Faculty Senate discusses better notification of missing grades

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Math Adjunct Gerald Busald wants to know what faculty can do to get ACES to recognize when students are dropped from a class Wednesday during a faculty senate meeting in Room 120 of visual arts. He said the system can take up to three days to recognize that a student has dropped and students will continue to attend class.

Math Adjunct Gerald Busald wants to know what faculty can do to get ACES to recognize when students are dropped from a class Wednesday during a faculty senate meeting in Room 120 of visual arts. He said the system can take up to three days to recognize that a student has dropped and students will continue to attend class. Photo by Riley Stephens

Enrollment management director said 600 grades were missing at end of fall.

By Cassandra M. Rodriguez

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

Members of Faculty Senate discussed in a meeting Feb. 5 their frustrations with entering grades in ACES at the end of a semester.

Fine Arts Chair Jeff Hunt suggested checking the top of their grading screen for a message saying either grades were submitted correctly or there’s an error on the page.

Math Professor Gerald Busald said grades still show they are submitted correctly even if they missed inputting grades for one student.

“You think you turned in all your grades but you missed one. But you don’t find out until later that you haven’t turned them in,” Busald said.

“Somehow we need to able to at least see them so we can at least take corrective action,” Busald said.

Solutions to these issues were offered by J. Martin Ortega, director of enrollment management, during the Feb. 11 College Council meeting.

Almost 600 grades were input after the grading deadline for the fall semester and were processed manually by admissions and records.

“We hope to reduce that number significantly,” Ortega said.

Ortega sends emails to department chairs reminding them of important deadlines such as withdrawals and grades especially toward the end of the semester.

In response to frustrated faculty unaware if they have submitted grades correctly, Ortega suggested ways faculty will know if they have submitted grades for all of their students.

A green check mark for confirmation or an error message will show if the grades were not submitted. The admissions and records office will also designate a faculty computer lab to provide assistance for those having trouble submitting grades.

There is also a message at the top right corner displaying how many students have been graded out of the total in the class.

A new strategy is emailing reports beginning the week of finals informing faculty which students in their courses have not received grades.

“It’s going to help us with those faculty who think that they have successfully done it and maybe missed a couple,” Ortega said. “We are going to try it and learn from it. It will put us in a better situation than we are now.”

Faculty Senate also criticized how the college handles students who have been dropped for nonpayment.

Students using a payment plan for their tuition are dropped from their courses if they don’t make their payments on time and are not allowed to attend class.

Counselor Steve Samet said at the Faculty Senate meeting that some students were confused about when to make the final payment.

Faculty and students aren’t receiving the necessary immediate notification that a student has been dropped so the student continues to attend class.

“If they (the college) are going to drop them, we need to be informed that student has been dropped,” Busald said.

Faculty are expected to check their rosters every day until the census date, the 12th class day, to make sure dropped students don’t attend class.

“We shouldn’t have to be continually checking our class rolls,” Busald said.

“I don’t know whether they are warned or just dropped,” Samet said, adding that faculty must be notified whenever students drop because they will continue to appear on the roster.

“Why can’t we drop these kids in real time? That way it’s easy for us, for the students and for the registrar’s office?” history Professor Mike Settles said.

The Faculty Senate’s next meeting will be at 3 p.m. March 5 in Room 120 of visual arts.

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