This is a good time to talk with your student about their academic performance so far in college. In early March, undergraduate students were required to take midterm exams or complete midterm projects in all their courses. While “midterm season” is often a stressful time for students, it is a very important phase of a student’s academic life because it is the first official evaluation of a student’s strengths and weaknesses in each particular subject.
At the semester’s midpoint, students need a clear and honest assessment of their academic performance in their tests, quizzes, essays, oral presentations and other work because there is still time to address any weaknesses and bring up those grades.
A positive grade affirms a student’s abilities and reinforces the student’s commitment to success in the course, and a negative grade raises a “red flag” of warning to a student that more work is needed for the student to succeed.
Students who receive a low grade for the midterm have several ways to get back on track.
1. Meet with the professor.
The first step is for the student to meet with the professor of the course for a critique of the student’s work and to receive the professor’s recommendations for improving their performance. Sometimes it is only a matter of clarification of ideas or a more focused reading and analysis of course materials. Students can follow the professor’s direction when working on the next assignments in order to make improvements in their comprehension and analysis of the materials.
2. See their academic advisor or visit the Academic Advisement Office.
Students may also meet with their academic advisor or a counselor in the Academic Advisement Office to see if the midterm grades signal a need to consider a change in major.
Students should be encouraged to contact an advisor soon since fall semester courses will be chosen soon. An advisor can be requested by students online at www.southernct.edu/student-life/academic-success/academic-advisement.
3. Get help with their writing.
Sometimes students receive low midterm grades because the mechanics of a student’s writing are not strong enough to allow the student to express thoughts in a concise, coherent and logical way. Other times, a student needs more content specific support in a subject for which they are just beginning to build their knowledge base.
To address these concerns, students can access an array of academic support services provided through the SCSU Academic Success Center at www.southernct.edu/student-life/academic-success/academic-success-center/index.html which offers tutoring in many areas, including writing, biology, chemistry, physics and math.