VT EARS (Early Academic Referral System) is a program which has been developed as a tool to assist faculty to proactively identify and refer undergraduate students who may be experiencing academic difficulty early within a semester. Research indicates that intervention within the first 6-8 weeks of the semester can make a difference.
VT EARS also provides an opportunity for collaboration among faculty and the students’ academic college to ensure a mutual commitment towards academic success by providing immediate help to identified undergraduate students. Faculty play an integral role as they are responsible for initiating the referral through VT EARS. This can be done easily by entering Faculty Access through Hokie Spa. Faculty will simply choose the “Faculty and Student Menu” and locate the “Early Academic Referral System Menu” to identify the particular undergraduate student (s) and select the reason for the referral from a predetermined list of options. That referral will automatically be forwarded on to the students’ academic college who will initiate contact with the student within 5 business days. Follow-up with the undergraduate student will be individually tailored to meet both issues identified in the referral, as well as other needs identified by the students.
VT EARS has a significant impact on student success because of its potential to: (1) increase awareness of the academic support networks, (2) reduce the number of undergraduate students on academic probation or suspension, (3) reaffirm the institution’s commitment to at risk students, and (4) increase engagement between faculty and undergraduate students.