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Academic Probation Changes

What Students Need to Know and Do

By Josefina Gutierrez
On February 18, 2011

  • F for Probation. Photo by Josie Gutierrez

Staying on track at TAMIU can be a challenge, especially when rules and policies change. To help keep students up to date, here is one change that students should know about. A new rule was put into effect concerning academic probation.

When students' GPAs fall below a 2.0, they are put on academic probation. The students are then given the next semester (if it happened in the fall) or the summer (if it happened in the spring) to raise their GPA.

Before, students were allowed to continue enrolling at the university if their previous semester GPA was a 2.0, even if their overall GPA was still below that. The problem there is that a student could be on continued probation for years. Now, the university is no longer considering semester GPAs.

Students' overall GPAs needs to be above a 2.0 by the end of the term they are given. If not, the students may be put on academic suspension for the next semester. There are many reasons why students fall under academic probation. Some students may find the freedom that comes with university life to be a distraction and may shrug responsibilities that seem inconsequential. Others may find the workload to be a heavier burden than they expected.

For whatever reason, if students fall under academic probation, it is important to know what steps to take. The first step is understanding what academic probation is and why it happened. Knowing this, students will be better equipped to handle their situations and find a clear direction towards achieving a better GPA. To avoid the mistakes that put students under academic probation, it is important to track course progress more closely. A good way to do this is by going over the syllabi for all courses. By taking this step, students are aware of all policies, expectations, tasks, and exams that will affect their grade in the course.

Perhaps the biggest determinant in students' efforts to get out of academic probation is whether or not they are retaking the classes they failed last semester; in doing so, students no longer have those low course grades bringing down their GPA.  By retaking the classes and getting a better grade, students can more easily raise their GPA above the minimum 2.0 since the current grade replaces the previous one.

The next best thing is to get help. Seek advice from parents, advisors, mentors, and tutors. With their help, it will be easier to fix the mistakes of the past semester and raise a low GPA. If college algebra is not a strong point, visit the tutoring center more often and attend supplemental instruction sessions in order to get as much help as possible.

(Josefina Gutierrez may be reached at

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