Advising guide for students on academic probation

It is important for all advisors and students to review the UWL Catalog for information about retention standards, probation, and suspension. As stated in the catalog, students who are on probation will have an academic probation registration restriction (negative service indicator) placed on their student record.  Students must meet with the academic advisor of their primary major before registering for new semester in order to remove this restriction. 

Prior to meeting with a probationary student, advisors can consider having their advisee complete a Plan for Success form.  While optional, the Plan for Success form may be used as a starting point for students to reflect on their academic experience and to create goals going forward. When using the form, students should complete the introductory portion of the form, including name, ID#, GPA and information about credits earned, as well as indicate their academic and personal concerns. The advisor and student can complete the rest of the Plan for Success together. In the meeting, the advisor and student should begin a dialogue about the academic and personal issues contributing to the student's inability to be successful in classes, specifically discussing the student's identified concerns and available resources for managing them. As reflected in the Plan for Success form, students are asked to identify strategies they plan to implement to achieve a higher level of academic success. Often, the factors leading to probation involve multiple academic and personal concerns that need to be addressed, and sometimes this takes more than one semester to get under control. 

As part of the Plan for Success, the advisor and student should create a class schedule that reduces or eliminates the factors that are detrimental to the student's academic success, improves GPA, and advances academic standing. The goal is to create a class schedule the student finds engaging, but not overwhelming. 

  • Credit Load: Advisors should help students determine a reasonable credit load. Students with few, low-impact commitments outside of class might benefit from carrying 14-16 credits; but, a student who works 20 or more hours per week, for example, might be advised to enroll in 14 or fewer credits. However, some studies suggest that too few hours devoted to coursework may allow attention to be diverted to non-academic pursuits. Students and advisors should be familiar with the university schedule regarding advisingadd/drop deadlines, and withdrawal processes.
  • Repeating Courses: Repeating courses is the quickest way for students to raise their cumulative GPA. Students may consider repeating a course that is critical to their academic goals. However, if a course has already been repeated unsuccessfully, advisors and students should discuss whether to repeat a course again. 
  • Financial Aid: If financial aid or finances are a primary concern, plan ahead. Students should refer to the Financial Aid Office for answers to any questions about money management, financial aid policies, scholarships, or on-campus student employment.  

It is important to utilize any and all campus resources that can help students improve their academic success. Some of these resources include tutoring at Murphy Learning CenterCounseling and Testing Center, the ACCESS Center, and the Student Successwebsite.