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 Center for Academic Excellence
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Students in Academic Difficulty - FAQs

Should the student repeat a Course they have failed, or in which they have done poorly?
In most cases, this is recommended. If a student repeats a course this will help improve their cumulative GPA. This is especially important for students on academic censure (probation), because they will need to raise their cumulative GPA to a 2.0. In addition, the student should research whether or not they need to pass this course to continue. This is true of all core courses (except IC101) and many courses within their major. In some cases (CJ101, SR201 for example) students need to achieve a grade of "C" or better to continue on to upper-level courses.

What if a student failed or did poorly in the first half of a two-semester sequence?
Students are usually already registered for the second half of the sequence when they find out for sure if they have failed, so it is important for them to change their schedules so that they do not continue in the sequence. Common sequence classes include science, college writing, and some math courses. In the case of college writing, both College Writing I and College Writing II are offered every semester. Students should retake the failed course the following semester. Science and math usually follow a schedule whereby the first sequence is offered in the fall and the second in the spring. In that case, students will need to wait a semester to retake the course in which they have done poorly.

What if a student failed a core course?
Students need to follow the sequence of core courses, especially in the first two years. If they do not pass IC106, for example, they cannot continue to the sophomore level courses, without the permission of Karen Brown, Assistant Dean.  Students are often confused about why they need to wait to continue. With the upper-level core courses, there is an expectation about the level of writing skills that students have achieved. Students who do not pass College Writing usually do not possess these skills, either because they struggled with the work, or because they missed too many classes.

How many credits should the student carry?
Students in academic difficulty tend to do one of two things: either they try to overload their schedule because they feel that they are behind in credits, or they decrease their credit load to the minimum for full time status. While either of these options may be right for any one student, most students would probably do best by maintaining a regular course schedule and building in times for seeking additional support - tutoring, writing, organization or time management assistance.

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