program?

Instructors have the most consistent contact with students on campus and online, so are in the unique position to be able to observe and identify the behaviours associated with at-risk students. The ASC Early Alert Program gives Instructors a process to assist the Academic Success Centre in identifying students who might benefit from intervention and additional supports.

4. What is the role of ASC Support Staff?

ASC Academic Support Specialists, Academic Coaches and Tutors will be called upon to work directly with students that are referred through Early Alert. Staff will be assigned to work with referred students based on the staff person’s familiarity with the course content, and their ability to support the students particular learning needs. Once a staff person is assigned to work with at student or group, they will reach out to the student by email to suggest a meeting or to provide other resources, depending on the nature of the referral. ASC staff can also refer students to other on-campus supports and resources such as: Student Wellness and Mental Health Services, Counselling and Accessibly services, International Student Supports and Indigenous Student Supports.

5. How does Early Alert affect student privacy?

Information about students will be restricted to the Early Alert team, and the academic support staff who will be coordinating information and conducting the outreach with the student. All records are confidential and only shared with the individuals who are directly supporting the student.  Students, faculty, and staff who have privacy concerns should contact the Tutoring Services Supervisor at

6. Does the Early Alert program affect students’ academic records or decisions related to funding or academic status?

Information that is associated with Early Alert will not affect the students' academic record including their academic status or decisions related to funding. Information associated with Early Alert is not accessible to anyone other than authorized personnel involved in supporting the student.

7. What if students have concerns that Early Alert could have a negative effect on them?

The Early Alert program was created to improve academic supports for students at Red River College Polytechnic. Academic Success Centre staff aim to help students succeed and flourish as they move forward with their academics.  The Early Alert program enhances the ability of faculty and staff to look out for the wellbeing of students and connect with those who may benefit from support. The Early Alert program is not meant to be a disciplinary program. Students have the right to accept or decline the support being offered.

8. Will the student be aware I referred them?

Yes. While we don’t focus on the source of the referral, we will disclose to students why we contacted them, if asked. The Early Alert Program is intended to facilitate support and academic skill development for students, with the goal of helping students persist in their studies and enhance their academic success.

How to refer a student to the ASC for academic support

To access RRC Tutor Trac, go to and log in with your RRC staff username and password.

Once logged in, faculty courses will be listed on the left. Click the link to open the class roster.

Class Lists: Click through to the student profile to refer a single student, or flag multiple students to refer a group (See Appendix A for details on how to refer a group).

Student Profile Window


SAGE Referrals Tab: Go here to refer students to the ASC.


Student Referrals: Individuals & Groups

Individual Referral: To refer a single student to the ASC, navigate to the student’s Tutor Trac profile, go to the SAGE tab and click the NEW button to start a new referral form. 

Group Referral: Faculty can refer a group of students for the same reason, at the same time. To do so, instructors first need to flag students to create a sub-list. See Appendix A for instructions on how create a reduced list of students from a class roster.

Filling out the referral form:

Academic Risk Factors for Early Alert Referred Students

Attendance concerns

Choose this reason for students that have missed a significant amount of class time and have fallen behind due to extended or repeated absences. International students that experienced a delayed entry to their program can also be referred with this flag.

Student referred with this flag will be connected with tutors and coaches for assistance in learning past course content while keeping up to date with and learning new course material.

Low participation

Choose this reason for students whose recent or overall participation in class has become a concern. These students need immediate intervention to avoid significant negative academic consequences related to their in-class participation or out of class work with other students. These students will be invited to meet with an Academic Coach who can work with them to develop a plan to fulfill the participation expectations of their course.

Low scores

Choose this reason for students whose recent or cumulative academic performance has become a concern. These students are not at immediate risk of failing the course but could benefit from some early intervention to help improve the student’s chance at success. Students referred for this reason will be invited to participate in course-related ASC programming and/or meet with ASC staff for course content tutoring.

In danger of failing course

Choose this reason when a student is on track to fail the course and needs significant academic support within a limited amount of time. ASC staff will work with the student to help in mastering past course content while learning new course material.

Helpful information to include in the referral form

  • Key content the student needs to review or has missed.
  • Dates for upcoming tests, quizzes or assignments
  • Details surrounding any extensions or make up assessments that have been agreed to.
  • Important details regarding the assignment deliverables ASC staff will be working with the student(s) on.
  • How motivated is the student to be successful in the class? Has indicated a desire to succeed, but is experiencing barrierss

Monitoring Ongoing Student Engagement

Once students have been referred through the SAGE process, instructors are able to monitor the appointments and subsequent meetings with ASC tutors that were set up in response to the referral. 

To access this information, navigate to the students Tutor Trac profile and go to the History tab.

Appendix A: Setting-up a group referral

To refer a group of students for the same reason, at the same time, follow these steps before creating a new SAGE referral form.

Step 1: Open the class list and flag the students you wish to refer to the ASC.

Step 2: From the List Options menu, reduce the list to only the flagged students.

Step 3: From the List Options menu, create a new referral form for the students listed on screen.

Academic Risk Factors for Student Referrals

In order to coordinate student and tutor connections, Tutor Trac is integrated with Colleague and the college email network. Submitting a SAGE referral for an individual or group of students will trigger Tutor Trac to send out a set of messages. A second round of notifications is sent to student and instructor once the ASC assigns a tutor to the case. Instructors are further notified once the assigned tutor logs their first appointment with the student(s). The content and voice of each message can be tailored to best deliver the information and drive student engagement with ASC supports.

Email Round 1: Initial Referral Notifications
When an instructor submits a referral for a student, the Tutor Trac system immediately sends customized messages to the student, instructor and ASC.

  • Student Email Message - Sent to their RRC student inbox:
    • Informs the student their course instructor has recommended they connect with an Academic Success Centre tutor for direct support.
    •  Instructions on the next steps in the referral process.
    • General information and links to online ASC resources that are relevant to the student’s course.
  • Referring Faculty Email Message – Sent to staff email
    • Confirmation that the ASC has received the referral, and Information on the next steps.
    • Instructions on how faculty can track student engagement with ASC tutoring services in Tutor Trac.
  •  ASC Notice – Tutor Trac system alert
    • Referred students are automatically placed on a watch list that is monitored by the ASC.

Email Round 2: ASC Follow up / Tutor Assignment Notifications
ASC staff will review faculty referrals and assign an appropriate tutor to work with students based on the course and the needs identified in the referral. Once ASC staff matches the student(s) with a tutor, the following emails are triggered:

  • Student Email Message:
    • Introduction to their assigned tutor along with contact information.
    • Instructions to connect with their tutor for a session.
  • Referring Faculty Email Message:
    • Confirmation message stating the student has been matched with an ASC tutor.
    • Instructions on how to view tutoring appointments that referred students have booked, attended or missed using Tutor Trac.
  • Assigned Tutor Email Message:
    •  Student contact information and instructions to connect for the first session.

Email Round 3: Faculty notification once a student has attended their first tutoring appointment.
After the assigned tutor logs their first session with the student, a notice is sent to the instructor informing them that the student has connected with ASC supports.

  • Referring Faculty Email Message:
    • Confirmation that the student has met with their assigned a tutor for an appointment.
    •  Instructions on how faculty can monitor ongoing student attendance for tutoring sessions in Tutor Trac.