Last Chance Saloon: Academic Probation as a Retention and Achievement Tool? Sue Edwards, Ba(Hons), PGPLT Student Liaison Officer University of Derby Derbyshire, UK
Derby University – Who are our students? Total of 22,000 students from 120 countries 84% are aged under 24 years 73% are from the Midlands region (less than 150 miles) 16% have 321 points from A Levels
Workshop Aims • Briefly review the history, development and implementation of academic probation contracts • Recognise the simplicity of the system used • utilising information already available • reducing financial outlay and set up cost • opportunity for support • Findings of review and case studies • Self-Audit of your own institutions’ practice • Opportunity for debate and questions
History 2010-2011 academic year 81 students were issued with 14 day notices of intended withdrawal. no formalised system for monitoring or supporting the students who were allowed to continue with their studies. 2011-12 academic year 90 students issued with 14 day notices of intended withdrawal simple system of “academic probation agreements” – mandatory - clearly set out a framework of expectations and minimum performance
Existing system – attendance monitoring leading to issue of W14 notice or students identified at the END of the academic year and removed for academic failure. Step in earlier - Traffic Lighting Green - academic achievement = Success Amber - substandard engagement low academic performance, missing assignments, poor attendance, class behaviour, health, debt Red – stop attending, failed modules Development
What did we already know about students’ engagement? Attendance Monitoring Non-submission reports Finance information Academic referrals Sickness reporting Academic failures Average module results Exceptional Extenuating Circumstance Claims
Case Studies - The Contracts Rachel – widespread non-attendance across all modules, failed modules from first semester, poor mental health previously undisclosed, no support being received, no EEC applied for Sara – good attendance on one module, poor attendance on all others, non-submissions, missing coursework, broken promises/untruths Keira – poor attendance, missing coursework, disruptive behaviour
Case Studies - What happened next? Rachel – Graduated with a third class degree, accessed health services. Sara – Continues to perform poorly, attendance patchy, expected to fail majority of course in June, no improvement in study attitude. Keira – Continues on course, very happy and will be graduating with full honours degree, predicted 2:2. No further problems with other students, refers other students to Student Liaison Officer.
Self Audit What data do you already hold? Attendance Academic results What do you currently do with that data? What could you do? Meetings, contracts Partnerships? Support Services/Medical Services Academics
Debate/Questions • Do you think that “academic probation agreements” have value either as a mass advising tool or as a “last chance saloon” for hard to reach individuals? • Where do you stand on this “tough love” approach to advising?
Thank you for your time …… Sue Edwards Student Liaison Officer University of Derby Room MS105 Markeaton Street Derby DE22 1GB +44 (1332) 593226 email@example.com