Academic Retention Concern (ARC)

Academic Retention Concern (ARC) is an early alert system that supports students who may be struggling in classes. Staff and faculty will add an ARC referral into the system and the retention team comprised of advising, student success coaches and the student communication & retention manager will work together as a support system doing outreach to the student.

Early alert systems assist in identifying students that could benefit from extra assistance inside and outside the classroom, to offer support, resources, and other help to engage students in their learning.

The Academic Retention Concern (ARC) Form

The form has been created in Microsoft forms for accessibility and ease of data tracking. Each student will need their own form completed as it will be added to the notes on the student account in ctcLink. This allows the support team to have full access to review what the staff or faculty member submitted to better support the student.

Academic Retention Concern (ARC) Form

Examples of  When to Put in an ARC Referral

  • Student has not attended the first week of class
  • Student has not participated before 10th day census date (Generally the second Friday of the term)
  • Student has attended in person or logged into Canvas but has not completed any assignments
  • Student is completing work, however, they are receiving low scores or it is clear they would benefit from assistance outside the class time
  • Student was attending class and completing assignments but has stopped participating at the same level or at all
  • Student earning less than a passing grade (week 7-10)
  • Student is unable to pass class

ARC Student Letter Template


Dear (Student preferred name),

My name is Heather Leasure and I am the Student Communication & Retention Manager at Clark College and a member of the student retention team. Your instructor, (instructor name), has indicated you may need some additional support this term. I am here to help you navigate the resources at Clark and assist you along your journey to ensure you are supported and feel prepared to be successful in your current and future classes.

College can be challenging and difficult to navigate so we are here to provide the guidance you need. We care about you and want to see you succeed! Please take a minute to connect today with [care_report|reporter_name], to explore what options exist for this class.

We are here to support you, even if that means assisting you with withdrawing from a class. We understand that life happens, and we are here to support you in any way we can to help you achieve success at Clark College and beyond.




Cc:  (instructor, advisor, student preferred email)


Week Eight or After Letter Template


Hi (Student preferred name)

I am Heather Leasure, the Student Communication & Retention Manager at Clark College. Your instructor, (instructor name) has expressed some concern about your progress and ability to complete their class this term; I wanted to check in and see if everything is okay and remind you that I and everyone at Clark are here to support you.

At this point in the term, it might be a good idea to discuss withdrawing from the course instead of receiving a failing grade. The deadline for withdrawing from classes is (insert date).

Also, I want to point out resources you should connect with before deciding to withdraw from the class.




Cc:  (instructor, advisor, student preferred email)


First Contact Text Template

Hello (Student Name),

This is (Staff name) from Clark College. I would like to connect with you about your (insert class name) class. Your instructor (insert instructor name) put in an academic concern referral for you and I wanted to see if I could set you up with resources or any assistance. Please text back or call when you are available. You can also connect with your instructor through email (add email) to create a plan for success in the class. Have a good day and I look forward to connecting with you. 

Academic Retention Concern (ARC) Process

  1. Receive the referral
  2. Process referral within the next business day, review content of referral, email the first contact email template to the student success coach, referrer, academic advisor, student's Clark email and preferred email
  3. Add the referral form to advising notes
  4. Student Success Coach (SSC) processes within one business day by contacting the student through text/call
    1. SSC adds note to advising notes in ctcLink about contact and what the outcome is
    2. Academic Advisor does outreach through text/call/email if the SSC has not heard from the student
      1. Updates advising notes with outcome
  5. SSC continues to do outreach until student replies or reaches two weeks since referral was received
  6. Emails faculty member about outcomes, whether student was connected with or not
  7. Adds final advising note in ctcLink outlining contact and final outcomes

Resources for Students Who Received an ARC Email, Text, or Call

  • Student Success Coaches – Free, confidential zoom or in person meeting with a student success coach. They will assist you with a success plan, work together in finding academic support and much more.
  • Academic Advising – Offers one-on-one advising sessions to develop your plan and support your educational success.
  • Counseling & Health – Provides physical and mental health services to support student wellness and academic success.
  • Tutoring Services – Free online or in person tutoring.
  • Staff Directory – You can use this to get your instructor's email address and campus phone number if you are unable to connect through Canvas.
  • Financial Aid – If you need information on how receiving a low grade in a class can affect your financial aid.
  • Library – They provide information and assignment assistance for research, a computer lab and quiet spaces to study.
  • Enrollment Services – If you have questions about your class, moving to a different one or how to drop a class please connect with enrollment first.
  • Virtual Support Center – Many departments offer zoom hours for drop in with quick questions. Please review the page and click into a zoom room if you need immediate assistance.

I am a student who got an ARC email, what now?

First, we are glad you are looking for next steps. We want to support you and watch you succeed. You are not in trouble; this is an opportunity to get you connected to the right resources to help you finish your class or classes with passing grades. 

Next steps:

1) Connect with your instructor to let them know what is going on, what you need help with and communicate your intention for continuing the class

2) Connect with your student success coach that was listed on the email you received

3) Connect with your academic advisor that was listed on the email you received