What to Do When You’ve Been Put on Academic Probation
September 17, 2020 8:00 AM EST | 6 min read
NO student heads off to college with the plan of being placed on academic probation (and facing possible dismissal).
Few parents think about this when they drop their kids off for college during the late months of August.
But the reality is that, for most students, once their institution has officially notified them that they are in danger of being dismissed, parents turn from being a tremendous asset to making matters worse.
Here are some ways you – and your student – can cope with academic probation.
What’s academic probation?
Generally speaking, “academic probation” is the most common term colleges and universities use to indicate that a student is NOT proceeding academically as required by their institution.
In other words, it’s a warning that the student’s performance falls below the university’s minimum requirement for “good academic standing.”
Academic standing is often measured by GPA (grade point average).
But it can also be determined by a student’s academic progress and the number of credits taken and passed.
It is possible, at some schools, that a student may have a high GPA but may withdraw from too many courses throughout a semester.
Normally, most schools expect students to maintain a 2.0 GPA, which is average.
Other schools, however, might even lower that number for first-year students.
Whatever the case may be, academic probation is a serious step on the part of college students, and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Being placed on probation is usually NOT the same as being asked to leave college.
However, students are typically given a grace period (normally one semester) to demonstrate that they can turn things around.
This isn’t meant to insult them or make things worse.
The message is meant to serve as a wake-up call: letting students know they need to make some changes.
Overcoming Academic Probation
Review Your Study Habits
College is an entirely different situation than high school.
Although classes are made up of fewer grades, they’re worth it in the long run.
Some classes have only midterms and finals, while others consist of papers, projects, and presentations.
That being said, it’s important to stay caught up.
If you’re a student, ask yourself, “How often do I study for my class?”
You’ll be surprised to find out the real answer as most students prefer not to believe that they’ll remember all the answers come test time.
Instead of allowing your pride to get in the way, take the time to learn and apply new study habits.
If you want to become a successful student, don’t get discouraged, and DON’T GIVE UP.
Instead, work to develop each of the study habits below, and you’ll start to see a difference in your GPA and your ability to learn information.
A few helpful tips:
- Don’t attempt to cram ALL your studying in at one time.
- Plan WHEN you’re going to study.
- Set SPECIFIC GOALS when you study.
- Try to study around the SAME TIME.
- Start with the most COMPLEX subject first.
- AVOID studying in noisy environments.
- Use GROUP STUDY effectively.
Attend Class Regularly
This is something that should be done every day.
But of course, in higher education, you must take responsibility for your actions.
Meaning that mom and dad won’t be there to wake you up for class.
In all honesty, going to class isn’t easy, especially if it’s an infographic or online lecture that gives students the ability to decide how quickly they want to watch the lecture or not.
Although the two terms are often used interchangeably, they’re not the same.
Infographics, for instance, are visual representations of data.
In other words, when students create infographics, they use information, visuals, and technological knowledge.
This is a type of learning that’s much more different than the traditional teaching we’re all used to.
As students, it’s important to discipline yourself to go to class and come equipped with writing tools, books, and notebooks.
You know, things that are needed in the classroom.
Students should also sit towards the front and be in the same place if they can.
That way, the instructor can associate the seat with you.
Rather than running to a house party on a Saturday night for drinks, consider paying a visit to your local community service event.
This will allow you to focus better and have a positive impact on your resume.
Volunteering provides many benefits to both the student’s mental and physical health.
Just like going to a job, committing to a volunteer position shows that students understand the importance of being a responsible person.
It allows students to work on becoming more reliable and allows them to get involved in community events.
For example, students who love to read can find work at local libraries, whereas students who love to teach or coach can volunteer at after-school programs for children.
Put Parties On Hold
This is an enormous sacrifice for some students.
Roommates and friends will do everything they can to suck you in and drag you out by your heels.
But if you have a midterm coming up, it pays to simply say “no.”
At first, you might feel like you’re missing out.
But you’ll be missing out if you fail the exam OR walk into class buzzed.
It’s always a good idea to get out of the house and hang out with friends, but things can quickly escalate when hanging out turns into drinking.
Forming bad habits like alcoholism and substance abuse can weaken D2 neurons, as the brain cannot make cognitive decisions.
Improve Your Situation by Setting Objectives
Goals should be specific and NOT general.
For instance: if a student wants to get off academic probation and improve their skills, they shouldn’t merely say, “I want to do better in school.”
Instead, that students should create a plan that sets a specific goal and hold themselves accountable if they don’t achieve it.
Setting goals like: “I will pass my English class with nothing lower than a B letter grade,” or “I will study for my history test on Thursday” are specific goals.
In addition, make sure the goals that are being set are achievable.
In other words, telling yourself, “I will get off of academic probation this week,” would be a far-fetched objective for anyone who just found out about their current academic standing.
Goals are meant to have a purpose.
In this case, only focus on the student’s achievements.
Finally, students (especially college students) should appreciate their academic journey.
Schools are a place to have fun, get to know people, and discover WHO you are as a person.
Remember why you’re going to school.
To get an education.
Get in gear, stay focused, and get those grades up.
Your education and future depend on it.
Here are additional college quotes touching on the importance of good university education.
Thanks for the read.
Did I miss anything?
What are some other things students can do if they’re placed on academic probation?
Feel free to share in the comments section below.