Suggestions for Improving Academic Performance

If you find yourself struggling, discuss your concerns with the specific instructor(s) of the course(s) you are having trouble with. Also consider the following, perhaps with the help of an academic advisor.

What to Do if You Are Struggling Academically

Analyze factors that may be interfering with strong academic achievement:

  • Are you attending class?
  • Are you devoting sufficient time to coursework?
  • Are work, other activities or personal problems interfering with your ability to complete assignments, study, and/or concentrate?
  • Do you have weaknesses in math, reading, writing, and/or studying skills?

Take advantage of academic resources early and often:

  • The Math Center provides support not just for formal MATH courses, but can sometimes help with Statistics and other quantitative/technology courses.
  • Visit the Writing Center. Good writers have their work reviewed by editors. It follows that all writers could benefit from working with a tutor in the Writing Center.
  • Peer Tutoring is available for most 100 and some 200 level courses through the Office of Academic Affairs.
  • The Center for Academic Excellence offers workshops on topics including studying techniques, note taking, test anxiety, improving writing, and using computer applications.
  • More than an e-reader, Nook Study is a powerful study and organization tool that enable users to take notes, create custom highlights, tag content, import coursework, and search textbooks in one convenient place. Available for PC and Mac. Download a Nook Study Tip Sheet [pdf] with more information, including instructions on how to download the software.

Consider a change of major:

  • If honest attempts to improve academic skills and study habits haven't produced results, perhaps your current course of study isn't a good fit for your interests, skills and abilities?
  • Get help with this decision by working with the Career Center and the Office of Academic Affairs.

Tips for Improving GPA

  • Take courses at the appropriate level (courses numbered 100-199 are considered introductory, 200-299 are intermediate, and 300-499 are upper-division courses for juniors and seniors).
  • Be aware of registration dates and enroll into courses as early as possible.
  • Pay attention to withdraw dates. You have about one month to withdraw from courses with no grade and another month to withdraw with a grade of "W."
  • Adhere to recommended prerequisites, and then some. For example, ACCT 102 requires completing ACCT 101. But is a "D" in ACCT 101 enough preparation to be successful in an even more advanced ACCT 102?
  • Repeat* grades of an "F" at Fisher. The only way to change a Fisher grade is by repeating it at Fisher. While you may earn credit for a course in transfer credit (with a grade of "C" or better), that grade is not factored into your Fisher GPA.
  • Consider repeating other low grades, especially if you'd benefit from doing so as in the example above. However, be aware that the grade most recently earned serves as the active grade on the academic record. For example, if you repeat a class that you previously received a "C-" in, and then receive a "D," your GPA will drop. Also, if you fail the course on the repeated attempt, you will lose the credit previously earned.

*Repeating previously passed courses may affect eligibility for financial aid. Check with the Financial Aid Office to avoid these problems.

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