What is a Beacon Alert?

Drew faculty members utilize a platform called “Beacon” to provide feedback to students with regard to their academic performance. A Beacon alert will typically identify any concerns and make recommendations regarding resources that can lead to deeper learning and improved academic performance. An alert is shared with your Success Network, a team of Drew faculty and staff that are invested in your success.

It’s about Community!

Your Success Network includes a team of individuals who are directly connected with you: your academic adviser and depending on your involvement on campus, professional staff advisers and/or athletic coaches and academic support staff from the Center for Academic Excellence (CAE).  This team is here to collaboratively support you in achieving your goals.  Other stakeholders who have access to Beacon include the Directors of Accessibility ResourcesCounseling and Psychological Services, and Residence Life.

Alerts are communicated to students via email, and they will remain “open” until the student has addressed the concerns with their professor and/or have followed the recommendations for academic support (i.e. the student is meeting regularly with a CAE tutor).

Why would I receive an alert?

There are a variety of reasons for which you might receive a Beacon alert. Some of the most common include

  • frequently missing class
  • missing or incomplete assignments
  • a drop in performance

In submitting the alert, your instructor is trying to raise your awareness of their concerns and to prompt you to respond. When your instructor or adviser submits an alert, it also triggers a process by which your needs can be assessed by your Success Network and recommendations made to ensure your success.

How will I know if I have an alert?

If your instructor has concerns, they will likely speak with you after class or reach out by email.  If you have not responded to their concerns or if they want to raise your awareness of the issue, they will submit a Beacon alert and you will receive an  email notification of the alert.  The email goes to you, your advisor, and your academic Success Network. Now that your Success Network is aware, they can step in to help you to address the issue, often by assisting you with connecting with academic and other campus resources.  Remember, it’s about community and your success is our priority!

Is this a disciplinary action? Am I in trouble?

NO! A Beacon alert is not a disciplinary action. Rather, it is a point of care between yourself, your respective faculty member, and Drew staff who can support your success. A Beacon alert will explain what issues your instructor has noticed and how you can remediate those issues. Alerts will never appear on a student transcript or any academic records shared externally

Ultimately, a Beacon alert should be considered a tool for your own success!

What should I do now?

Since Beacon alerts are communicated via email, it is imperative that you check your email everyday. You should acknowledge the alert as soon as possible. An alert will require you to take a particular action, such as meeting with your professor or advisor or seeking CAE resources.

While an alert is “open”, faculty and your Success Network may add “comments” (not unlike one would on a social media); you may receive notifications of these comments as your plan is unfolding.  In taking the recommended actions you can “close the loop”  which will prompt your instructor or Success Network to lower the alert.  Lowering of alerts is also communicated via email.

Check out this short video on Closing the Loop!