Allen’s personal comments

Academic Probation

Every Spring, usually around the 14th or 15th week, I get desperate email messages. Sometimes they come in at the end of Finals Week, after all the student work has been submitted:

HELP!!! I’m on academic probation and I absolutely NEED a “B” in this class or I will have to leave the school!!! What can I do to raise my grade???

The main problem with these desperate appeals is that they are about 12 weeks too late. By Week 14, all the papers have been written, the homework submitted, and the damage done, both in my course and in all your other courses. Here is my advice (and I am posting this in the second week of class because you need it now).

As I look at the grades and achievements of students who have received grades of C– or below during the last couple of years, most of them have three things in common:

  1. Most of them had a very poor attendance record—it was typical for them to miss more than 30% of the class meetings. Poor attendance meant that they didn’t receive their graded papers when everyone else did, so they had no clue why the previous paper got a poor grade when they sat down to write the next one. For a lot of these students, every paper was a shot in the dark.
  2. They would totally avoid peer editing sessions.
  3. Many of the papers arrived late.

If you know you are on academic probation, if you suspect you might be, or if you are simply worried about your grades:

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The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by Ashland University.

Revised 12/24/21 • Page author: Curtis Allen • e-mail: