By Austin Metz
Editor in Chief
Students at Grand Rapids Community College are being monitored each semester to determine if they are in good academic standing, on probation, or due to be suspended.
“It is based on the number of credits a student has attempted,” said Associate Dean John Cowles, Ph.D. “Once a student has accumulated 12 attempted credits, they must have a minimum GPA of 1.5. Once they have accumulated 15-28 credits they must have a minimum of a 1.75 GPA. Once they hit 29 credits they must have a minimum GPA of 2.0.”
If a student’s GPA falls below those levels, they will receive a letter from the school informing them they are being placed on academic probation.
Nycole Sarvis is a student at GRCC who has experienced academic probation first-hand.
“I took classes at GRCC but had to drop out after a semester because of family issues,” Sarvis said. “I had passed two of my classes but also failed two. I left GRCC and took classes at ITT Tech but eventually came back to GRCC.”
It was then that Sarvis found out she had been placed on academic probation.
“When I came back after ITT Tech I wasn’t able to sign up for classes because I had been placed on probation,” Sarvis said. “Before I could sign up for classes again, I had to go to the school’s academic seminar which explained why I was on probation and also what I had to do to get off it.”
To help students step back up to good academic standing, GRCC requires students to attend a Success Workshop led by an advisor or counselor.
“In that workshop, students learn about balancing their academic load, support services that are available to them and other tips for improving their GPA,” Cowles said.
“It keeps you accountable,” Sarvis said. “It helps you come to class, to do the work and also participate so you can get off of probation.”
If students don’t attend these workshops, Cowles said that a hold is placed on their account preventing them from enrolling in any classes in the future.
Although the workshops were helpful, Sarvis worries that the school could do more.
“There are pros and cons to the system,” Sarvis said. “You stress about and worry about being on probation more than just focusing on going to class and doing well. I think the school is doing a pretty good job but they should look more into why students are on probation. They should look into if it is simply not attending the class or if it is because students simply don’t understand the material.”
Cowles said that if students are placed on probation, they have one semester to improve before additional steps are taken.
“If students fall below those minimums, they are placed on probation,” Cowles said. “At the end of the probation semester, students must have a term GPA of 2.0. If they don’t they are then suspended for one calendar year.”
For students who have been placed on probation and then suspended for one calendar year, upon returning to school they are again placed on probation until their overall GPA returns to the appropriate level.
“After they have been out for one year, they may return,” Cowles said. “They are placed back on probation and will remain on probation until their overall GPA returns to the appropriate level for the number of attempted credits they have– either 1.5, 1.75, or 2.0.”
This means students must maintain a GPA above the announced levels to get out of academic probation.
In the most recent report that was released by the Provost office, 12,453 students were considered to be in good academic standing, 1,324 were on probation with 153 continuing probation, and 282 students were suspended.
Compared to years past, the number of students on probation is about the same but the suspension numbers are going down at the school.