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Center for Student Success

Student Outreach System FAQ

The Student Outreach System (SOS) is custom-designed to tap into various members of a student’s Carthage network if they experience academic, financial, or personal difficulty throughout the term. These faculty and staff members form an outreach team best positioned to address the student’s unique needs and provide next steps for them to move forward. 

Below are some common questions and answers related to the Student Outreach System, which launched in fall 2019 as a replacement to the Early Alert System that had been in place since fall 2013. If you do not see the answer to your question here, please share it with us at studentsuccess@carthage.edu.

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For Submitters


Who can submit a concern to the SOS?

Any active member of the Carthage community can submit a concern about a current student to the SOS using their Carthage username and password. This includes all current faculty, staff, and students. Students are also able to submit a concern about themselves if needed. 

What situations might warrant me to submit a concern?

There are a variety of academic, financial, and personal challenges a student may be facing that would warrant submission of a concern. As a submitter, you will be able to indicate the concern type as course attendance, grades, learning accessibility, textbook acquisition, technology needs, tuition/room and board, mental health, physical health, extracurricular/co-curricular activity, social/behavioral, self-identified retention risk, or other. Descriptions of these concern types can be found on the submission page by clicking the “?” icon. At times, a student may be facing multiple challenges at once. If that occurs, please select all that apply. If you are not sure if you should submit a concern and would like to discuss it before submitting, contact us at studentsuccess@carthage.edu or 262-551-5800. 

Please note: if a student is in immediate danger or a threat to others, it is imperative that you call the Office of Public Safety at 262-551-5911 or dial 911 rather than utilizing the Student Outreach System. Similarly, Title IX disclosures should be reported to a Title IX Coordinator and students experiencing suicidal ideation should be referred to the Health and Counseling Center.

How do I submit a concern about a student?

To submit a concern, visit www.carthage.edu/sos or log into My.Carthage.edu and select “Student Outreach System” on the left side navigation panel. You will be led to an online form. Complete the required fields to the best of your ability, indicating what you observed and any attempts made to address the situation thus far. Submit the form and you will be led to a confirmation page with further instructions.

Will my submission be anonymous/CONFIDENTIAL?

Submissions to the SOS are subject to FERPA and other regulations by which the greater Carthage community abides. Content of the submission and follow-up notes from the assigned outreach team are confined to a need-to-know basis and information will be shared with and/or about the student in a manner that allows them to get back on track while respecting their right to privacy. However, the system will capture each submitter’s name and Carthage ID number to prevent any erroneous submissions, and no content is guaranteed complete anonymity or confidentiality. 

If you would like to discuss your concern before submitting, contact us at studentsuccess@carthage.edu or 262-551-5800.

What happens after I submit a concern? 

Once you submit a concern, a site administrator will review the contents of your submission and assemble a small team of faculty and staff best positioned to facilitate outreach to the student based on their roles and responsibilities at Carthage. The outreach team will make various attempts to contact the student, provide them with relevant guidance, and confirm that they have the next steps established before suggesting that the concern be closed. Once closure has been suggested, a site administrator will review the follow-up notes of the outreach team for any missed opportunities to provide support to the student before closing.

If the student is initially unresponsive to outreach, members of the outreach team will continue to periodically reach out until the term comes to a close. At that time, if the student has continued to be unresponsive, the concern will be closed but details will remain accessible to team members in case the situation arises again during a subsequent term.

How do I refer back to my submission, view the status, and/or share additional information?

To review your submission, log into the SOS and click on “My Student Concerns” on the left side navigation panel. This will take you to a dashboard of all student concerns with which you are affiliated, either due to submitting or being assigned as a member of the outreach team. In the upper right corner, a drop-down menu will allow you to filter concerns by status, with the default set to “All but Closed.” Click on the student’s name to review the details of your submission.

On this page, you can also review the status of your submission or share additional information with members of the outreach team. To review the status of your submission, look to the upper left corner of the page, beneath the student’s name. To share additional information with the outreach team, click on the speech bubble icon next to “Follow-Up.” You will find this in the right column or by scrolling down if you are using a mobile device. Enter any relevant updates, whether the situation has been resolved or is continuing, and click submit. You will see your entry appear with a time stamp. Outreach team members will be able to see your entry chronologically alongside their other follow-up actions. 

Will I have direct access to the details of the outreach performed as a result of my submission?

Submitters are not granted access to follow-up details documented by the outreach team unless they are in a dual role as a member of the outreach team based on their roles and responsibilities for the College. This serves to keep any information revealed about the student during outreach as confidential as possible and ensure submitters do not feel that they have reached out for help and need to continue investing more time and resources (unless their role at Carthage requires it). However, you will have direct access to the status of the submission and some limited, relevant information may be shared on a case-by-case basis if requested by the submitter.

