Watermark (Aviso)

Watermark (Aviso)

In the Soar to 2024 Strategic Plan, ECC committed to “Developing clear academic and career pathways with personalized support to increase enrollment and promote student success.” One of the tactics under this strategy is to implement an Early Alert System.

Watermark is an early retention system designed to help students persist and increase enrollment. Through Watermark, students and designated staff will be notified of academic performance through automated and manual alerts, messaging, and tasks. Watermark automatically imports data from our Learning Management System and Colleague (Self Service, Datatel), including grades and attendance. Faculty will continue to update attendance weekly.

What is the responsibility of faculty?

In accordance with our institution’s focus on the retention of students in classes and programs, it is the college’s expectation and the instructor’s responsibility to send a Watermark referral on any student struggling in their course.

Additionally, automated Attendance and Midterm Grade alerts will be sent to students. To ensure that students and designated support team members are receiving alerts reflective of real-time progress,  faculty should maintain weekly attendance and report mid-term grades. This is required for Watermark to operate effectively.

When should faculty submit a Watermark referral?

While the Watermark system is a retention strategy, it is not the first option for classroom management, and should not be used as a replacement for best practices and due diligence by the instructor, including but not limited to, calling, emailing, Canvas messaging, or meeting with the student to address concerns.

  • After matters have been discussed with the student and there is little or no improvement.
  • Watermark referrals are most critical during the first five (5) weeks of courses and prior to midterm. Referrals may be submitted as early as the first weeks of the course so there is sufficient time for intervention and improvement.
  • When additional resources are needed.

What are the reasons to refer a student?

The following are examples of behaviors that might warrant a referral. Please note that these are just examples and do not provide an exhaustive list. Each referral will be reviewed individually and handled based on the specific circumstances presented.

a.  Sporadic Attendance

  • The student shows patterns of absences, tardiness to class, and early departure.

NOTE: The Watermark System is not to be used as an attendance-taking tool. When a faculty member sends a referral indicating that a student’s attendance is unsatisfactory in a course, it means that he or she has determined that the student’s attendance pattern is a concern and may affect student success in that course. (i.e., online weekly class attendance participation requirement, face-to-face class attendance requirement, etc.).

b.  Academic Concern

  • The student attends class but does not participate.
  • Student fails to turn in multiple assignments (i.e., homework, quizzes, projects, tests, etc.).
  • The student has performed poorly on an exam.
  • Fifth-Week Assessment: The student has an overall grade of D or F in the course.
  • The student is not meeting course expectations as set by the instructor/department/program.

c.  Success Skills

Concern regarding students’ soft skills.

d.  Referrals

  • Access Services
  • Learning Center/Student Success Center
  • Counseling
  • Financial Aid
  • Career Services
  • Technology Assistance

Personal/Family Issues

Can faculty submit more than one Watermark referral for a student during the same semester?

Check Watermark Notes Before Issuing a New Alert for the Same Student in the Same Class for the Same Problem.

  • The notes feature provides an up-to-date status of your previous alerts.
  • You may add a note to a previous alert to update the Success Team.
  • You will receive an email when the previous alert has been closed; however, you can check the notes feature at any time to see the progress of the alert.

You may change your preferences to receive a daily digest on your students

How do you submit an Watermark referral?

What follow-up and timeline should faculty expect after submitting a referral?

  • Immediately after an alert is submitted, notification will be sent to the success team for the student.
  • The appropriate member of the student’s success team will attempt to make contact with the referred student multiple times which will be logged as a note attached to the alert.
  • Faculty may receive updates in the form of a daily emailed digest and view student activity in Watermark.

Alert Best Practices

When sending an alert, please be aware that your words become part of the student record. Remain factual and stay away from opinions and emotions. For example, if sending an alert about poor class performance,  

  • say this: X Student has not turned in the last three assignments and is not responding to emails or conversations about her performance 
  • rather than this: X Student is moody and doesn’t care about school or his grades. I just don’t know what to do. 

Contact Lindsay Riegel, Retention Coordinator at 636-584-6660 or lindsay.riegel@eastcentral.edu with any questions or concerns.