Policy requires students on academic probation to attend two seminars

The university has implemented a new policy for students on academic probation that requires all students with below a 2.0 GPA to attend probation and academic success workshops.

Tanya Buchanan, supervisor of the probation workshops, said the resolution was brought to the faculty senate because they would like to increase student retention and “catch folks who are beginning to have trouble right off the bat and at least direct them to help so that they wouldn’t be later suspended.”

The deans and provost approved the policy.

Buchanan said the deans and provost felt the need for it because students who go on probation don’t understand how to use the policy and procedures, resulting in students being suspended.

The policy is expected to affect many students on campus, Buchanan said.

“Right now, there are 841 [students on probation], but chances are we missed some folks,” she said.

The policy is to be strictly enforced and students with conflicting schedules will not be exempt, Buchanan said, meaning students who don’t attend the workshops will not be able to register for spring semester classes.

“We’ve been telling them early enough that they should be able to make arrangements with their employers to let them off on [the day of the workshop],” Buchanan said. “No one is being left off this. Everyone is required to meet. Having a job or family obligations will not be enough of an excuse. We’ve given lots of time and lots of notice about this.”

The program will feature two workshops that students must attend, the first being the probation workshop.

Buchanan said the probation workshop is a one-time lecture during which students will be taught the basics of probation and what it entails. It will also cover the drop policies, how to check the academic calendar and how to withdraw correctly from a class.

The next workshop students must attend is the academic success workshop, which Buchanan said will teach students how to study, educate them about procrastination, teach them ways to talk with instructors and educate them on how to get the most out of reading, writing and researching, along with other various topics. Like the probation workshop, the academic success workshop is also a one-time lecture.

All of the workshops will be held in the Doyne Health Sciences auditorium and will take place during x-period.

The academic success workshops will be held on Tuesdays and the probation workshops on Thursdays.

Buchanan said there are probably some students who initially should have been on the probation list but used grade forgiveness to get themselves into good standing.

Graduate student Eric Drolshagen said he sees both pros and cons to the policy.

“I can understand why they are implementing this new policy; it seems like it could do a lot of good,” Drolshagen said. “On the other hand it seems like it is taking the time students on academic probation could use for studying … I just hope it really does help these people out.”

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