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How to Identify At Risk Students


Every one of our students should feel comfortable and accepted in our classrooms. Not all students succeed when their social and psychological needs are ignored. This may lead to an increase in student dropout rates, and the effects may last a lifetime. In education, 'at-risk' students are statistically likely to fail a course or withdraw entirely from their educational programs. Students are at risk when they face challenges such as poverty, childbearing, health concerns, family abuse, and others.

At-risk students are likely to perform poorly or leave school altogether. Students at risk may be identified by their grades, attendance, or disruptive behavior. Teachers should keep tabs on students who have poor grade point averages (GPAs) at the beginning of the semester, regularly miss class, and disrupt the learning environment for others.

Recognizing children at risk of failing might help our school avoid potential disasters. This blog will list seven ways to identify at-risk students briefly.

Seven Ways to Enhance Understanding and Identify at Risk Students

Attendance and Grades

The first few days of school are an excellent time for teachers and other staff members to use early alert technologies for midterm grades and attendance. Helping students access their required resources includes sharing information with their support systems. However, the beginning of the term is not the only crucial time. In addition to using midterm benchmarks for grades and attendance, analyzing aggregated data sets might assist in pinpointing vulnerable groups. Midterm course failures and attendance issues are significant indicators that a student is facing academic difficulties. Moreover, low grades at this stage in the semester can impact the students' perceptions of their potential for academic success in school.

Behavioral Patterns

It is crucial to identify psycho-social behavior patterns that may influence students' reactions to grades, such as endurance, perseverance, and dedication. For instance, two students could receive failing grades on their initial chemistry exam. One student may think, "I am not smart enough for college or school," and drop out. The other student may consider, "I didn't do well, but now I know what to expect on a chemistry exam, and I need to modify my approach." The student represents a more fragile population, while the second represents the most resilient students. Students' ability to adapt to a challenging academic setting can be predicted through early, formal assessment of non-cognitive characteristics.

Compatibility of Program Objectives with Learning Gains

How well do learning results align with the level of difficulty anticipated for individual courses? It can be challenging for students to succeed in beginning courses if the outcomes are designed beyond their current knowledge levels. This study helps identify students at risk of falling behind academically across an entire class, cohort, or even an entire department.

Assistance Quantifying Availability and Usage Rate

The wellness center, tutoring center, and disability services office are just a few examples of popular student hangouts on campus. Students waiting in line for services are more than just clients waiting to be seen. They can also be used as markers for retention prediction. We can learn more about our students by gathering contact information. It is a good idea to keep an eye out for underutilized resources, identify the people who could benefit most from them, and brainstorm novel ways to get the word out. Students who don't fit the typical student profile can benefit significantly from this personalized attention.

Student Feedback

The first month of classes is a high priority for many freshers in schools and colleges. However, during the second half of the semester, students develop a stronger sense of campus community. This can lead to a decline in hall spirit and weaken ties to the student body. Cohorts who lack a sense of community can be identified by monitoring the timing and availability of residence hall offerings and student attendance. For instance, students who must commute to school have specific requirements and risk isolation.

Financial Stress Indicators

According to recent research, financial stress indicators were identified as a significant barrier to academic performance. The study states that financially pressured students "appear to be participating in both academic and co-curricular activities on par with their peers, and more so in certain aspects," despite having busier schedules. Their poorer evaluations of supportive social networks and environments are the source of concern. One of the early warning signs that students may be in financial difficulty is incomplete free application for federal student aid (FAFSA) forms. Confirmation that a financial assistance package covering tuition, fees, and room has not been offered is another sign. Documentation that students have not bought the necessary course materials by the end of the first add/drop period also indicates financial difficulty.

Connections to Data

None of these patterns could raise a severe red signal about a particular student or group of students on their own. However, when considered collectively, they represent highly instructive data points. Consider capable students who fail an accounting exam. Even while this incident might not be cause for alarm, what if they continue to show signs of low resilience? After a solid start to the semester, they might struggle in another class, quit visiting the tutoring facility, and leave a club. By combining various data points, we can better understand individual students and groups of students who may be more at risk. We can then modify their programming and resource allocation accordingly.

We should consider individual and collective trends to enhance student performance and retention. Ask the following questions:

  • Are there any patterns linked to lower retention?
  • What traits do at-risk students appear to have in common?
  • Can we draw conclusions from data gathered from seemingly unconnected areas of the school experience?


Actionable insights can be obtained by taking a closer look at institutional data. The above-listed approaches will help identify and help at-risk students.

Suggested Read: How Can Teachers Facilitate Self Learning

Teachmint provides ed-infra to educational institutions. With our state-of-the-art lms portal, teachers can improve the teaching-learning experience. Our tools like institute erp help schools manage their everyday activities hassle-free.

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