Start of Term Information for Faculty
Start of term reminders from the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs for Student Retention and Success
I Academic Support and Advising Office, SH 215
The ASAO office is designed to be a place where students can come for academic information especially when they are experiencing difficulties. We are relocated in SH 215. It is also a place where faculty can have answered any academic related questions.
The Director of Advising, Camille Girardi-Levy and I can be found here. Additionally, Holly Cheverton, the Coordinator of Tutoring Services and Peer Mentoring, also works in our office. Kathy Renaud, the Technological Support Specialist can be found in SH 219. We also have a group of highly trained peer advisors who can often answer quick questions that students have. Please direct questions or academic concerns about a student to us at 783-2341.
We meet with students experiencing academic difficulty and we welcome your referrals. Our office can be particularly useful for students who are transitioning to Siena or between majors. While a student’s academic advisor should be their first point of contact when they have academic questions, we are happy to answer them. We also welcome concerns or questions that faculty may have.
As the AVPAAFSRS I also serve as a liaison between faculty and students and as a faculty resource.
We are happy to answer any of your questions about academic integrity, or any academic policies or procedures related to students
II Self Service for Faculty
Rosters are available for your courses anytime through Self Service for Faculty (SSF). SSF gives you real time enrollments and, as students add and drop classes during the first week of class, SSF will have the updated information when you want it. More, SSF is essentially an advising tool which allows you to access academic information on your advisees and students. You can see their grade history, midterm grades, CAPP report and a version of their transcript. You can also find contact information on them. For information on logging onto and using SSF and to access the system, go to: Self Service for Faculty. Midterm grades – notice coming in six weeks – are submitted though SSF, as are final grades.
Remember: Your user ID is your Siena ID or 901#. If you forget your new PIN, answer the secret question that you established. If you can’t remember the answer, you need to call ITS at ext. 6000 and they will reset it and e-mail you the password.
Please note that while Blackboard is updated frequently, SSF is live information from Banner. This is especially important for viewing rosters
SEWART is the acronym for Siena's Early Warning and Retention Team. This is a group of College administrators who meet and share information on students who might be at risk of not returning in the following semester. Retention is everybody's job. If you have students who are struggling and contemplating leaving Siena, please let me know so we can reach out to them and perhaps work out a plan so they can remain.
"SKIPS" is an e-mail hotline that is designed to serve as an easy way for you to report that a student is missing from class. If a student is absent please send an e-mail to SKIPS@siena.edu . Just give me the name of the student and the class that was missed. We will then contact the students and their advisors. Poor attendance is a high indicator of disengagement and is often the first sign of a downward academic or social spiral. If we can get to these students early, sometimes we can make a difference that helps them to help themselves get back on track. It just takes a moment to send the e-mail and the dividends can be great. Note that students are in the process of adding and dropping classes until tomorrow, so there will be some fluidity to the rosters until Wednesday. ( SKIPS + , an electronic form that duplicate the above process plus some added features will be coming soon).
V Academic Integrity
I invite you to review the policy on line at: Academic Integrity . Here you can also review information on types of academic integrity, as well as, the forms that are now in use. We strongly encourage faculty to report any breach of academic integrity that results in a sanction. The committee met and reviewed several cases this past year and we feel that the new policy is working as it was intended.
The system allows for my office to maintain records of academic dishonesty and for the committee to consult these records in the case of additional violations by individual students. The policy also outlines a clear appeals process for the student and review process and powers of the committee. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the new policy or any aspect concerning academic integrity at Siena.
On a related note, I strongly urge that you take advantage of Turnitin.com. When students know that we are using it, it increases their diligence and review of their sources. During opening week, I showed the freshman an example of what we see. They were mightily impressed – and a bit frightened.
VI Books on Library Reserve
If you have not done so already, please place copies of any books you are using in class - that are also in our library holdings – on reserve in the library for students to access in an emergency or economic challenge. You can also bring additional personal copies of texts you might have and the librarians will assist you in putting them on reserve.
VII Letters Sent to Students and Copied to Advisors.
Each semester my office sends out letters to students and copies are sent to faculty advisors. Here is a list and an explanation.
Students are academically dismissed when their cumulative GPA dips below a certain point. This point changed bases on the total number of credits attempted, including transfer credits. An explanatory grid is located in the college catalogue. Dismissed students are permitted to appeal their dismissal. If their appeal is rescinded, they return to Siena on academic probation. If the appeal is denied, they must remain away from Siena for at least one year at which time they can seek readmission through my office.
Students are placed on academic probation when their cumulative GPA dips below 2.0 – and is not low enough to earn dismissal. Students on academic probation are placed in our LEAP program. LEAP stands for Learning to Enhance Academic Performance. They take a non-credit course, LEAP 100 or 105, and relearn the skills it takes to get back into academic good standing.
Students of Academic Concern Letters
Students are considered to be of academic concern when they have a cumulative GPA between 2.0 and 2.29. They are sent a letter inviting them to come in for a conversation about their academic progress and are encouraged to take part in academic support programming.
Big Drop Letters
Students are sent the “Big Drop” letter when their semester GPA is .49 or more below their previous cumulative GPA. A precipitous drop in a semester GPA is often a warning sign that something is amiss. These students are invited in for a conversation and encouraged to speak with their academic advisors. Sometimes it may be as simple as one poor grade in one class and no real emergency. Often, however, we find that the invitation to come in and talk about the GPA drop leads to more serious underlining issues that early intervention can prevent from escalating. The reality is that we do not know which students are in which situation so the large net is used to catch those who might otherwise fall through.
Students sometimes go to Health Services after they have been ill looking for notes for their professors. Health Services does not provide notes to students when they are ill. Health Services only provides a discharge sheet to students who have been seen. The purpose of this note is to indicate that the student has been seen by someone in Health Services. Students are free to show this discharge sheet to a professor. It is up to the professor to excuse an absence or not. Many students, I'd venture to say most, do not go to Health Services, nor do they see any health service provider when they are ill. If they come after the fact, they are not provided with any documentation. It is up to the faculty to decide how to handle any absences from class.
Students are required to obtain certain vaccinations and provide documentation to our Health Services office. If they do not, they are not permitted to attend class. They are sent several requests/ warnings, by regular mail and e-mail before we inform them – and you – that they are not permitted to attend classes. If this happens, when they show up, they should be told to come to my office. If they do not, then I will meet them at the classroom and escort them there.
IX Medical Leaves
If a student is placed on medical leave by the Dean of Students, this will either have been mandated by the college, or it will have been done after the office of Student Affairs receives written notification from a physician. There is usually an end date to the leave. At times, this is not possible and the leave is listed as indefinite. Again, it is always up to the professor to decide if and how work can be made up, and at what point it is simply not feasible for the student to remain in the course.
X Death in the Family/ Family Emergencies
The Academic Affairs office sends e-mails to faculty when a student or a family member notifies us of a death or other family emergency. While we of course encourage your understanding in these issues, it is always up to the professor to decide if and how work can be made up.
Peter Ellard, Ph.D.
(Updated August 2012)