If you would like to have more conversation about a concern you submitted, contact us at studentsuccess@carthage.edu or 262-551-5800.

Will I receive a personal follow-up message REGARDING the STATUS of my submission?

In order to operate efficiently and dedicate as much time as possible to student outreach and support, you will not receive a personalized message about the outcome of your submission. However, after submitting your concern, you will reach a confirmation page letting you know that your concern was received and providing instructions on how to check the status of your concern. Statuses of concerns can be described as follows:

  • New: submission was recently received and not yet processed
  • Assigned: submission was reviewed by a site administrator who has determined and notified a case manager and other Carthage employees to serve as the designated outreach team
  • In progress: initial steps have been taken to reach the student, gather more information, and/or guide the student through the next steps
  • Closure suggested: the student has been reached and the next steps have been discussed, or the student is unresponsive but the term has ended
  • Closed: site administrator has reviewed the submission and all follow-up notes to verify closure is appropriate

Please note: The status of a submission may also be changed to “closed” if it’s details are merged with a pre-existing submission regarding the same student.

What do I do if the status of my previous submission is “closed,” but the situation has arisen again?

If you are continuing to observe challenges a student is having, but have already submitted a concern to the SOS that is now marked “closed,” please submit a new concern. Documentation about a student over time is helpful in recognizing larger patterns, identifying when a recommendation bears repeating to the student, or pinpointing the root cause of a challenge a student may be having.

If you only recently submitted the original concern and are not sure why the status is already showing “closed,” please contact us at studentsuccess@carthage.edu or 262-551-5800. The concern may have been merged with another, but we can add your notes for the outreach team manually.

For Outreach Team Members


How is an outreach team composed?

Once a concern is received, a site administrator will review the contents of the submission and assemble a small team of faculty and staff best positioned to facilitate outreach to the student based on their roles and responsibilities at Carthage. The type(s) of concern(s) and content shared in the submission drive the assignment of the appropriate team members based on a team management matrix agreed upon by the Dean of Students Office, Office of the Provost, Student Success Team, and site administrators. 

Who are some of the individuals that are not included on an outreach team and why?

There may be members of the Carthage community who are affiliated with the student but may present a conflict of interest as members of the outreach team. For this reason, not everyone with a relationship with the student may be assigned to the outreach team. Here are a few examples: 

  • Fellow students who serve as tutors, resident assistants, roommates, etc.: Because it is not possible to predict or address all of the social repercussions on a small campus that a student could face if information documented in the submission or follow-up notes were to be shared inappropriately, no students will be added as members of the outreach team. If a tutor, resident assistant, roommate, etc. is needed to connect with the student, a designated outreach team member will act as the intermediary with the SOS.
  • Course instructors and campus employment supervisors: Because it is not possible to predict or address the small or large instances of bias that could result from access to personal details of a student’s situation, faculty and staff members with control over grades or employment which could significantly impact a student’s ability to persist and succeed at Carthage will not be added as members of the outreach team. If a course instructor or campus employment supervisor is needed to connect with the student, a designated outreach team member will act as the intermediary with the SOS.
  • Faculty or staff members who are typically added as members of the student’s outreach team, but against which the student is indicating a complaint or conflict, will not be added as members of the outreach team. Other members of the outreach team will assist the student in navigating the situation in accordance with campus policies and procedures. 

Despite this, should individuals who know the student become aware of the challenges they are going through, providing support and guidance to the best of their ability is welcomed and encouraged.

How will I know that I am added as a member of an outreach team?

If you are added as a member of an outreach team, the SOS will automatically send you an email notification from studentsuccess@carthage.edu. You can also log into www.carthage.edu/sos and view all concerns that you are involved with (as a submitter and/or an outreach team member) by selecting “My Student Concerns” on the left side navigation panel. If you are on the outreach team, you will be able to click on a student name and view the outreach team members assigned, your name included.

How will I know who else is on an outreach team with me and what is a case manager?

To view other members of the outreach team, log into www.carthage.edu/sos and select the student whose outreach team members you wish to view. You will see the “Team members” heading on the right side, or by scrolling down if you are accessing the site through a mobile device. Beneath the heading, you will see all of the assigned outreach team members and can hover over the green information icon to view their titles if needed.

The team member with a green star next to their name is the case manager, a staff member in the Center for Student Success who is responsible for overseeing outreach and support for the student until the submission is ready to be closed. While the case manager is not responsible for all outreach, they will be among the first to reach out to the student, monitor the situation to ensure it gets addressed and resolved quickly, provide guidance to outreach team members as needed, and suggest closure to the submission when next steps have been discussed with the student.

