Understanding Progress Reports and Taking Corrective Measures
Jennifer Leavey, Undergraduate Academic Advisor, School of Biology
Eric Moschella, Assistant Director of Success Programs /Director of Academic Support
A sometimes shocking fact of life for many Georgia Tech students is that making As in their college courses is not as easy for them as it was in high school. Fortunately, mid-semester progress reports, which will be released on Friday, October 1, for 1000- and 2000-level courses, help students and parents identify if additional help is needed to help students be as successful as possible.
At Georgia Tech, all freshman and sophomore-level course instructors are required to submit mid-semester grades of âSâ for satisfactory (usually corresponding to a C or higher grade) or âUâ for unsatisfactory (usually corresponding to a D or F grade). These grades are typically calculated rather quickly after only one or two exams and the grades often depend on lab teaching assistants (TAs) submitting their grades as well. A âUâ does not always mean a student is currently failing a class and it definitely does not mean that a student will make an âFâ in the course.
Most departments contact freshmen and sophomores that receive two or more midterm âUâs and schedule appointments with their respective academic advisors. The purpose of these meetings is to talk with students about the underlying causes of their performance. The reasons could be simple - a miscalculation on the part of the instructor - or the performance could indicate a more serious condition that requires immediate attention. From our experience, the performance issues are usually a result from not spending enough time studying or not studying properly. Whatever the reason, academic advisors are very familiar with campus resources that can be of assistance to your student and will refer them to the appropriate department.
A student can help avoid âUâs by taking advantage of the many free academic resources available to them. It is strongly recommended that a student begin using these resources before they feel that they are falling behind in their coursework. It is all too common for many students to wait until the last minute before seeking assistance.
The Office of Success Programs offers several programs to help students stay on track academically. Often, a little assistance from a peer tutor or academic coach can keep a student on track. One-on-one peer tutoring is offered in those traditionally challenging courses first-year students are required to take. Appointment times for the free one-hour sessions are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Students should visit the Academic Support website for more information. Tutoring sessions are held between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Monday-Friday in room 341 of the ISyE Annex.
Additionally, students interested in obtaining assistance with planning their semester, study skills, time management, and test taking skills are welcome to contact the Office of Success Programs and set up an appointment with an academic coach. These one-on-one, personalized sessions will assist the student in discovering how to become a more effective learner. A little coaching from an academic professional can help keep a student focused and confident, and help prevent feeling overwhelmed and discouraged. A complete list of Success Programs services, courses supported by the 1-to-1 Tutor Program, and academic resources from around campus is available at www.successprograms.gatech.edu.