What is First Alert?

The First Alert Program is designed to identify student’s class deficiencies within the first 5 weeks of the semester to help them succeed.  In this program, the faculty and Student Services will engage with the students to identify their problems. Contact by phone or email will be done to discuss all opportunities to get the student on a path for success.  It is entirely the student’s responsibility to respond.  Perhaps tutoring is needed or better time management.  Perhaps the student needs to learn how to organize the class content for better understanding. Whatever the problem might be, Panola College is committed to the success of our students.

First Alert Benefits

Each semester, data is collected on our First Alert students to determine if they are successful.  Success is defined for this program as passing that class with a “C” or better, dropping it, or withdrawing from school.  Success increases with early identification of deficiencies, whether it is poor attendance or poor note taking. When a student drops a class that he or she is failing, the likelihood of remaining in school is increased.  The same may be said for withdrawal from school.  It allows for the grade point average to remain at a manageable level upon the student’s return.

First Alert Procedures

  • Within the first 5 weeks of the semester, Faculty refer students with low grades (D or F) or excessive absences in one or more of their classes to Student Services by completing the First Alert Referral Form. (Include name, ID, class with section, and any other relevant information about the student.)
  • A contact is sent back to the professor acknowledging receipt of the referral.
  • Multiple attempts are made to contact the students through emails and telephone calls.
  • Students who respond are assessed and given information about how to improve their academic performance. Depending on individual needs, this may include:  informing them about tutoring opportunities (peer, online, and support labs), explaining college policies that affect their academic standing, and referring them to other campus agencies.
  • Faculty members are kept up to date on work we are doing with their students.