Last update: September 28, 2015

Can students use Early Alert to refer themselves or to identify concerns about other students?

Students cannot refer themselves to Early Alert, but proactively reaching out for help is an important step in ensuring their success and wellbeing.

Only faculty and staff are able to identify concerns about students through Early Alert at this time; however, the Early Alert project team is working to enable student access to Early Alert in the future. Students who are concerned about other students are still encouraged to reach out and offer support.

Vancouver campus: Students are encouraged to speak with their faculty advising office, instructor, or teaching assistant if they are facing difficulties. Students are also encouraged to contact Counselling Services, Student Health Service or other support resources, depending on their needs.

Okanagan campus: Students are encouraged to speak with academic advising, their instructor, or teaching assistant if they are facing difficulties. Students are also encouraged to contact Health and Wellness or other support resources, depending on their needs.

How does Early Alert affect student privacy?

Early Alert helps protect student privacy by providing a secure way for concerns to be identified, coordinated and responded to.

Information is restricted to the Early Alert team, as well as the advisors who are responsible for coordinating information and providing outreach. The information is shared on a need-to-know basis, meaning that only the amount of information needed to effectively support the student is shared with those directly involved in offering the support.

The system is closed and all records are kept confidential. Faculty and staff logging a concern are not able to see if other concerns about the student have been raised.

Students, faculty and staff who have privacy concerns should contact the Early Alert team.

Does Early Alert affect students’ academic records, or decisions related to funding or academic progress?

Information sent to Early Alert is in no way associated with students’ academic records, funding decisions or decisions related to academic progress. Information within the system is not accessible by anyone other than authorized advisors directly involved in supporting a given student’s success.

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

Part of having a caring community means that when we notice signs of difficulty in others, we reach out and offer support. Early Alert complements the way that faculty and staff are already looking out for the wellbeing of students and reaching out when they notice that a student may need assistance.

The Early Alert program is not a disciplinary program, and is not meant to be a form of surveillance for the purpose of evaluating or reprimanding students. Instead, the goal of Early Alert is to help provide students with relevant resources and support as soon as possible so that they are better able to reach academic success.

What if a student doesn’t want to be part of Early Alert?

Students cannot “opt out” of Early Alert, but they can choose whether they would like to accept support. With the exception of situations where someone’s safety is at risk, students have the right to accept or decline the support being offered.

Student awareness is an important part of the success of Early Alert. Communication to students has begun and will outline how the system supports student learning and success. Faculty and staff are also encouraged to familiarize students with Early Alert, emphasizing:

We care about students and their ability to succeed, and Early Alert helps build a more caring community that can more effectively support student learning, wellbeing and success. Part of having a caring community means that people look out for each other and, when they notice signs of difficulty in others, reach out and offer assistance.

Go back to Information for faculty and staff.