Advising Specific Student Populations
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Probation and disqualification standards are listed in Part 3 of the U of I General Catalog, Regulation L. Undergraduate students are considered to be in good academic standing when they have a semester and cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 2.00 or higher.
At the end of a semester, undergraduate students who do not earn a 2.00 cumulative GPA are placed on academic probation for the next semester of enrollment. Probation is designed to give a student notice that if they have another unsatisfactory semester they will be disqualified. At the end of that next semester their cumulative GPA is evaluated again, and if they haven't achieved a 2.00 cumulative GPA they can be academically disqualified from attending the university. There are two exceptions to this:
- Students who have earned 0-32 credits: student's in this category can continue on academic probation if their cumulative GPA is at least a 1.80.
- Students who earn a semester GPA of 2.00 or higher are eligible to continue on probation even if their cumulative GPA is not above a 2.0
Students on probation have a hold placed on their record that prevents them from making changes to their registration. These students are referred to their academic dean to complete an Academic Plan. This form is to be returned to the academic dean's office, department office, or academic advisor (depending on the college and/or department policy for the student's major).
Upon return of this plan the appropriate party will remove the Probation Hold from the student's record (check with your department to see who handles hold removal). The Probation Hold is in place for any semester in which a student's academic standing is probation. The Academic Plan must be completed every semester a student is on probation.
If a student is disqualified:
- First Disqualification - The student must either successfully petition his/her college for reinstatement to enroll in the following semester or sit out of school for one semester for automatic reinstatement.
- Second Disqualification - The student must successfully petition his/her college for reinstatement.
- Third Disqualification - The student must successfully petition his/her college and the Academic Petitions Committee for reinstatement.
Students who have been disqualified should be referred to their academic dean's office for assistance in determining the best course of action for their situation.
Working with Students on Probation & Disqualification:
All U of I students with a standing of ACADEMIC PROBATION receive an email to their uidaho.edu account from the Registrar alerting them that there is an important message waiting for them on the Web Interface, with a link to the LOGIN page.
When the student logs in to the Web Interface, they are notified that there is an important message waiting to be viewed. The message informs the students of:
- being placed on academic probation,
- the requirements students must meet to avoid disqualification,
- a requirement to complete the Academic Plan, and
- a request to contact their dean or advisor and complete the Academic Worksheet with them.
Students are sometimes reluctant to reach out to someone when they have a problem. When a student is on probation it might be helpful for advisors to send an email once or twice during the semester to let the student know what the advisor's office hours are and ask if everything is alright. Students often respond to this personal contact where they might feel they are bothering their advisor otherwise. A good time to send such an email is just prior to the deadline to drop without a W or to withdraw from class altogether.
There are other factors that probation/disqualified students must consider:
- The fastest way to bring the cumulative GPA up is to retake classes that the student received a D or F in and to earn a higher grade.
- Receiving a 2.00 GPA for the semester will allow the student to continue on probation even if their cumulative GPA is below the minimum required for good standing.
- Student's receiving financial aid must earn a passing grade (D or higher) in 75% of their attempted credits* or they risk financial aid disqualification. If you have a student who you believe may run into trouble with this, refer him/her to the Financial Aid Office for assistance. (*Note: this is calculated using a maximum of 12 attempted credits per semester.)
Accessing the Student Status
A student's academic standing appears on their VandalWeb transcripts.
The Probation Hold is displayed on the Advisee List available for download from VandalWeb. When the Excel file is downloaded, the list of advisees can be sorted so that those who have a Probation Hold on their record appear at the top. If the list is downloaded at the beginning of each semester and advisor can track who is on Probation for that semester.
Thoughts for Advisors
Students struggle academically for a variety of reasons: academic ability or lack thereof, poor study skills or habits, personal/emotional problems, health problems, lack of background or preparation for a particular subject...this list goes on. For whatever reasons students struggle, they need to make some kind of change. While making this change is ultimately up to the student, advisors can be a useful resource as students prepare for academic improvement.
A few characteristics of at-risk students
- Unclear academic and/or career goals
- Time management issues
- Lack of academic preparation
- Lack of interest and motivation in selected coursework
- Lack of communication with their instructors
- Too many outside obligations—family, friends, living group, etc.
- Too many distracters—work, family, friends, personal issues, etc.
- Lack of support system—friends, family, other connections, etc.
Some things advisors can suggest for students with these characteristics
- Visit the Counseling & Testing Center and take advantage of their career exploration tools or visit Major Finder on the U of I Home Page.
- Use the resources at Tutoring and Academic Assistance Programs. Sometimes students feel that there is a stigma associated with this. Advisors can emphasize that students of all abilities use these services.
- Practice some good time-management skills such as: 1) get a planner, 2) write all due dates down at the beginning of the semester and work backward from those to, 3) set some mini-deadlines (e.g. if a final paper is due on May 10, the student should have their rough draft done by May 3 and begin the paper on April 30), 4)add outside commitments to the planner (holidays, house or dorm dances, work schedule, etc.) so that the student can plan study time around those obligations.
- Prioritize so that outside obligations don't distract from studying.
- Get involved on campus so that the student can make some connections with other students with similar interests. These students can become part of a probation student's support network.
- TALK TO INSTRUCTORS. Some students feel that they are bothering their instructors. They should be reassured that contacting them is normal and even expected. If a syllabus doesn't include the instructor's office hours, the student can contact either the department office or check the instructor's office door to see if they are posted. Email is another great tool for students to use.
Students who have questions about academic requirements can be directed to the specific department if you don't have the information yourself. In some cases you will want to call the department yourself while the student is in your office to get the answer to a specific question.
Students who need academic help or indicate that they have some type of learning problem can be referred to the Academic Support Programs office in the Vandal Success Center, Idaho Student Union Building Third Floor (208-885-1021).
There are times when students may disclose personal problems and the advisor is unsure how to handle the information. It is best if such information is not placed in the student's academic folder, since that would violate the student's privacy. Desk notes that an advisor keeps in his/her own office are fine, since no one else would have access to them. If you feel that your conversation with a student is progressing to a point at which you feel uncomfortable you might want to bring up the subject of counseling. Ask the student if he/she is aware of the services of the Counseling & Testing Center and suggest that there is nothing wrong with wanting to talk to someone.
The Counseling & Testing Center will see students immediately if you feel the situation is an emergency. If you can accompany the student to the Counseling & Testing Center, this is the best way to handle it. While it would not typically come up, you may see a situation where you suspect the student might be suicidal. If you think this, call someone at the Counseling & Testing Center. Don't attempt to deal with the situation yourself. Excuse yourself from the office for a minute if you must, and make the call.
Most med schools require an undergraduate degree prior to matriculation, and then students complete a 4-yr MD (Doctor of Medicine) program and then typically 3-8 additional years of clinical residency and specialization. For more information, see Explore Health Careers.org (Medicine Overview and Physician (M.D.)) and the Association of American Medical Schools (Prospective Medical Students and Considering a Medical Career).
Find more information regarding advising Pre-Med students on the Pre-Health Professions page.