Office of Undergraduate Education

O'Dowd Hall, Rooms 340-342
386 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4454
(location map)
(248) 370-4955

Focus on the Finish Line Contacts
Laura Schartman
513 Wilson Hall
(248) 370-2387
Reuben Ternes
509 Wilson Hall
(248) 370-2559
Sara Webb
121 North Foundation Hall
(248) 370-2652
Tricia Westergaard
102 O'Dowd Hall
(248) 370-4585

Communicate with your students

In addition to faculty, advisors and department chairs also play an important role in student retention. The relationship you foster with your students is critical to student engagement and their overall positive experience. By communicating regularly with your students, you will encourage them to take responsibility for their program of study and future career goals, and help guide them to a timely graduation.  The Focus on the Finish Line (FOTFL) committee has created this page to provide you with simple tools to do just that. 
Get Started
In order to use the database created to assist you in communicating with your students, please ensure you have the following:

Banner Access


There are five Banner roles you must have access to in order to utilize the database.
  • Access the Banner Request Form
  • Select the Banner – Student Access Request form
  • Type ADD next to the following Banner forms
    • BAN_OA_ACADEMIC_HISTORY_R (Academic History Reporting)
    • BAN_OA_CATALOG_SCHEDULE_R (Catalog & Schedule Reporting)
    • BAN_OA_ENROLLMENT_R (Enrollment Reporting)
    • BAN_STUDENT_LABELS_LISTS (Student Labels Lists)
    • BAN_STUDENT_REPORTING_R (Student Reporting (All)
PortAdm Access

The database, Retention5.1 Database (includes majors, minors and concentrations), is available for download on PortAdm under Banner Training Resources. Use your NetID username and password to log-in to PortAdm. If you do not see the Banner Training Resources link, fill out the form to be added to the resource.

ODBC Connection from MS Access to Banner


The database pulls information from Banner into Microsoft Access through an ODBC Connection. If you do not currently use Access queries to pull information from Banner, it’s likely you will need to set up this connection. Directions are available. You will need to log in with your NetID username and password to open the directions.
Retention Database
The database is comprised of three tabs.

New Students


Provides a list of new students (first-year and transfer) for the term and major(s) selected. The list includes student name, Grizzly ID, class standing, mailing address, phone number, OU email and First Year Advising Center adviser name, if applicable.

Current Enrollment

Provides a list of all current students (new and returning) for the term selected. Separate reports can be generated for students in a major, minor and/or concentration that provide class standing, cumulative GPA and contact information. Additionally, reports providing information on students in a given major with unsatisfactory mid-term grades can also be created.

Term End

Provides a list of all current students (new and returning) for the term selected. Separate reports can be generated for students in a major or minor that detail the academic performance for the selected semester including courses taken, grades earned and both term and cumulative grade point averages.

View printable instructions on the database. (.pdf)


Communications and Retention Database Training Video

Communication Plan
Below are recommendations to assist you as you regularly communicate with your students. Our goal is to provide you with an easy formula for communication — you'll see a suggested timeline, recommended communication, template to download, how to send the communication, and student demographic.   

We encourage you to modify these templates to reflect your personal voice and tone. It’s also a good idea to discuss these communications with deans and advisers so that all communication to students is coordinated and effective. 

Helpful Tips
  • You are allowed to email 90 names or less at a time. If you have more than 90 names, you will need to obtain a listserv.
  • Remember to add names in the "bcc" field (not the "to" or "cc" fields).
We’re looking to expand! Showcase your communication examples on this site by emailing them to Sara Webb at crampton@oakland.edu.

Suggested
Timeline
Recommended
Communication

Download Template
Retention
Database Query

Student
Demographic

AugustWelcome letterDownload Template
Tab: New Students

Spreadsheet: Open Retention Table
New FTIAC and transfer students admitted to the fall semester who are registered for classes 
SeptemberSemester outlineDownload Template Tab: Current Enrollment

Spreadsheet: View Majors Query (or Minors, Concentrations)
All registered students (regardless of admit term)
DecemberLetter for 3.0 or higherDownload Template Tab: Term End

Spreadsheet: View Majors Query (or Minors)
All registered students from the fall semester with a term GPA of 3.0 or higher
DecemberLetter for less than 2.0Download Template Tab: Term End

Spreadsheet: View Majors Query (or Minors)
All registered students from the fall semester with a term GPA of less than 2.0
DecemberWelcome letterDownload Template Tab: New Students

Spreadsheet: OpenRetention Table
New FTIAC and transfer students
admitted to the winter semester
who are registered for classes
JanuarySemester outlineDownload Template Tab: Current Enrollment

Spreadsheet: View Majors Query (or Minors, Concentrations)
All registered students (regardless of admit term)
AprilSemester outlineDownload Template Tab: Current Enrollment

Spreadsheet: View Majors Query (or Minors, Concentrations)
All registered students (regardless of admit term) 
MayLetter for 3.0 or aboveDownload Template Tab: Term End

Spreadsheet: View Majors Query (or Minors)
All registered students from thewinter semester with a term GPA of 3.0 or higher  
MayLetter for less than 2.0Download Template Tab: Term End

Spreadsheet: View Majors Query (or Minors
All registered students from the winter semester with a term GPA of less than 2.0
OngoingEmails for those who perform wellDownload Template Use your class roster in SAIL or Moodle 
Ongoing
Emails for those who do not perform well
Download Template
Use your class roster in SAIL or Moodle