Gaining perspective

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I recently worked on a report for the University Advising Council (UAC), examining students who performed poorly and dropped into a classification called "non degree, conditional" students.  Basically like academic probation.  If a student performs poorly and accrues what we call deficiency points, at a certain threshold he or she is moved out of a selected major and into this category. Then, the student has ~40 credits to try and pull out of the academic hole, and re-admit to a degree program.

Of the cohort we examined over a 4-semester period, over half of the students appeared to drop out once they were removed from a selected major and classified as non degree, conditional students.  At a place like Penn State, with 70,000+ undergraduates around the state, the number of students that fall into this category is relatively small (less than 1% of the population). 

What impressed me about the University Advising Council is their passion about these students.  The advising council really stresses treating each student as an individual, and we don't want to see individuals fail.  I'm happy to continue supporting this group, and working with the data to help us better understand the circumstances that leads to students falling into this category and what types of interventions we can devise to help students avoid this, or help pull them out of this classification.

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