EMPOWER is designed to support students in tracking their own progress by encouraging self-advocacy which is at the heart of the program’s philosophy. EMPOWER mentors do not have access to a professor’s attendance or grade records for classes. Mentors rely on the student to honestly report class attendance as well as grades received. When available, a mentor and a student may log on to myCourses, RIT’s course management software, to view the student’s progress in a particular course. However, this is not always available since posting grades on myCourses is up to each individual professor. The feedback process and timing is highly variable based on the preferences of each professor. Around mid-semester, students are encouraged to reach out to professors in an effort to receive feedback about their current academic standing. Once the student has a summary of his or her progress, the student may choose to send an e-mail to update parents/guardians/academic advisors. Other students may choose not to do so. In the spirit of enhancing self-advocacy, students are encouraged to determine what is in his or her best interest.
At the end of the semester, mentors submit a “Final Semester Report” of the student’s progress and projected student-reported grades for each course. Mentors also make recommendations for campus resources to use as well as whether or not a continuation with EMPOWER may be beneficial. Students and academic advisors will receive a copy of the report after final grades are posted in the Student Information System (SIS). For students who are enrolled in the fall, reports will be sent after the winter break. For students who are enrolled in the spring semester, final reports will be sent by the end of May. Parents/Guardians will receive a copy of the final report ONLY if the student has signed a “Release of Information” form.
Please note that participation in the EMPOWER program does not guarantee that your student will complete the semester successfully. While every effort is made to enhance a student’s progress, the commitment and implementation of academic strategies, time management, utilization of campus resources has to come from the student.