At approximately the fourth week of the semester, instructors of participating EPF courses have the opportunity to submit information for each of their students into their Canvas grade book with a “Y” or “N” indicating whether or not the student is meeting current expectations for succeeding in the course.  Due to the number of students connected to this program (approximately 12,000), the process has been created to be as efficient as possible. 

The information provided by instructors in Canvas is collected and shared with students, Academic Advisors, and other Student Support Network staff. Staff members reach out to students who have received one or more reports of not yet meeting class expectations to inform them of campus resources that may assist them with their academic success.

The instructions for updating Early Performance reports in Canvas are available here: Early Performance Feedback in Canvas.

Information on exporting the Early Performance Grades is available on the Canvas help site.

Please contact us at if there are any questions we can help answer.


New students aren’t always used to the University environment and expectations.  They often misinterpret or miss important, even basic, cues about their performance early in their campus and classroom experience with the result that they may fall irrevocably behind in their classes.  We know that feedback is an essential mechanism in the adjustment process.  The Early Performance Feedback program aims to:

  • Increase the level of feedback on academic performance for first-year students in specifically identified courses.
  • Powerfully communicate to students that early effort and performance matters.
  • Connect students proactively to relevant academic support resources.
  • Identify students early who may be encountering severe difficulties that require more intensive intervention.

Collection of Early Performance Data

Instructors in participating courses provide a “Y” or “N” indicator in Canvas. These indicators represent a “Yes” or “No” on whether or not a student is meeting the expectations to succeed in the course. The information provided is then collected centrally and shared with students, as well as those who will be communicating and intervening with students. Feedback reports will be collected centrally from Canvas during the fourth and fifth week of the semester. Instructors may include any evidence of performance, attendance, and/or effort up to and including that date.

For the purpose of the program, an “N” will indicate any or all of the following:
–A grade below a C on assignments, quizzes, tests, and/or papers
–Absences from class
–Unsatisfactory class participation or effort

Within the criteria specified above (performance, attendance, and/or effort and performance), the course instructor will determine the adequacy of performance. The Y/N report is not a grade and is not recorded on a student’s transcript. It is intended only as an early indicator of student performance for the benefit of student improvement if/when needed.

Detailed instructions can be located on the CSU Canvas website.

The EPF column is removed after the 7th week of the semester.  Instructors who are interested in saving a record of their EPF grades should plan to export the grades to a separate file prior to the 7th week of the semester.  Instructions to export the gradebook are available on the Canvas help site.

Sharing Feedback with Students

Outreach and Support Programs will send an email to all students who receive at least one “N” indicator. Students will also receive an alert on their Ramweb account, and a text alert if they are a part of the CSU text alert system. Whenever possible, instructors who provide Early Performance Feedback indicators for their course(s) are asked to make an announcement in class describing the program.

Those who share the feedback with students include:

  • Outreach and Support Programs staff, who are responsible for sending all emails and alerts to any student with at least one “N” indicator reported.
  • Academic Support Coordinators and advisors who may contact or discuss the students’ performance as part of their advising activities.

Review a sample of the text message and email sent to students.

Data Privacy

Is it appropriate to share information on student academic performance with those responsible for the intervention?
–CSU’s Office of Legal Counsel advises that sharing such information for this purpose is appropriate, since it is shared within the institution for a legitimate educational purpose.   (The sharing must not, however, contradict any unit policy governing confidentiality.)

Can students or instructors opt out of Early Performance Feedback Program?
–All data is subject to institutional and international regulations. FERPA is the most common guiding legislation. Any student registered for a participating course can not opt out from having an N or Y reported by the instructor. If the student has turned off text notifications and does not check their University-provided email account, they may choose not to receive notifications of any reported “Ns”.