In the KU School of Engineering, we are committed to supporting students as they work towards their degree. One piece of that support is making sure that our students are making satisfactory academic progress. Each semester when grades post, the School of Engineering reviews each student's academic progress. We know that for students to be successful in their journey towards an engineering degree, students need to earn at least a 2.0 each semester. They also need to earn C's or better in their math, science, and engineering coursework to prepare for their future coursework, and to stay on track for graduation in a timely manner. Students may be placed on probation if one of those criteria are not met.
Probation is not a disciplinary action-- it is meant to be a warning that something needs to change for a student to achieve their degree. We work closely with students on probation to help them identify what obstacles prohibited them from achieving their best, and make strategies with them for how to improve. An engineering degree is academically rigorous; it is not uncommon for a student to struggle at some point in their academic career. Most of those students will make the changes needed and be back on track in the next semester, and we are here to help with that.
Areas of needed improvement are different for each student, but successful engineering students have shared strategies that have helped them get back on track:
- Plan: Set realistic expectations for course load. Some students can succeed carrying 18 credits a semester; others may carry 12 credits to get the grades they need. How many credit hours can you successfully complete with your other obligations? Your education isn’t a race. Talk with your advisor to figure this out.
- Support: Get help early and often. There are many resources at KU and in Engineering to help you succeed, with academics and your general well-being: http://engr.ku.edu/undergraduate-resources. Advisors and instructors aren’t just there to help you in your classes, they are there to also help you in life.
- Communicate: Talk with your professors and teaching assistants. They are there to help you succeed. Talk to them before you need help, and certainly when you don’t understand something in class.
- Collaborate: If you are not doing this already, make new friends in your classes—form study groups and support one another. Also, get involved in a club at KU. Other students can be a wealth of experience to help you through those tough classes.
- Persevere: An engineering degree is hard to earn, as are many things in life worth having. Don’t give up. You can do it with the right tools, support, and attitude, but it is going to take effort.
Students are given criteria for their probationary period; usually they are expected to earn at least a 2.0 GPA, as they work to bring up their overall GPA. Most students are able to return to good standing quickly. Students who are unable to improve or recover are at risk of dismissal. Students who are dismissed from the School of Engineering will be unable to progress in an engineering degree until they are eligible to be readmitted.