OnCourse Faculty FAQs


Q. I received an e-mail from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion requesting that I provide information on students currently enrolled in my class. It was through a third-party entity called OnCourse. Is this a legitimate request?
A. Yes, it is a legitimate request. Beginning Winter Quarter 2011, ODI partnered with OnCourse, an on-line retention management service, to enhance the effectiveness of our retention services and to capitalize on the latest available technology.

Q. What does OnCourse provide?
A. To fully understand the scope of OnCourse, please see the company’s website at www.gradesfirst.com.

In general, there are four tasks OnCourse enables ODI to do. First, it allows the Office to identify atrisk students early in the term to allow for intervention when students need it most.

Secondly, OnCourse has created a system designed to engage students in ways they are currently communicating. This allows ODI to communicate with students via text messaging, smart phone mobile applications, Facebook integration tools, and email communications.

Thirdly, OnCourse provides support to ODI staff by providing workflow management tools to log and track student interactions through online appointment scheduling, centralized documentation, and tools to schedule follow-up interactions.

Finally, the centralized data repository available through OnCourse allows the aggregation of data for measurable results, allowing ODI Retention Counselors and administrators to utilize data and maximize efficiencies.

Q. OnCourse is a Third Party entity. Is it secure?
A. A top priority of the University, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and OnCourse is data security. Therefore, OnCourse has demonstrated that it meets the University’s security requirements as mandated in the following areas:

Q. Does the submittal of the progress report ODI has requested violate FERPA?
A. The contract between the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and OnCourse complies with the rules set forth by The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, (FERPA) with regard to student personal and academic information. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Academic Advancement Services, utilizes the web-based scheduling system, OnCourse, to schedule retention counseling and tutoring appointments, track student participant’s academic progress, communicate with program participants, ODI staff and University professors, and generate program affiliated reports. AAS staff will utilize academic information acquired from The Ohio State University and program participants for these purposes. Student personal and academic information managed on OnCourse  servers is secure per University mandates and will not be shared outside of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Updated 2-13-17.