Thank you for being a Herd Path Partner! The work you are doing is important and meaningful and may have a lasting positive impact on Marshall’s most vulnerable student population: YOU are keeping people in school and increasing their chances of graduating.
If you have been selected as a Herd Path Partner, it’s because you have been recognized as a caring, conscientious and enthusiastic upperclassman with obvious leadership abilities, good communication skills, and a can-do spirit.
Data show that class attendance is a more reliable predictor of student success than high school GPA, ACT scores, and class standing. However, it is not unusual for first-year students to think that skipping classes is no big deal. Of course there are times when a student will have to miss class because of health or family reasons or for a university-sponsored activity — those are not the absences we are concerned about, although we do offer support to those students as well.
Our goal is to intervene when a student misses classes early in the semester to 1. make sure that student is okay and 2. to make that student aware of the connection between class attendance, retention, GPA and eventual graduation. As a Herd Path Partner, you play the key role in this intervention by checking in with students who miss two classes in the same course within the first four weeks of the semester, or, after the first four weeks, students who accrue a total of six absences in any combination across all of their classes. This initiative is NOT at all about nagging students or making them feel bad about missing class – quite the opposite: this initiative is about showing students that even in a university as big as Marshall, each individual matters.
You will receive plenty of training and support throughout the semester. In the meantime, all of the forms and materials associated with your end of the program are available on this page.