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Beacon Access & Resources for Faculty & Staff

Getting Started and Posting a Beacon Alert:

Beacon is an online early alert system where users can communicate information about a student to one another. This information will help to provide members of the students’ Success Network a comprehensive picture of a student’s experiences both inside and outside the classroom.

Use the Faculty Experience Tool to post a notification for a specific student in your class(es), or the Beacon Webpage to post a notifications for your assigned advisees, or the Quick Notification Tool to post a notification about any student on Shepherd’s campus.

Access the Beacon WebsitePost a Beacon Alert for Your AdviseesPost an Alert for Students In Your CoursesPost a "Quick Notification" for Any Student on Campus

Faculty and staff can create notifications by logging into Beacon with their Shepherd University Credentials. For instructions on how to post an alert, refer to the links under “Getting Started.”

As a reminder, when issuing a notification please avoid disclosing specific or personal information about a student’s circumstances. If you’re unsure of the language to use while posting the alert, contact the Student Success Center directly, either to share specific information or to receive recommendations of what to post.

Alerts are the most significant notification and will require that someone act on the alert. Alerts should be used when the information is directly relevant to the student’s outcomes; avoid specific or personal information sharing. This information should be general, but enough to get the information across. Examples include the following:

Warning about failing the midterm Failed multiple quizzes, tests, etc.
Lack of social fit Ill family member
Loss of Financial support Discussion of leaving Campus
If a student has missed two or more consecutive classes Not turning in multiple assignments
The student is receiving, or is in danger of receiving a D, F, or IF Shows signs of distress of disengagement (use your best judgment if a referral is needed for counseling)

Updates are observations or comments you want to make about a student. This may be in the form of a note to yourself about the conversation you had, or you may want to share information with others in their success network and does not require a reach out from their Student Success Network (i.e. Student did not pass one test; needs to do well on the rest to receive a passing grade.) Other examples would be:

Status change and/or further details from a previous alert Transition difficulties, academically, personally, or socially
Reflection of how a face-to-face meeting went with the student and a list of the topics discussed Information about attendance, coursework, etc. that is a concern
Career/internship discussion Change of major

 are a way to send a message to the student with the option to send just to the student or the students’ success network. Examples of this type of notifications are:

Recognizing excellent work in the classroom Acknowledging improvement on test grades
Recognizing good teamwork Providing positive feedback on assignments

After you post an alert

  1. Student Success Center staff might follow-up with the individual who posted the alert, requesting more information.
  2. A success coach will reach out to the student, notifying them that an alert was posted and they may be in academic danger for a particular class(es).
  3. The student will either respond with an action to remedy the situation or the student may meet with a Success Coach in the Student Success Center to create a academic plan.
    Some examples of an academic plan include:
    The student may need to withdraw from the course(s)
     The student may need to sign up for tutoring session(s)
     Student may need to speak with their professor(s) or advisor
     Student may need to withdrawal from the University
     Connect students with campus resources
     Student may request weekly meetings
     Student may need to change their major
  4. Once a solution has been made the Director of the Student Success Center will lower the alert** and write an update under the alert.

**It is important to note that with the volume of alerts, the individual who wrote the alert may not receive an update until the alert is lowered. On occasion and depending on the situation with the student, the alert may not be lowered until the end of the semester. If you have not seen activity with the alert and would like and update on the specific student, please feel free to contact the Director of the Student Success Center.

Quick tips and instructional videos

Using the Faculty Experience Tool

Using the Non-cognitive Factors of Beacon in Advising

The Shepherd University Contact for Beacon

Julia Franks
Director of the Student Success Center & Orientation Programs

Family Educational Rights And Privacy Act (FERPA)