Students in Academic Difficulty

Students are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.00 (C average) in order to be in good academic standing. Any time the cumulative GPA falls below 2.00, the student will fall into one of three categories that make up Plymouth’s Academic Warning, Probation, and Severance system. The GPA which causes a student to fall into one of these categories depends on the number of credits that student has attempted. As the number of credits attempted gets higher, it becomes harder to raise the cumulative GPA; thus the minimum GPA needed to avoid probation or severance rises.

Students on Academic Probation are given Academic Probation guidelines that limit the number of credits they can take in the following semester to 13 and recommend specific courses to be repeated. A copy of the probation contract is e-mailed to the advisor. Advisors should strongly encourage their advisees to repeat courses in the next upcoming semester, as this is the fastest way to improve their gpa.

Students many times do not realize what impact earning a grade of C- or below has on their overall performance, so sometimes choose not to repeat a course. When you show students the difference in what they need to earn for semester grades by repeating a course as opposed to taking all new courses, they are sometimes amazed at the difference. Of course, you should discuss with the student whether it is viable to retake a course. For instance, if the student has already repeated a course, earning a grade of F the first time taking it, and earning a grade of D the next time, it is probably not advisable for the student to take it for a third time. (Remember that whatever grade is earned in the repeat course affects the gpa, so if the student first earns a grade of D and then earns a grade of F in repeating the course, the F is now what counts in the gpa calculation.) If, however, the student earns a grade of D the first time, a discussion should evolve around why a grade of D was earned. If the student indicates that not attending class was most likely a major factor, and says that probably taking it again could earn at least a C, it is beneficial to then repeat the class.

Students in the First Severance category, unless Reinstated on Probation, are allowed to take a maximum of eight credits through the Office of Continuing Education, as a part-time, non-matriculated student at Plymouth in the next upcoming semester. These students need to raise their grade point average out of the Severance range before being readmitted. Students in the Second Severance category may take courses through the Office of Continuing Education to help raise their gpa to a minimum 2.0, so to be eligible for readmission in two years. Students in the Third Severance category may take courses through the Office of Continuing Education for the purpose of lifelong learning, but are not eligible to ever earn an undergraduate degree at PSU. Should you have questions concerning students in academic difficulty, please contact the Undergraduate Advising Center.

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