We have an "At-Risk Referral" process for faculty and staff to report students to us in the counseling office and we track them down and see what is going on. Most problems are attendance, academic, or personal in nature. I presented this Referral system at both the TN-NADE conference and the Memphis In May Student Affairs Conference in 2005.

My first experience in 'REFERRAL' was 25 years ago. I was a part of a three member team to design a referral card for students to take to the counseling office. The process was a work of art! But it didnít work. 

Later there was a Referral system at the present college I work at that required a form (the teacher filled out a form (3 parts) to be filled out by hand, and we filled out a form (3 parts) reporting to 2-3-4 people. It didnít work. 

The first one depended on the teacher to give the card to the student and the student to actually do something with the card. Neither would make it work. The other one was a form happy process that killed itself with process and paper (and in triplicate!). The filled out referral forms would sit on a supervisor's desk for days into weeks before contact, and that made contact impossible or useless. Plus we found the department heads and administrators buried the forms and not give them to the faculty.

In late 2004, the counseling office took over the referral process (thank God) from the administrators, and decided to fix it. 

We looked at why it didn't work and what to do to make it work.  We all know the answer of why it didnít work. The system had too much process, procedure (pomp and circumstance), wait time, and paper! 

We changed it up and made it a smooth seamless DIRECT process. The faculty member contacts us anyway possible! The record keeping is our responsibility. We keep a log of contacts. We put a point of service plan (from the teacher to the counselor) in effect. The faculty would call, e-mail, stop by the office, catch us in the hall, eat lunch with us, and give us names for referral. 

How has it worked, GREAT, and even better than great. We have doubled the number of referrals each semester year. This fall alone, as of yesterday (5th week), we have made 265 referral contacts for the faculty.  

The method of contact of a student has changed as well. We call, write, use cell numbers, pagers, e-mail (home and school), and leave notes in other classes. 

We threw out the report form in triple, and now we opt to email a follow-up to the faculty member about the action taken and the response. 

To sum it up, it works and is useful!

We do still have a form online, and in our office for the one or two printed form addicted faculty members and administrators.  

Fred Deaton, LPC-MHSP

Date:         Mon, 2 Oct 2006 12:07:02 -0400
Reply-To:     Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
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Sender:       Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
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From:         "Melissa M. Lantta" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:      Early Warning Intervention

Good Morning! I am in the process of creating a web-based form that will be available to faculty to assist my office in quickly identifying students with a "C" or lower in classes typically taken by freshmen and sophomores (i.e. Psychology, Eng. 101). I am interested in looking at forms created by other institutes and/or information on how your offices identify students in academic jeopardy. Eventually we know that this form will need to be connected to a database through Access, but right now I'm working on creating a form that will provide ease of use for faculty members. Any help would be appreciated as this is the first experience I've had in creating a web-based structure. Thanks. Melissa M. Lantta Academic Advisor UW-Oshkosh [log in to unmask]

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