5 Key Academic Strategies for College Success

5 Keys, Academic Advising, College Success Life, Information Literacy

Five key academic policies exist on most American college and university campuses that can significantly boost your academic success.

These following scenarios provide a preview of how best to use each policy during your college career, with the help of your academic adviser, of course!

Before you leave, download your FREE copy of 5 Keys to College Academic Success!

1. Add/Drop Scenario

You realize during the first week of classes that you registered for Algebra 001 when your math placement test stated Algebra 101.

You check the Registration Schedule and notice 2 sections of Algebra 101 are available in the morning and 1 section is available in the evening.

You double check with your busy academic adviser via email.

The Add/Drop deadline is in 2 days. 

You get an email confirmation and then, following the Add/Drop registration instructions, you changed classes. 

2. Pass/Fail Scenario

Several weeks into the semester, you discovered that the “easy” elective astronomy that you added to your schedule is turning out to be not so easy.

It’s really more demanding than you had expected, elevating your stress levelsnot to mention the other work in your GenEd courses.

You investigate the restrictions of your school’s Pass/Fail policy and, alas, you can designate the course as Pass/Fail. 

You complete the sign-up requirements before the Pass/Fail deadline.

3. Course Withdrawal Scenario

You’re carrying a full academic course load your second semester–15 credits (5 courses). 

You just completed your midterms and learn that you received a grade of “D- “in a biology course. 

You did well in your other courses. You’re worried that this course will pull down your grade point average (gpa).

The biology course only has a midterm and a final.

You’re also a financial aid recipient and you have to abide by the federal government’s “satisfactory academic progress” regulation. 

Withdrawing from the course may be an option, but you’re not sure about the financial and/or academic consequences.

In addition, a family crisis is looming on the horizon and you may have to leave school before the semester ends.

There is also a deadline to withdraw from a course (s).  Time to have a conversation with your academic adviser.

4. Degree Audit Scenario

During your first semester, you just realized that every semester, you’ll receive an updated degree audit listing your major and graduation requirements, courses completed, grade point average, and other available course/program options.

This audit will be quite helpful to you with deciding your course schedule for each semester and monitoring your academic progress.

You noticed that your grade point average for your first semester was listed as 2.75. 

Yet, you received all “A”s and “B”s on your first semester’s grade report. 

So they should list your GPA as 3.5.

Time to pay a visit to your academic adviser and the Registrar’s Office.

5. Information Literacy Scenario

You’re unfamiliar with the subject matter in a course you’re taking to satisfy a social science graduation requirement.  

A course requirement is to write a 20 page research paper on a topic of your choice.   

You’re unsure about what topic to select because you really are having hard time understanding the lectures and the subject overall.

Also, the language of the assigned textbook is just not helpful, often confusing, as is the corresponding course information resources packet.

What to do…get thee, ASAP, to a campus reference librarian and discuss your project and how best to accomplish it!

Any of the above scenarios sound familiar?
Considered some of the possibilities?
Review the above academic policies and associated student scenarios.
Then go online and check out the same and/or comparable policies on your campus.

Remember, different campuses have different rules and/or different names for similar policies!

Then, before making that final decision, check in first with your academic adviser.

You’ll be glad that you did!


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