Tools and Policies
While there are numerous university policies that should be stated in a course syllabus, there are two Gateway specific policies that you need to convey to your faculty: administrative withdrawal policy and FLAGS (Early Warning System). The administrative policy is based on attendance and is reported through the Early Warning System tool and has evolved from research conducted by former Gateway Professor John Kramer.
Dr. Kramer conducted research in his psychology course over a period of ten years. He found that he could predict with significance who would receive a D or an F by the third week of classes based merely on attendance and ONE graded homework assignment. Upon dissemination of his research, Gateway courses have required attendance and follow the administrative withdrawal policy. In fact, the Early Warning System (FLAGS) is available to faculty during week two of the semester based on that research. Understanding the nature and evolution of these policies can help faculty see the importance in their implementation.
Furthermore, retention is what Gateway courses is all about! We need to retain our students to help them succeed. The aforementioned policies help, but another aspect of retention is to be in touch with the DFW rates and find out what is going on in sections that have particularly high DFW rates.
Finally, student success hinges on active involvement from students and faculty. Students need to attend class and participate in the work load and faculty need to communicate with students. Coordinators need to make sure that their faculty are using student success tools such as FLAGS and Canvas in addition to adhering to attendance and administrative withdrawal policies.