Academic Probation Policy Amendment

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Academic Probation Policy Amendment

To: Deans, Directors, Department Heads and Advisers


Dennis Ray, Chair of the Undergraduate Council

Celeste Pardee, Assistant Director for Academic Policies and Organizations

Subject: Academic Probation Policy Amendment

Date: December 12, 2016

In October, the Undergraduate Council proposed amending the Academic Probation Policy to include a statement on the Academic Recovery Program, which was launched as a pilot in FY2015 by the Office of Academic Success & Achievement. Now that the Program's effectiveness in retaining first-time probation students has been proven, the faculty agreed that it should be addressed in the Academic Probation Policy (see below). UGC’s proposal was passed by the Faculty Senate on Dec. 5. The amended policy applies to all enrolled undergraduate students as of spring 2017. 

Amended Academic Probation Policy (amendments to the 2016-17 Catalog are in bold)

Undergraduate students not meeting academic progress will be placed on academic probation. Academic probation status occurs following any term (i.e., fall, winter, spring, summer) when the student's cumulative grade-point-average (GPA) drops below a 2.0. The first time that students are placed on academic probation, they should meet with their academic adviser to discuss the consequences, such as enrollment in a mandatory Academic Recovery Program during the following fall or spring semester. Students on academic probation are subject to restrictions or requirements, such as certain courses, that are determined by the academic dean of the college in which the student is enrolled. Students should contact the college dean's office for college-specific probation policies. Students are removed from academic probation upon earning the minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA as required by the University.

Justification for the Amendment:

  • Many students struggle academically with the transition from high school to college, and some are placed on academic probation at the end of their first semester. On average, ~20 percent of freshmen, ~10 percent of sophomores, and ~7 percent of juniors enter academic probation status every term. Freshmen on academic probation after their first term have a first-year retention rate below 50 percent.
  • The Academic Recovery Program, which was initiated as a pilot in FY2015, enables first-time probation students to regain good standing by providing peer mentors and learning specialists who help with goal-setting and action plans that address academic skills, time management, motivation, etc.
  • Serving these at-risk students is labor and time-intensive. The mandatory academic recovery fee ($100) gives modest support to colleges that provide additional academic recovery services, such as workshops and success courses, in collaboration with the centralized services to increase student retention.
  • The academic standing of Program participants in Spring 2015 was compared to that of eligible non-participants. The outcomes for that semester are as follows:1,308 students were invited to participate, 780 (60%) accepted, 281 (36%) of those attained good standing, 507 (65%) persisted from spring to Fall 2016, and 125 (16%) were disqualified; 528 (40%) declined to participate, 111 (21%) of those attained good standing, but only 253 (48%) persisted to Fall 2016, and 169 (32%) were disqualified.

Management of the Academic Recovery Program:

  • Central oversight of the program is provided by the Office of Academic Success & Achievement, in collaboration with the colleges and the Think Tank.
  • Three Academic Recovery options are available through the Office of Academic Success & Achievement: Pathway to Academic Student Success (PASS), Wildcat Track and Online Rebound. Each college assigns its students to one of these programs or to another appropriate program.

Questions about the amended catalog policy may be addressed to Celeste Pardee, Curricular Affairs, at 520-621-5375, or; questions about the Academic Recovery Program should be addressed to Christine Salvesen, Academic Success & Achievement, at 520-626-8494, or   

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