Cardinal Pulse - New Early Alert System

Beginning this semester, all faculty members will have access to York's new student performance early alert system - Cardinal Pulse. This system came out of the Foundations of Excellence initiative and was piloted during the fall 2013 semester with a small cohort of faculty volunteers.
To: All Members of the York College Faculty

Panayiotis Meleties, Interim Provost and Senior VP for Academic Affairs

Date: Jan. 27, 2014

The basic concept of Cardinal Pulse is to provide faculty with a convenient tool to connect their students to resources available on campus. Research literature consistently shows that when students with personal and/or academic challenges impacting their performance are provided academic support early (in the first 3-5 weeks of any given semester) their chances for success are significantly improved. And while the system will be particularly useful at the beginning of each semester, it will be open for the duration of each term.

Cardinal Pulse allows faculty to connect students who may manifest such problems to academic support staff on campus (e.g., Advisement Center, Writing Center, Math Center, Counseling) who in turn will attempt to meet with such students to work out an Action Plan with them. However, the system also allows faculty to connect students who are doing very or exceptionally well in class, to such resources as the Office of Undergraduate Research, Honors Program, scholarships etc.

While the new system is intuitive and straightforward to use, once you are logged into YConnect, we will also offer brief introductions for faculty (in Computer Lab CL205 in the Classroom Bldg.) on January 28 and 30, 2014, from 12 - 2:00 pm. Once you are logged into the College website (CMS), each professor will have all his/her student rosters for the semester available for referral purposes. We also aim to provide an FAQ and training video to explain the system's functionalities. Both will be on the Cardinal Pulse Webpage.

As well, we will provide your department with palm-cards to hand out to students, and I recommend taking a few minutes in each class to explain the benefits of this new system. During that time, faculty may want to emphasize to students that this system is strictly confidential and that there is no stigmatization if a student is referred to Cardinal Pulse. Referrals will be initially handled by the Academic Advisement or Counseling Center, and students contacted via email and/or phone would have the option of accepting or declining the invitation. There would be no permanent record kept in Cardinal Pulse in either case. However, students who opt to see a Cardinal Pulse advisor or other academic support staff will have an opportunity to develop an Action Plan to improve their academic performance. Finally, we will also distribute instructions to faculty about how to navigate Cardinal Pulse.

We hope to review and tweak the new system as necessary, but at this point I am looking forward to its implementation as a useful new tool to support your work in the classroom, and to offer our students all available opportunities to be or become their best.