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HELPING STRUGGLING STUDENTS SUCCEED: BEST PRACTICES IN ACADEMIC PROBATION INTERVENTIONS Kevin Friedman, Hillary Kovacs, & Amy Corron Miami University


Overview ¨ ¨ ¨

Common Terminology Theoretical Foundations Academic Probation Interventions ¤

Virginia Tech ¤ San Diego State ¤ California State University, Long Beach ¤ Additional Interventions ¨ ¨

Miami University Specific Intervention Applicability ¤

Small Group Discussions


Common Terminology


Definition of Academic Probation ¨

Students who do not meet academic standards for one or more semesters

¨

Typically involves a student’s grade point average dipping below a definite level

¨

Excess of 10% of students on academic probation

¨

High risk of attrition


Student Placement into Academic Probation ¨

Universal across institution type

¨

Top reasons include: ¤ Family ¤ Work

Responsibilities

priorities

¤ Financial

difficulties

¤ Inappropriate ¤ Failure

course selection

to adjust to increased expectations


Theoretical Foundations


Theoretical Foundations

¨

Tinto & Retention

¨

Astin’s Input-Environment-Outcome model

¨

Weiner & Achievement

¨

Strength-based models

(Tinto, 1993; Astin, 1993; Weiner, 1979; Hanger, Goldenson, Weinberg, Schmitz-Sciborski, & Monzon, 2011)


Academic Probation Interventions


Virginia Tech ¨

Project Success ¤ Small

groups of students

¤ Faculty,

staff, and/or peer facilitators

¤ Reflective ¨

journals

Reasons for intervention success ¤ Intensive ¤ Aids

in sense of belonging

¤ Discusses

information related to academic success and skills (attendance, goal-setting, time (Humphrey, management, etc.)


San Diego State University ¨

Bounce Back Retention Program (BBRP) ¤ Semester-long ¤ Mental

health professionals and peer coaches

¤ Maximum ¨

voluntary course

of 15 students per class

Reasons for intervention success ¤ Multiple

ways to engage with topics

¤ Supports

student strengths and addresses selfdefeating attitudes (Hanger et al., 2011)


California State University, Long Beach ¨

Student Affirmative Action Program ¤ Ongoing

advising and counseling sessions

¤ Orientation ¤ Signed ¨

at outset of probation

contract

Reasons for intervention success ¤ Individual

and consistent sessions

¤ Participant

commitment

¤ Addresses

reasons for academic probation (Ramirez & Evans,


Additional Interventions Canadian University ¨

Personal outreach to students on probation in form of both form letter and phone conversation with university staff

Southwestern US University ¨

Success course for students on academic probation

(James & Graham, 2010; McGrath & Burd,


Miami University Specific Intervention


Overview ¨

Three-tier system

¨

Reaches across the university ¤ Office

of Residence Life

¤ Rinella

Learning Center

¤ Student ¨

Affairs division

Focus on first- and second-year students ¤ Divisions

and colleges focus on juniors and seniors


Definitions Academic Warning

Academic Probation

Academic Suspensio n

• For “transition semester” • Cum. GPA falls below 2.0 • Student with more than 16 credithours • Cum. GPA falls below 2.0 • Student with more than 29 credithours • Semester GPA is below 2.0


Tier-Specific Interventions ¨

Academic Warning ¤ ¤ ¤

¨

Academic Probation ¤ ¤

¨

Academic Advisor Academic Specialist LASSI Trained Intervention Specialist EDT 110/academic coaching

Academic Suspension ¤ ¤ ¤

Leave university for two academic semesters Phone conversation with Learning Specialist and Divisional Advisor Re-entry application


Success Rates ¨

Academic Warning ¤

Entering n

¤

No longer on probation n

¨

37%

Academic Probation ¤

Entering n

¤

5% (of second-year students)

No longer on probation n

¨

8% (of first-year students)

40%

Academic Suspension ¤

Entering n

3%


Applicability •

What are some central themes?

•

How can your institution apply these themes to better support students on academic probation?


References ¨

Astin, A. W. (1993). What matters in college: four critical years revisited. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

¨

Demetrious, C. (2011). The attribution theory of learning and advising students on academic probation. NACADA Journal, 31(2), 16-21.

¨

Hanger, M. A., Goldenson, J., Weinberg, M., Schmitz-Sciborski, A., & Monzon, R. (2011). The bounce back retention program: One-year follow-up study. Journal of College Student Retention; Research, Theory & Practice, 13(2), 205-227.

¨

Humphrey, E. (2006). Project success: Helping probationary students achieve academic success. Journal of College Student Retention; Research, Theory & Practice, 7(3-4), 147-163.

¨

James, C. L. & Graham, S. (2010). An empirical study of students on academic probation. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students Transition, 22(2), 71-92.

¨

McGrath, S. M. & Burd, G. D. (2012). A success course for freshmen on academic probation: Persistence and graduation outcomes. NACADA Journal, 32(1), 43-52.

¨

Ramirez, G. M. & Evans, R. J. (1988). Solving the probation puzzle: A student affirmative action program. NACADA Journal, 8(2), 34-45.

¨

Tinto, V. (1993). Leaving college: Rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition (2nd ed.). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

¨

Weiner, B. (1979). A theory of motivation for some classroom experiences. Journal of Educational Psychology, 71(1), 3–25.


Questions •

Kevin Friedman •

Amy Corron •

Friedmk@miamiOH.edu

Corronae@miamiOH.edu

Hillary Kovacs •

Kovacsho@miamiOH.edu

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