Improvements made to Early Alert System

The Early Alert System at MCCC has been revamped and success rates are increasing, according to Dean of Students Gerald McCarty in a recent press conference.

With the hiring of Angela Acosta as a student retention specialist in December 2023, McCarty, an administrator with more than 30 years of experience, said response time has reduced from more than a week to 24-36 hours. The press conference took place as part of an Introduction to Journalism class on Feb. 15.

(Graphic by Maggie Sandefur.)

Answering Early Alert notifications along with Acosta are three other staff members who have access to the system. The staff is available to meet with students after class, over Zoom, via phone calls or text messages.

The Early Alert System allows faculty to fill out an online form to identify students who may be struggling. The system helps connect students to tutoring, mental health and disability services at the college.

McCarty said all full and part-time faculty members have access to the system and are trained in its usage.

McCarty said he is passionate about connecting students with resources at MCCC and is proud the college can provide an environment where students can be successful.

“You’re here and we’re supposed to help you,” he said.

In addition to the Early Alert System, McCarty said the college has five licensed counselors on campus to assist students with mental health struggles. Two are located in the Warrick Student Center and three can be found in the Student Success Center in Founders Hall.

“Nobody has this,” McCarty said. “We are light years ahead of what other colleges have. They’re asking us how to do this and how to make it work.”

While the Early Alert System has many practical benefits for MCCC, like raising retention rates, McCarty said the emotional impact is one of the most important aspects of the program.

“The student is immediately comforted,” he said. “It says, ‘Someone noticed. Someone cares about me.’”

For more information, contact McCarty at