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If You Get Into Trouble...

Academic Knox

ACADEMIC SUPPORT: Well, we're finally around to the subject of grades. Actually, it's not just grades that are stake, but also your steady "academic progress" toward your degree. The Academic Standing Committee reviews every student's grades at the end of each term to determine whether anyone is running into trouble. The College also reviews grades at the end of each term to determine the Dean's List.

What do we mean by "trouble"? Well, it could be a number of things. You might suddenly discover that you've fallen hopelessly behind in a course and are likely to fail. There may be events in your campus life, or back home, which have interfered significantly with progress in your courses. Physical or psychological problems may be playing a negative role in your academic work.

You need to learn quickly that you have many choices in finding help and good advice if things are getting out of hand. Among those available to you are:

Don't interpret that list as an "ordered" one. The key thing at Knox is to go to someone with whom you will be comfortable. No question is too dumb or naòve. Sometimes you might need some tips on how to approach the instructor in a course where you're having trouble. You may be struggling with a decision about possibly dropping a class -- and worried about its effect on your standing at the College. You may not know how to deal with an issue in the residence halls, with your roommate or others. Whatever it is, keep in mind two main considerations for success in your Knox experience:

  • Sooner is better. If there's a problem, deal with it right away. If you see one coming, deal with it before it happens. Our 10-week terms are short! The more time that passes after you've encountered a problem, the more difficult it may become for your instructors or a dean to help you find an alternative or solution.
  • Let someone know. Balance your independence with the usefulness of counsel from others. Talk to someone, rather than trying to tough it out on your own. That doesn't mean you shouldn't buckle down, grit your teeth, and try to surmount problems you're having in a course -- but it's better to do that with someone else (preferably the instructor, your advisor, etc.) knowing about it!

And speaking of "toughing it out," remember there's help even for that! The Center for Teaching and Learning can help you with a peer tutor or additional help with your writing. The Center for Teaching and Learning can help you if you are having trouble; it can also help improve the quality of your work no matter how strong it already is! The Counseling Center also can provide you with some help for stress or other psychological issues that may be playing an "unappreciated" role in your experience!

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