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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

Responsibilities  Work priorities  Financial difficulties  Inappropriate course selection  Failure to adjust to increased expectations


Theoretical Foundations


Theoretical Foundations

 

 

Tinto & Retention Astin’s Input-Environment-Outcome model Weiner & Achievement Strength-based models

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


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 management, etc.) (Humphrey, 2006)


San Diego State University 

Bounce Back Retention Program (BBRP)  Semester-long

voluntary course  Mental health professionals and peer coaches  Maximum 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 at outset of probation  Signed contract 

Reasons for intervention success  Individual

and consistent sessions  Participant commitment  Addresses reasons for academic probation

(Ramirez & Evans, 1988)


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, 2012)


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

seniors

and colleges focus on juniors and


Definitions Academic Warning

• For “transition semester” • Cum. GPA falls below 2.0

Academic Probation

• Student with more than 16 credit-hours • Cum. GPA falls below 2.0

Academic Suspension

• Student with more than 29 credit-hours • 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


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


Helping Struggling Students Succeed: Best Practices in Academic Probation Interventions