Updated: Friday, 28 Aug 2009, 3:30 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 28 Aug 2009, 12:39 PM EDT
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - In an attempt to raise graduation rates, Purdue University launches a program to help students stay on top of their grades. The university is "signaling" a change in its outreach to students in trouble.
As the first week of classes at Purdue wraps up, students like Evan Rebar are already thinking about that final grade. The sophomore chemistry major says sometimes it's difficult to figure out how you are doing in a class until it's too late.
"Right now it is kind of up in the air. You basically have to decide when to go see the T.A. or professor," Rebar said.
That is exactly why Purdue has unveiled, Signals, a system that tracks students' academic progress.
"Signals is a Purdue-developed system that we call an early-intervention system. What it does help identify how the students are performing in their course," Wilson Head said.
When a student logs on to check their status in a course, they are going to have three options. A green light means they are doing well, a yellow light means they need to improve and a red light means they are failing and need help. But the program does offer suggestions on how they can improve in a particular course.
Wilson Head said two-thirds of the students in the test pilot program improved their scores using Signals. She said the program teaches users how to be better students.
"We hope that hope that helps them set their behaviors so they will be more successful in future semesters," Wilson Head said.
Professors can decide whether or not includ their course in the program. About 11,000 students will use the program this school year. And, soon the students will be able to log on by computers and cell phones.
Nancy Wilson Head said there are plans to expand the program to other universities across the country.