Probation and Separation

At the end of each semester, academic advisors in the College Center for Advising Services (CCAS) review the grades of all current students. Students who are not making satisfactory progress toward completion of degree requirements are placed or continued on academic probation. Students who remain on probation for two or more semesters will be considered for separation from the College. This review process is known as academic action.

Academic probation is not meant to be punitive. Rather, it is intended to serve as a warning and provide an opportunity for students to address the difficulties that prevented their success, before more serious academic action is taken.

Academic departments are invited to submit feedback about their majors to CCAS. In cases where separation is being considered, the College welcomes input from the administration, faculty advisors, staff advisors, and the student. Students are informed of any action in their case by email as soon as possible after grades are received.

Separation appeals are reviewed only when new evidence bearing on the case is presented to the dean of the College. Since academic probation is not punitive in terms of the student’s academic record, there is no appeal process to remove a student from probation.

Students and advisors may also want to read the withdrawal and readmission pages.

COVID-19 Academic Review: The Academic action process was revised for the spring 2020 semester to take into account the COVID-19 global pandemic and the subsequent transition to online teaching and learning. New letters and procedures were implemented specifically for this review to recognize that many students were impacted by challenging circumstances outside of their control. No student was separated from the College at the end of the spring 2020 semester. As noted below, parents of all students except those who are over 21 years old, or who have declared independence from their parents, generally receive a letter about their student’s academic status following this review. CCAS has been working remotely since spring 2020; parents and legal guardians who wish to receive an email copy of their student’s letter, are invited to email Shandra Kieffer in CCAS (shandra.kieffer@rochester.edu) and make this request. A copy of that letter will then be emailed to the parent, and copied to the student, so long as the student meets the criteria stated above. Additional details about the spring 2020 Academic Action review can be found here.

Beginning in the fall 2021 semester, the College Center for Advising Services will reinstate the academic action process that was in place prior to the start of the pandemic.

Actions Taken

Place on Probation

Students who have not formally declared their major are placed on probation by the Administrative Committee and students who have formally declared a major are placed on probation by the Administrative Committee upon recommendation of the student’s department. Each student placed on probation is sent an email advising them of their status and providing them with the name of the academic advisor who will meet with them during the period of probation. They are expected to complete an online Academic Advising Worksheet that will guide their conversations with their assigned academic advisor. Students who have been placed or continued on probation often need to make changes to their course schedule for the following semester. For this reason, students are encouraged to schedule an appointment with their assigned academic advisor as soon as they have received notification of their status. All students are informed of the seriousness of probation and encouraged to seek appropriate help.

Students are normally placed on probation at the end of a semester if they have:

  • Less than a 2.0 cumulative or semester average
  • Less than a 2.0 average in the courses submitted for the major
  • Note: during the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters when special academic policies permitted students to declare up to two courses using the S/F grading option, the grade under the “S” or “F” will be used to calculate the grade point average for the purpose of academic probation

Continue on Probation

Students on probation can be separated or stay on probation. Even those whose records improve may stay on probation with an acknowledgement of that improved academic performance. Students are continued on probation at the end of a semester in which they have:

  • Attained less than a 2.0 cumulative or semester average
  • Received “I” or “N” grades
  • Received any failing grades
  • Attained less than a 2.0 average in the courses submitted for the major
  • Been registered for fewer than 12 credit hours while carrying full-time status
  • Note: during the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters when special academic policies permitted students to declare up to two courses using the S/F grading option, the grade under the “S” or “F” will be used to calculate the grade point average for the purpose of academic probation

Again, students are warned of the seriousness of continued probation and are offered academic and other support.

Support and Academic Resources

Students who are placed or continued on probation are expected to meet with their assigned academic advisor prior to the start of classes or soon after the semester begins. At their first meeting, their assigned advisor and the student will develop an academic success plan outlining an approved list of courses for the upcoming semester, the frequency of meetings, and recommended resources. A copy of the academic success plan is sent to the student’s other primary advisors and students are encouraged to maintain contact with these advisors during the semester they are on probation.

Students receiving financial aid are advised to consult with their financial aid counselor if they are unsure of their eligibility for financial aid. Students who are not achieving Satisfactory Academic Progress for financial aid purposes will be notified by email of their status. Students who are not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress will initially be placed on a warning semester; subsequently, students who do not achieve Satisfactory Academic Progress will be expected to submit an approved academic plan in order to retain their eligibility for financial aid.

Academic probation is a serious step. However, the College understands that students experience academic difficulties for a number of reasons including personal issues, poor time-management and study skills, illness, lack of motivation, and course difficulty. A number of campus resources are available for students who are experiencing academic difficulties. Students who have been placed or continued on probation are expected to take the recommended steps to address their situation.

Separation

The records of all students who are considered for separation are thoroughly reviewed by the Administrative Committee and the advisors in CCAS before action is taken. Normally no student will be separated who has not been on probation for at least one term. Students who are separated are required to remain away from school for a minimum of two semesters. While they are away, students are encouraged to work, volunteer, and spend focused time addressing the difficulties that prevented their academic success. Often, students are encouraged to complete coursework while they are away in order to retain their eligibility for financial aid. Advisors in CCAS can be helpful in providing guidance about how to plan for the time away. Students who take time off from school, regularly report that this experience was beneficial in helping them prepare for a successful return to school. Following the period of separation, students may apply for readmission.

Students who are separated for a second time are not readmitted.

Removal from Probation

Students who have not declared a major are removed from probation by the Administrative Committee. Students accepted into majors are removed from probation by the Administrative Committee upon recommendation of the student’s department. No action is taken to remove students from probation whose cumulative averages rise to 2.0 or better as a result of summer course grades.

Students are typically removed from probation once they have an average/major gpa above 2.0 with no failing, I or N grades, and are registered for 12 credits or more.

Academic Action Letters

A variety of letters are used to inform students of their academic status. The letters are sent by email from CCAS to inform students that a decision has been made. The letters cover the four basic actions described above.

Copies of all academic action letters are normally sent to the parents of all students except those who are over 21 years old or who have declared independence from their parents. However, during the COVID-19 period, hard copy letters will not be mailed to parents as noted above. Copies of these letters are also sent to undergraduate/College advisors, faculty advisors, NROTC, HEOP, the director of Minority Student Affairs, the McNair/Kearns programs, the International Services Office, and Athletics and Recreation, when appropriate.