Students on academic suspension decrease

Chelsey Fisher

The number of students on academic suspension based on their grade-point average has decreased since fall 2009, said Heather Langdon, associate director for Institutional Research, Assessment and Planning.

At the end of fall 2009, 212 students were on academic suspension. At the end of spring 2012, 155 students were on academic suspension.

“ASU has a strong desire to retain students and have them succeed,” said Martha Wilson, senior associate registrar with Student Services.

The university has committees on campus that are geared toward retention and academic success, Wilson said.

Mapworks is one of the reasons he thinks fewer students have been on academic suspension, said Bob Gibbard, an academic adviser for the university.

Mapworks, which was implemented this semester, has helped academic advisers identify students who are having issues academically before they become larger problems, Gibbard said.

According to the university’s academic regulations, to continue at Appalachian in good academic standing, undergraduate students must earn a minimum GPA of 1.75 after 1 to 15 attempted hours, 1.90 after completing 16 to 30 attempted hours and 2.00 after 31 attempted hours.

If a student does not earn the minimum GPA, they are placed on academic probation during the fall or spring semester that follows.

If the student uses the two semesters of academic probation but fails to earn a cumulative GPA to place them on good academic standing, the student will be academically suspended.

At that point, the student’s only recourse is to enroll during the university’s summer terms until they are in good academic standing.

While on academic probation, students can appeal to the Appeals Board, comprised of advisers, to have an extra semester to get on good academic standing.

Academic probation is a “red flag,” not a punishment, Gibbard said.

Students can voluntarily take an academic probation workshop.

At the academic probation workshop, students are shown options on how to “get back on track,” Gibbard said.

“ASU wants to see you succeed,” he said.

While the workshop is not mandatory, students who have taken the workshop have shown an increase in academic success, Gibbard said.

Students have multiple options to get off academic probation.

“All hope is not lost,” Gibbard said.

Story: KELLI STRAKA, News Reporter