Required Class Roster Verification and Reporting

January 19, 2021

Dear Baylor Faculty:

Please review carefully the information below regarding three important matters:  1) the continued use of the Class Roster Verification system, 2) the need for all faculty to monitor academic engagement carefully to know when a student has stopped academic participation, and 3) the recording of F grades and the last date of attendance when a student has ceased to attend classes.

A recent external audit of Title IV funds found material weaknesses related to the timely and accurate return of Title IV funds and Enrollment Reporting of students who have stopped participating in class activities.  If not addressed properly, these weaknesses could lead to a fine or more significant consequences from the U.S. Department of Education.  More than half of Baylor’s students receive federal financial aid each year in the form of loans or grants.  As part of their receiving these funds, we must verify that individual students have begun to attend classes for a given term.  In addition, when students stop attending their classes, we must be able to identify their last date of academic attendance so that we can return the appropriate amount of federal financial aid that those students have received.

  1. Class Roster Verification System
  2. For many years, we have used the Class Roster Verification System (link below) for semester-based classes to collect information from each of you regarding which students have begun to attend your classes and, more importantly, which students have not.  We will continue to use that system, but we need to improve the response rate that we have received in previous semesters.  In short, we must have a response from each of you regarding every class that you are teaching (courses that fall under Graduate Professional Education are an exception to this process; attendance for those courses is reported through the Program Director for each program; that process satisfies Title IV expectations).

    As we have done in previous semesters, an email will go out from my office to all of you on January 25th that prompts you to complete the Class Roster Verification process.  That email also will include the deadline of February 2nd at 5:00 p.m. for you to complete the process.  We will be following up with each of you (and copying the appropriate dean and department chair) if we have not received a response by the February 2nd deadline.  For faculty teaching in programs that utilize the trimester, quarter, Law School, or OMBA calendars, your terms may have already begun, which means that you will have different reporting dates (in such cases, faculty have received separate deadline dates in other communications).  Nevertheless, these reporting expectations are just as significant for those programs as they are for all others.

  3. Monitoring Academic Engagement
  4. As you begin your classes, please monitor student participation and engagement carefully.  We do not have a single, uniform approach to attendance recording or monitoring engagement, but, especially for large classes, you may want to consider some of the following options (all of which would satisfy the attendance taking expectations we have).  For example, you could:  1) use Canvas to create a weekly activity (e.g., a one-question quiz, a required file upload, or a required comment) that serves as an indication of weekly student activity/engagement in the course, 2) use the Canvas attendance tracking tool to monitor or record attendance in each class period, or 3) for those who already require students to purchase a license for the Turning Point student system, clickers can be used to record engagement.  If you have questions about how to use Canvas or Turning Point to track either student attendance or other student activities (or you want to discuss other options specific to your course), you may contact the Library and Academic Technology Services (LATS) team through the HELP+ desk at 254 710-4357.  Another resource to consider is the Academy for Teaching and Learning, which also is prepared to work with faculty on potential attendance monitoring solutions (link below).

  5. Recording Grades when a Student Has Ceased to Attend or Participate
  6. There is one other piece of monitoring academic engagement/attendance that you must know about at this time as well.  At the end of the semester when you submit grades, we will be requiring each instructor to indicate, through our standard grade submission process, whether or not a student who has received a grade of F has received that grade due to poor academic performance or due to their having ceased to attend or otherwise engage in class activities.  Each of you needs to track academic participation carefully so that, at the end of the semester, you will be prepared to enter the last date of academic attendance when you submit a grade of F for a student who has ceased to participate in class activities.

If you have questions, please feel free to reach out Dr. Wes Null, Vice Provost, at Wesley_Null@baylor.edu or 254 710-7591.

Thank you very much for your assistance in this critical aspect of our work together at Baylor.

Sincerely,

Nancy Brickhouse
Provost


For more information on the Class Roster Verification System, click here:
https://www1.baylor.edu/verifyroster

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HELP Desk+
https://www.baylor.edu/its/index.php?id=44608

Library and Academic Technology Services
https://www.baylor.edu/library/index.php?id=970211

Academy for Teaching and Learning
https://www.baylor.edu/atl/

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