By Yienessa Warren
Students on the verge of being academically dismissed can now breathe a sigh of relief, at least for the time being. The Academic Senate along with the Academic Support and Student Services committee has created a system called “Academic Jeopardy.”
“Academic Jeopardy” is a new program that is designed to give students an intervention before they are dismissed from school. This program allows students to spend an extra quarter at CSUB in order to raise their grade point averages to efficient levels.
Originally, students whose GPA fell below the minimum requirement were placed on academic probation the following quarter to increase their minimum GPA. If the minimum GPA requirement was not met, students would be dismissed from CSUB at the end of the second quarter.
Now, students have the option to enter academic jeopardy instead of being kicked out of school at the end of the second quarter. Any student on the edge of expulsion can appreciate the extension.
Undeclared sophomore Gianna Izzo said, “I thought I was going to get kicked out at the end of this quarter because I couldn’t get my GPA up. Now I feel like I have a second chance.”
According to CSUB’s 2011-2013 catalog, any undergraduate student with a CSUB GPA or overall GPA falling below a 2.0 shall be placed on academic probation.
Before being “subject to dismissal,” students as of 2012 have the option to enter academic jeopardy. However, this is only allowed once and students are asked to sign a contract. If they fail to meet the terms of their contract, students will be dropped from all of their classes before the census, the third week of the term.
Former CSUB student Dominique McCoy said, “Including a third quarter of probation is good for students. I think my academic dismissal was handled inappropriately. I didn’t receive any notification from anybody until all of the deadlines had passed.”
“If I had been given a third quarter, I’m sure I would still be at CSUB. Instead, I had to return home,” said McCoy.
Students were faced with several options after dismissal for returning to CSUB. They could wait a year and re-apply; enroll at Bakersfield College to increase their GPA then transfer back to CSUB, or attend CSUB’s Extended University.
Due to her academic problems, McCoy’s financial aid was revoked, leaving her with no other option but to leave CSUB.
“I do believe the extra quarter would have been enough for me to raise my GPA,” McCoy said.
After leaving school, McCoy moved back to Porterville and earned her cosmetology license. Her next goal is to re-enroll at CSUB.
Faculty members created the academic jeopardy program to help identify students who are academically “at risk” earlier in their college career. John Dirkse, Professor and Director of Academic Operations and Support at CSUB and academic senate member found within student records that most incoming freshmen taking remedial classes their first quarter ended up on academic probation by the end of their second quarter.
Academic Support and Student Services committee member John Tarjan said, “The ‘earlier the better’ idea is in the students’ best interest. The longer they stay getting failing grades, the more units of failure they collect, the deeper the whole they dig themselves and the harder it is to pull up the resulting GPA.”
Several concerns arose with the new program, one issue being that students who have already been kicked out cannot benefit from this new policy.
Tarjan and fellow committee member Janet Millar suggested that continuing students who are dismissed can petition the Academic Petitions Committee to be re-admitted and offered a contract as a requirement for their re-admission and be automatically placed in academic jeopardy.