SIU using equation to predict student success, failure

One local university believes it can predict your child’s academic future using a simple equation.

Final exams are next week, but Southern Illinois University student Adam Lacy isn’t too worried about his grades.

“I’ve always been one that tries harder throughout the semester instead of slacking off,” Lacy said. “That way you have a little leeway towards the end of the semester.”

Lacy’s success doesn’t come as a shock to Dr. Greg Budzban, who has worked out an equation that accurately predicts student success.

“We give them a test to see how prepared they are for the class,” Budzban said. “The other thing we do, which is really critical, is how motivated are they. Are they engaged in the class? We test attendance and homework, and we combine that together and give them an early warning metric. Ninety percent of them end up succeeding in a class.”

Once they crunch the numbers the human element becomes involved, and it is on the student to take the initiative to take advantage of the resources that the school has made available so that they can pass the class

“The data looks very good so far,” said SIU Assistant Dean of Retention Harvey Henson. “We’ve seen a success rate over 30 percent, in the high 30s, so this is something that obviously works.”

Beginning in the fall semester, SIU will launch its early warning equation for all programs at the Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses. SIU is believed to be the only school in the country using this program.

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