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DSC Academic Advising: Student With Low Grades

In a Specific Class

Often, students have difficulty with a discipline or a specific class.  In these situations, the following suggestions should be helpful:

  • Recommend that the student schedule an appointment with his/her instructor.  During this meeting, the student could:
    • discuss past performance on exams/assignments to determine how to perform differently on the next
    • ask the instructor for recommendations on preparing class and exams/assignments
    • ask if additional study aides are available (websites, DVD/CD/Videos, study guides, study sessions, old exams/quizzes, worksheets, mnemonic devices, etc)
    • request assistance in forming a study group
  • For Math and Natural Science classes, recommend that the student take advantage of the Natural Science & Math Learning Center (SEQ 155)
  • For Humanities classes or other courses with extensive writing, suggest that the student utilize the Writing Lab (LIA 315)
  • Refer the student to Academic Resources (Pope, Lower Level) for a tutor or discipline specific web tutorials and computer programs
  • In situations where general anxiety or subject specific anxiety is suspect, refer the student to Counseling and Career Services (Pope, Lower Level) for assistance.


During an Isolated Semester

In some situations, strong students may exhibit a period where their grades are slipping.  Generally, this decline is due to non-academic issues.  Here are some of the most common issues reported by students and potentinal sources for help:

  • Low Motivation due to Career/Major Ambivalence - Counseling and Career Services
  • Health Issues - refer to physician and/or Disability Support Services
  • Mental Health Issues - Counseling and Career Services
  • Family/Relationship Issues - Counseling and Career Services
  • Grief or Loss Issues - Counseling and Career Services
  • Financial Problems - Financial Aid
  • Attendance Issues due to childcare issues - refer to Bright from the Start to find a state certified provider or Counseling and Career Services to post a childcare job
  • Attendance Issues due to Work Schedule Change - discuss options (moving to a different section, Hardship Work Schedule Adjustment (Academic Resources), requesting an incomplete grade, etc)
  • Attendance Issues due to lack of transportation - refer those living in Dalton/Whitfield County to Whitfield County Transit Service and for all students refer to Student Life (POPE 112) to post a note on the community board 

Persistent Issue

Other students may struggle for multiple semesters with little success.  This persistent failure could be attrubuted to insuficient college readiness, a lack of motivation, immaturity, poor coping skills, chronic health/mental health issues, unrealistic expectations of ability or time commitment, etc.

In these situations, the student should consider taking time off until he/she has removed the obstacles to success.  At the very least, the student should reduce his/her course load.

Resources for Students

Work in Progress - Please check back later

Developing Study Plans

Learning Styles and Strategies



Organizing Information

Active Reading

Time Management

Nemonic Devices