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 in late August.
It can happen to the best of students, so it is important to understand academic probation and know what to do!
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What’s academic probation?
Generally speaking, “academic probation” is the most common term colleges and universities use to indicate that students are not proceeding academically as their institution requires.
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.
At some schools, it is possible that a student may have a high GPA but withdraw from too many courses throughout a semester.
Normally, most schools expect students to maintain a 2.0 GPA.
Other schools, however, might even lower that number for first-year students.
Whatever the case, academic probation is a serious problem for college students and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Overcoming Academic Probation
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 serves as a wake-up call: letting students know they must make changes.
Review Your Study Habits
College is an entirely different situation than high school.
Although classes have 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 study habit below, and you’ll see a difference in your GPA and your ability to learn information.
Here are a few helpful tips to avoid academic probation:
- 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 allows students to decide how quickly they want to watch the lecture.
Although the two terms are often used interchangeably, they’re different.
Infographics, for instance, are visual representations of data.
In other words, when students create infographics, they use information, visuals, and technological knowledge.
This type of learning is much more different than the traditional teaching we’re all used to.
As students, it’s important to discipline yourself to attend 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 possible.
That way, the instructor can associate the seat with you.
Consider visiting your local community service event rather than running to a house party on a Saturday night for drinks.
This will allow you to focus better and positively impact 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 possible 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 miss out if you fail the exam or walk into class buzzed.
Getting out of the house and hanging out with friends is always a good idea, 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 students want to get off academic probation and improve their skills, they shouldn’t merely say, “I want to do better in school.”
Instead, 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.
Academic probation can be avoided
Get in gear, stay focused, and get those grades up.
Your education and future depend on it.
What other things can students do if they’re placed on academic probation?
Feel free to share in the comments section below.