What is my responsibility as a member of an outreach team?

The responsibilities of each member of the outreach team may vary depending on their roles and responsibilities with the College. Typically, the first outreach team members to review the concern should reach out to the student in order to address the situation quickly and share their steps and results with the rest of the team to prevent duplicating efforts. This is true even if the team member has never met the student before as an academic, financial, or personal challenge can be an opportune time to begin forming a relationship. It is important that each member of the outreach team considers how their role at Carthage is designed to help the student work through their challenge, whether directly or by means of making a connection and referral. 

Staff members in the Health and Counseling Center operate in a view-only manner as they follow different procedures according to their confidentiality guidelines. These staff members will not reach out to students who have not had a previous appointment/contact with the Health and Counseling Center and will not add follow-up notes to the SOS based on any contacts that they do have. 

What are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to reaching out to the student?

While there is no one standard approach, frequent users of the SOS typically agree that leveraging (or building) your relationship with the student in order to have the most natural conversation you can is best. Utilize open-ended questions and share that you heard they were facing the challenge in a way that builds trust, showing that you care about their situation and are ready to listen. Do your best not to settle for a response of “everything is fine” and to provide guidance with any resources, policies, and procedures that are relevant to the student’s situation. While you can share that you got this information through the SOS, keep in mind that it may not be the most effective way to lead the conversation. 

How do I document MY follow-up in the SOS?

To document follow-up in the SOS, log into www.carthage.edu/sos and select “My Student Concerns.” Select the name of the appropriate student, which will bring you to a page with more details. On the right side, you will see an area that says “Follow-up” with some instructions. Click on the speech bubble icon next to “Follow-up” to add your notes. Please keep your notes concise and focus on actions taken with or for the student, not speculation or discussion. This includes, but is not limited to, emails sent/phone calls made, further research on the situation conducted, conferences held among outreach team members, and conversations with the student completed. This feature is meant to record steps taken and is not meant to be used as a chat feature for the outreach team.

When are multiple concerns “merged” and how will I know? 

At times, multiple concerns may be in progress at the same time regarding a single student. Often the concerns are related and the assigned outreach team members are the same or nearly the same. If this occurs, a site administrator will assign the appropriate outreach team members to the newest concern so that they have access to the appropriate details based on their roles and responsibilities, but add a follow-up note that the concern is being merged elsewhere. They will then close the concern, mark the reason as “Related” and add a new note with a summary to the original concern that will remain open. Outreach team members will then be able to work together out of one location, considering and addressing all of the students’ needs holistically and in an organized fashion. 

When is a concern considered “closed” and how will I know?

A concern is typically considered ready to be “closed” when the student has been reached and the next steps have been thoroughly explored and established. Occasionally, a concern is also closed if it is related to another concern that is currently in progress. The concern is then merged with the previous one already in progress. Your default view in the “My Student Concerns” area of the SOS is “All but Closed,” so when a concern is closed it will no longer show up on your dashboard. To look for closed concerns, change the drop-down menu in the upper right corner to “Closed” and search for the student’s name.

For Members of the Carthage Community


HOW MANY CONCERNS ARE SUBMITTED TO THE SOS ANNUALLY AND HOW MANY STUDENTS ARE IMPACTED?

During the 2019-2020 school year, a total of 935 concerns were submitted by faculty, staff, and fellow students, generating outreach to a total of 508 students and connecting them with the additional resources and support they needed to move forward.

How have the number of concerns and the number of students impacted changed over time?

We continue to strive to identify student needs early and often. See below for data related to the number of concerns and the number of students impacted over the last three years. 

  2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
Number of concerns submitted 557 748 935
Number of students impacted 340 452 508


What are the most common concern TYPES currently shared through the SOS?

During the 2019-20 school year, the four most common concern types identified were attendance (32.92%), grades (27.61%), mental health (13.35%), and self-identified retention risk (5.18%).

When is the Student Outreach System monitored and by whom?

The SOS is monitored by site administrators daily (Monday through Friday) except for campus holidays. The Director for the Center for Student Success serves as the current site administrator. 

How can I share information about technological issues, positive feedback about my experience, or suggestions for future consideration?

We welcome your thoughts and questions! To share feedback and/or suggestions, please contact us at studentsuccess@carthage.edu or 262-551-5800. If you are experiencing a technological issue, a site administrator will assist you in troubleshooting and determining if you need to submit a ticket to the help desk at help@carthage.edu

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