Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the difference between “Flight Plan” and “Flight Path”?
Flight Plan is the name of Tennessee Tech’s former strategic plan (2013-2018) that outlined the university vision and goals for improvement as well as growth.
The Flight Path early intervention program is an initiative from the former strategic plan 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 tntech.edu/flightpath.
- Is this a mandatory attendance policy for Tennessee Tech classes?
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.
- I don’t keep attendance for every class meeting. Is this intended to change my class
attendance policy or make tracking attendance required?
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.
- I only have one or two students that I perceive as having attendance problems. Do
I have to report attendance for my entire class?
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.
- Does the information from Flight Path attendance reports impact student financial
aid in any way?
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. Through the use of the Flight Path initiative, we can work to prevent students from potentially losing aid due to poor academic performance.
- I already have to report student information in Banner and iLearn. Is there a way
to link attendance in TechConnect to these sites?
Unfortunately, not at this time. We are working with EAB (our partner for TechConnect) to explore API options to connect iLearn to TechConnect for attendance tracking.
If you are keeping track of attendance in iLearn or through an Excel file, you do have the option to report the student(s) attendance concerns by issuing a Student Alert in TechConnect - Directions On Issuing a Student Alert in TechConnect (PDF).
- Will confidential student information (such as grades, test scores, etc.) be shared
will Residential Life staff (i.e. RAs, Coordinators, etc.) participating in Flight
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.
- Will parents be notified about student absences?
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 Tennessee Tech's FERPA statement as well as an explanation of privacy rights.
- I was informed in advance that a student would not attend my class today. How should
I report her attendance?
TechConnect does allow for reporting excused absences, so any student marked with an excused absence (such as Tennessee Tech 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.
- 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?
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.
- Can I report attendance issues for students in non-1000 level/freshman level courses?
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.
- Will I receive follow-up information about my attendance report?
Advisement & 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- I’m having problems getting the Attendance Module to work. Who should I contact?
Please contact the TechConnect specialist that supports your college, school, or administrative area. Their contact information is available at tntech.edu/techconnect/staff.
- I’ve had complaints from students (or parents) about the dorm visits from the Residential
Life Assistants. What should I do?
Please direct any concerns or complaints about Flight Path to Allen Mullis (email@example.com), Executive Director for Student Success.