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Colorado Community Colleges Gets Early Intervention System

Colorado Community College System (CCCS) is deploying SunGard Higher Education's Course Signals that is designed to identify students who are at risk of underperforming in a course. The new early intervention system will be implemented CCCS's 13 colleges and online consortium.

Course Signals uses data from the institution's information systems--including student information systems, learning management systems, and gradebooks--to detect at-risk students. The campus learning management system sends an e-mail to the student with a red, yellow, or green signal along with suggestions from faculty on resources and materials that may be helpful.

"The majority of our students are juggling school, jobs and family responsibilities, so their time is very limited. Course Signals will give them a quick and easy way to understand where they are falling short and what the college can offer to help them be successful, and do so early enough to salvage their semester," said Diana Doyle, president, Arapahoe Community College, in a prepared statement. "I also think it will encourage students to be active participants in their own academic success. It alerts them to behavior changes they can make in order to be successful long term."

CCCS integrated Course Signal with its existing administrative system, SunGard Banner, and DegreeWorks, Sungard's degree audit software. With this integration, advisors can see students' signals for in-progress courses, filter by criteria such as major or GPA, and reach out to struggling students.

"Currently, our faculty must go through a manual, time-consuming process to evaluate how each student is doing," said Julie Ouska, chief information officer of CCCS. "Course Signals will provide tools for faculty to reach out to students at risk without a tremendous amount of work, and do so consistently and in a timely manner. It also gives them a tool to easily reinforce and encourage the students who are doing well."

Colorado Community College System serves more than 162,000 students each year among 13 state community colleges and career and technical programs in more than 160 school districts and seven other post-secondary institutions.

Course Signal was built according to a predictive model created by Purdue University's John Campbell. For more information on Course Signal, visit SunGard HE's Web site.

About the Author

Kanoe Namahoe is online editor for 1105 Media's Education Group. She can be reached at knamahoe@1105media.com.

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