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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, videos, study guides, study sessions, old exams/quizzes, worksheets, mnemonic devices, etc.)
    • request assistance in forming a study group
  • Recommend Academic Resources
    • Refer the student to Peer Education (Pope Center, Dean of Students office) for a tutor or discipline specific web tutorials and computer programs, or help with study skills or time management.
    • Refer the student to Academic Coaching for assistance with creating a study plan, time management, and motivation.
    • For Math and Natural Science classes, recommend that the student take advantage of the Math & Science Learning Center (SEQ 219)
    • For Humanities classes or other courses with extensive writing, suggest that the student utilize the Writing Lab (LIA 315)
    • In situations where general anxiety or subject specific anxiety is suspect, refer the student to the Counseling Center (Health Professions building, Room 266) for assistance.
  •  Submit an Academic Alert
    • Issues with class participation, low grades, attendance, incomplete assignments

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 potential sources for help:

  • Low Motivation due to Career/Major Ambivalence - Academic Coach
  • Health Issues - refer to physician and/or Disability Support Services
  • Mental Health Issues - CARE, Counseling Center
  • Family/Relationship Issues - CARE team, Counseling Center
  • Grief or Loss Issues - CARE team, Counseling Center
  • Financial Problems - Financial Aid (Westcott Hall), Financial Fitness Learning Center (LIA 103)
  • Attendance Issues due to childcare issues - refer to Bright from the Start to find a state certified provider
  • Attendance Issues due to Work Schedule Change - discuss options (moving to a different section, requesting an incomplete grade, etc)
  • Attendance Issues due to lack of transportation - refer those living in Dalton/Whitfield County to Whitfield County Transit Service 

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