No student heading off to college has plans to be put on academic probation. But the reality is that 1 in every 4 college freshman find themselves in this very situation. Academic probation, not to be mistaken for academic dismissal, is a warning that your student’s performance has fallen below the university’s minimum requirement for good academic standing. Most colleges give students 1 semester to demonstrate academic progress, raising their GPA above the university’s minimum standard. And while for some the task at hand may seem insurmountable, the most important thing you can do for your student is to help them devise a plan for recovery. We’ve outlined 8 tips to improve academic standing while on academic probation.
- Make a Plan
Encourage your student to be open and honest with you about what challenges they are facing. Do they have difficulties with time management? Are they overwhelmed with course work? Do they find it hard to focus? Do they need to cut back on extracurriculars? Work hours? Social activities? Now is the time devise a plan that addresses their challenges and puts them in a position to succeed.
2. Reach Out to Advisor
Your student’s academic advisor is a great resource for them to find out not only about the university’s requirements but what they need to do to reach them. It’s also important for them to inquire about what sort of time frame they have for a probationary period.
3. Meet with Your Professors
Professors want to see your student succeed, it can only help for your student to reach out to them and find out what they should be doing to improve their performance in class.
4. Go to Class
No brainer, right? You would think. Many students opt to skip class and instead study on their own and only show up for tests and assignments. But consider that some professors actually factor attendance into their grades and tests can cover topics only discussed in lecture.
5. Participate in Class
Engaging in class helps retain information and helps students gain a better understanding of the material. Not to mention, it looks good for the professor whom you need on your student’s side to help them recover.
6. Adjust Your Study Habits
Maintaining balance with newfound freedom is never easy. If your student is distracted studying in the dorm, have them consider the library. If they are always waiting until the last minute to study, they should consider blocking off time each day for studying and stick to it! Group studying can also be helpful for students who need that extra bit of accountability.
7. Retake Courses
This is going to sound awful to your student, but if they are allowed to retake a course and if they can turn a D into a B it will be worth it.
8. Follow Up
Set up a process to monitor progress. Your student should check-in with their professors and academic advisor on a regular basis to track their progress and make sure they are on the right track.
9. Utilize Campus Resources
Colleges have many resources to aid in the success of their students. If course subject matter is what your student is struggling with, working with a tutor to help improve class performance is suggested.
10. Consider Working with an Academic Coach
You’re in uncharted waters here, if you think your student needs a little extra guidance to ensure a successful outcome – you should consider working with an academic coach. An academic coach works one-on-one with the student to assess potential problem areas and devise a plan that includes a series of lessons and technique-based learning to address the student’s academic needs. They will act as a liaison between the student, parents and the university: helping students find the right resources that will lead to success.
Academic probation is not an academic dismissal. There is time and there is a chance to work your way off probation. It will not be easy and it will take sacrifice but it is possible and it happens everyday. Do not feel ashamed and do not be the drop-out statistic; buckle down, seek help and find a way to get yourself on track. Call the coaches here at Academic Coaching Specialists if you want our help in your quest to success and good academic standing.