Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Dizerascal Sends In This Early Thirsty on Snowflakism and Academic Probation.

Hello CMers,

At my lovely university, academic probation (i.e., admin intervention) starts at a measly 2.0 GPA. Thus, would raising this figure to a 2.5 minimum GPA create more or less snowflakes?

Regarding an increase in snowflakes, it's possible that students may be more prone to cheat under said policy.

Q: Would increasing academic probation standards create more or less snowflakes?


  1. I don't think "snowflakism" figures in at all. I think of snowflakes as those precious creatures who think they should receive special treatment and who are used to handholding.

    Cheating students seems like an unrelated subset of students - even if some overlap.

    Raising the GPA for academic probation as you suggest would probably cause some more scrambling among students, but not necessarily - in my view at least - along the snowflake lines.

  2. "fewer" snowflakes, "less" peanut butter

  3. Even a 2.0 cutoff seems high to me. That's the minimum GPA required to graduate at my school, so only seniors are subject to 2.0 cutoff for probation. A 2.5 limit would probably put up to a third of some programs' enrollment on probation. I doubt it would increase snowflakeism; most likely, those below the cutoff would transfer to other, easier programs.

  4. I think you'd get more in the short run, but fewer in the long run. Regardless, something has got to be done to put students who don't want to be in college out of their misery.

  5. Not everyone is an A student. It is absurd to think that we could shoehorn any person into some pre-made mold.

    What is wrong with being a C student? Nothing. C's are perfectly acceptable grades. Now C students shouldn't be doctors or educators. But a C student might make an outstanding minister or therapist or naval officer or business person.

    My students seem to think everyone is entitled to an A or B. I wonder if that is related to our 2.0 cut off. "I'm a good student so I must do better than those 'bad' students. Better means I must get 'better' grades than them so I deserve A's and B's but mostly A's."

    I think that we should have a graduated scale. First semester they just have to survive. Second semester they must have at least a 1.0 term GPA. Third semester 1.5. Fourth-graduation they must have a 2.0 semester GPA. To graduate you must have at least a 1.8 cum GPA. If they don't meet the GPA requirements for a term then they have to attend tutoring and office hours (they must have their profs sign a sheet with the hours and dates they attended), all assignments must be turned in on time no extentions are allowed regardless of situation, and they must attend all lectures and their notes are checked by the academic probation people in the student's weekly meeting. If the student doesn't reach the required GPA at the end of the term, then all the evidence is already there. Students who went to office hours X hours a week, turned in all the assignments on time, attended lecture everyday can be granted a stay of execution (in reality they all are but we don't tell them that so that they don't try as hard to fudge information). You only get one stay of execution. Three bad semesters in a row = the axe. You can only be placed on academic probation two separate times after that you're done. You may be re-admitted after a minimum 2 year stint in the armed forces.

  6. CMP: Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

    Although I doubt the armed services thing would work here. Our government probably couldn't afford to equip all the people required to sign up as a result of such a policy.


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