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GRADESFIRST

GradesFirst combines academic early alerts with advising and tutoring appointment management. Access GradesFirst anywhere using your MyTSU username and password – even from your phone!

GradesFirst is a web-based student performance monitoring system that provides automated student services and communication between faculty, academic advisors, peer tutors, study hall monitors, Student Support Services staff, and students. The program allows for monitoring of class attendance, tracking of class assignments, management of students’ advising and tutorial appointments, and monitoring of real-time study hall attendance, and tutoring. GradesFirst will assist in facilitating communication between all parties involved in the University’s student success efforts and will provide early alerts for students that may be at-risk academically.

GradesFirst seeks to promote academic success for students by:

  • Identifying students having trouble with targeted course material
  • Providing students timely support and direction to appropriate campus resources
  • Encouraging students to utilize campus resources and to also communicate with professors, advisors and the department chairperson regarding concerns
  • Helping students develop self-advocacy skills
  • Making the college transition process more enjoyable by providing more opportunity for academic success

Other features include:

  • Easy Access from any computer connected to the web
  • Enhanced Early Alert System to identify at-risk students early in the semester
  • Effortless Progress Reports
  • Straightforward Advising Summary Reports
  • Communication center for e-mail, text messaging, and Facebook
  • Tutor Management and Summary Reports
  • Appointment Calendars, Class Schedules, Time Management, etc.
  • Tracking of students on academic probation and reports
  • Tracking of specific groups (freshmen, honor students, athletes, etc.)

Requests and Training
Visit www.gradesfirst.com for more information about the system, or contact OIT’s Academic Technology Services to discuss its use and to schedule training at 713.313.1800 or via e-mail AcademicTech@tsu.edu.

Information for Students
Through the GradesFirst student portal, students can access their class schedule, calendar and coordinate appointments with the Academic Advisors.

Faculty use the system to alert Academic Advisors of students who may need additional support resources to be successful in the course or during the semester. This includes all freshmen, student athletes, and others who may need academic support. By monitoring these students through GradesFirst, we are ensuring that students are supported by a network of caring professionals who are alerted if a student may need academic help.

I was marked at risk, what does this mean?
If you were marked at risk, that faculty member is concerned that you are struggling in that class. Being marked at risk does not mean that you will fail the class, but that there is a possibility of this happening. The purpose is to alert you to a problem so you can remedy and be successful in the class. Academic Advisors are available to assist you at any point in this process.

What should I do if I am marked at risk?
If you are being marked at risk, speak with your Academic Advisor. Together you can work out a plan to increase your likeliness of finishing the semester successfully.

Who can see my GradesFirst reports?
GradesFirst reports are confidential and students are notified through email if they are marked at risk. Other than the student, only TSU employees (Deans, faculty, advisors, coaches, staff, etc.) can access a student’s GradesFirst information for the purpose of assisting a student.

Information for Faculty
GradesFirst serves as an Early Alert and Advisement system for freshmen, student athletes, and other students who may need additional support. This program is where faculty can alert advisement staff to issues regarding student success.

I received an e-mail from Academic Advisor requesting I provide information on students currently enrolled in my class through GradesFirst. Is this a legitimate request?
Yes, it is a legitimate request. Beginning fall 2013, TSU partnered with GradesFirst (http://www.gradesfirst.com/), an on-line retention management service, to capitalize on the latest available technology. Because the information is secure and only university officials acting on behalf of the best interest of the student are accessing the information, the system is compliant with FERPA.

How do faculty use it?
Instructors will receive an email that includes a secure link to a list of their targeted students in GradesFirst. After clicking the link, instructors will be able to place alerts on any student who seems to be in danger of failing or dropping out. Advisement staff will follow up on any alerts, attempting to help students resolve their problems before it is too late to save their semester.

Who do I contact if I have questions about GradesFirst?
Visit www.gradesfirst.com for more information about the system, or contact OIT’s Academic Technology Services to discuss its use and to schedule training at 713.313.1800 or via e-mail AcademicTech@tsu.edu.

GradesFirst allows TSU to manage four (4) vital components to campus wide retention, progression and graduation efforts through the following:

  1. Identifies at-risk students early in the term, allowing for intervention when students need it most.
  2. GradesFirst is designed to engage students in ways they are currently communicating. This allows TSU Advisors to communicate with students via text messaging, smart phone mobile applications, Facebook integration tools, and email communications.
  3. GradesFirst provides workflow management tools to log and track student interactions through online appointment scheduling, centralized documentation, and tools to schedule follow-up interactions.
  4. The centralized data repository available through GradesFirst allows the aggregation of data for measurable results, allowing administrators to utilize data and maximize efficiencies.