Advisement & Retention Services

Flight Path FAQ

Q: What is the difference between “Flight Plan” and “Flight Path”?

A: Flight Plan is the name of Tennessee Tech’s strategic plan that outlines the university vision and goals for improvement as well as growth. Learn more at

The Flight Path early intervention program is an initiative designed to target chronic absenteeism. Residence Halls Assistants will make personal contact with absent students in a positive and encouraging manner to emphasize the lasting negative impact of poor attendance and ensure that students are aware of the multitude of resources the university has to help them. More information about Flight Path is available at

Q: Is this a mandatory attendance policy for Tennessee Tech classes?

A: Flight Path is NOT an academic policy. It is a student services initiative designed to help first-year students cultivate habits that are closely associated with academic success in college and make certain that students are aware of the services available to support them.

Q: I don’t keep attendance for every class meeting. Is this intended to change my class attendance policy or make tracking attendance required?

A: Absolutely not! It is not necessary to take attendance for every class meeting. What can have the most profound and positive impact is knowing student attendance patterns early in the semester (i.e. prior to Fall or Spring break). Making the effort to provide attendance information three or four times early in the semester is a major resource for student services.

Q: I only have one or two students that I perceive as having attendance problems. Do I have to report attendance for my entire class?

A: Not at all! You can share individualized one-time reports on students attendance (or other issues such as missed assignments, quizzes or tests) using the Student Alert feature in TechConnect . You also have the option of using the Attendance Reporting email ( to send your concerns directly to Retention Services. No reporting or spreadsheet needed!

Q: Does the information from Flight Path attendance reports impact student financial aid in any way?

A: No – the information reported through Flight Path is expressly designed to improve student support services such as academic advising, academic coaching and other student services.

Q: I already have to report student information in Banner and iLearn. Is there a way to link attendance in TechConnect to these sites?

A: Unfortunately no. You are welcome to email an Excel spreadsheet of your attendance data to instead of using the web module. If you are keeping track of attendance in iLearn, you can download that information as an Excel spreadsheet and email it in. In ILearn, when viewing the attendance roster for a course there is a button under the header at the top of the page that says "Export All Data" that will download your iLearn attendance in spreadsheet format.

Q: Will confidential student information (such as grades, test scores, etc.) be shared will Residential Life staff (i.e. RAs, Coordinators, etc.) participating in Flight Path?

A: The Residential Life staff members that participate in Flight Path will not have access to any confidential academic information. The focus of the conversation is to remind students of the importance of attendance and to make students aware of available academic and social resources. However, academic advisors and faculty members are available to meet with students to discuss specific academic information, if needed.

Q: Will parents be notified about student absences?

A: The attendance information collected as part of Flight Path is subjected to the same federal guidelines that govern the use of all postsecondary student records: the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). For more information on FERPA, please read TTU’s FERPA statement as well as an explanation of privacy rights.

Q: I was informed in advance that a student would not attend my class today. How should I report her attendance?

A: TechConnect does allow for reporting excused absences, so any student marked with an excused absence (such as TTU athletics competitions or doctor’s appointments, etc.) will be considered exempt from receiving a Flight Path visit or call. You can also report a student as tardy.

Q: I marked a student as absent but she later contacted me to explain why she was not in class. Is there something I should do to make a change to my attendance report?

A: Since Flight Path is intended to initiate early contact between the Residential Life Assistants and the students, there is no current method to change an attendance report once it’s been submitted. However there is no negative effect in allowing the Flight Path visit to occur; students can be reminded to contact their professor in advance (or as early as possible) about absences.

Q: Can I report attendance issues for students in non-1000 level courses?

A: Attendance information for all courses is welcome! Some students may receive emails or phone calls if they are upperclassmen who do not live on campus.

Q: Will I receive follow-up information about my attendance report?

A: Retention Services and advisors in the Student Success Centers are using TechConnect to document all meetings & communications with students, including Flight Path visits; however, inquires about specific students can be sent at any time to

Q: I’m having problems getting the Attendance Module to work. Who should I contact?

A: Feel free to contact Dr. Melissa Irvin at or 931-372-3821.

Q: I’ve had complaints from students (or parents) about the dorm visits from the Residential Life Assistants. What should I do?

A: Please direct any concerns or complaints about Flight Path to Dr. Melissa Irvin in Retention Services ( or 931-372-3821).