Probation likely if focus is not applied

According to the Florida A&M academic probation report, 91 students are on academic probation this semester.

The university academic progress policy states each student must earn a 2.0 grade point average during each period of enrollment at the university. The policy states in any term in which the student’s cumulative average drops below 2.0, some appropriate action, such as a warning, probation, suspension or dismissal is taken.

Eugene Matthews, academic advisor for general studies, said student’s lack of focus in the classroom is part of the reason why they would perform poorly in class.

“Some students don’t take college seriously,” Matthews said. “They don’t manage their time wisely.”

Darren McKinnon, 21, a fourth-year sociology student from Lakeland, said his lack of focus negatively affected his grades.

“Having so much freedom was new to me,” McKinnon said. “I found myself focusing on things other then my school work. I took college and my school work more seriously with each year that went by. “

The academic progress policy states underclassmen with zero to 29 credit hours are required to maintain a 2.0 GPA.

Also, freshmen students, whose cumulative average is less than 2.0, will be permitted to remain at the university under continuous counseling and academic advisement.

If the cumulative average is below 2.0 after 29 credit hours, the student will be placed on academic probation and must earn a 2.0 during the next period of enrollment.

Garreth Hubbard, 20, an animal science student, from Macon, Ga. said the university should key in on freshmen and explain the importance of starting college off strongly.

“I feel that freshmen should understand the importance of making good grades and getting a strong start their first year of college,” Hubbard said. Sophomore students have different expectations according to the academic progress policy.

The first time their cumulative average falls below a 2.0, he or she is placed on academic probation.

A sophomore student must maintain a 2.0 term average, but no action will be taken as long as the cumulative average is 2.0 or above. Otherwise, students who fail to earn a 2.0 term average will be placed on probation the first time and suspended any term thereafter that a 2.0 term average is not earned.

However, the policy states a student whose cumulative average is less than 2.0, but who earns at least a 2.0 term average, will be allowed to remain in school but will be placed on probation. Failure to earn a term average of at least 2.0, with the cumulative average being below 2.0, will result in probation or suspension.

The policy also states, the first time a student fails to meet the minimum standards of progress, he or she will be placed on academic probation.

All subsequent failures to meet minimum standards of progress will result in academic suspension of at least one semester. A student will only be permitted to return to the university following two academic suspensions. The third academic suspension is a permanent suspension or dismissal.

Although the probation numbers are low, Matthews said the university does not supply students with enough backing to prevent them from getting on academic probation.

“The university does not have enough support in place for students in academic trouble,” Matthews said. “I feel we need a program and support system for students who are on probation and coming off suspension.”