Next week, midterm grades will post and many students may be feeling like they successfully flew in and destroyed a Death Star, while others may wonder if their academic career is in a Darth Vader chokehold. The Student Success Center (SSC) offers a variety of resources to help students perform at their best.
Here are a few suggestions for those looking to defeat the dark lords of quizzes, exams, and papers as the semester enters its second half.
- Understand the Syllabus: If a midterm grade is cause for concern, it is important to understand the syllabus to determine how to recover. The syllabus outlines all assignments and tests for the semester, and understanding the components of a midterm grade is key. For example, if a student receives a “D” for a midterm grade, but this reflects only one test worth 15% of the total grade, it is likely that an academic plan can be developed to help you improve your grade for the class. A recovery plan may be more difficult if 60% of the points were available in the first half of the semester. Get to know the syllabus, and discuss any information you are unsure of with your professor.
- Visit Faculty: Students should visit faculty during office hours and ask for suggestions on how to improve in the course, inquire about content they are struggling with, and have a conversation about how to improve their grade before the end of the semester. This can be a daunting experience, however, the faculty at Misericordia University are fully dedicated to students, so talking with them should help put your fears at ease. Like a true Obi Wan, professors may have specific ideas about how to prepare for their quizzes and exams, or, they may refer you to other resources, including tutoring or writing support in the Student Success Center. Additionally, a professor may suggest that a student withdraw from the course, especially if it is not realistic or feasible for the student to attain the grade desired for the course. The deadline to withdraw from a course is November 16th, and requires a conversation with the professor, the student’s Academic Advisor, and possibly the Financial Aid Office.
- Commit to Change: Often in the Student Success Center, we work with students who are confident they can bring up their grades after the midterm, and feel there is plenty of time and points available to achieve a great final grade. In order for this outlook and plan to be successful, it needs to be accompanied by changes to behaviors or study habits. Midterm grades are the reflection of the efforts, academic strategies and skills used, to date. In order to see progress, you may need to change your approach. To quote Princess Leia, “someone has to save our skins.” In this case, it’s all you, so pick up that light saber and get moving.
- Reflect on Motivators: For students having a hard time staying motivated, they may be struggling to connect academic work to long-term goals, or perhaps even realizing they are not in the right major or are on the wrong career path. In addition to the Student Success Center, The Insalaco Center for Career Development and Campus Ministry are great on-campus resources to start a conversation about the right career or calling for you.
- Take advantage of Student Success Center (SSC) resources: Visit us on the lower level of Alumnae Hall and let us awaken the Force within you!
- The Tutoring Center is full of peer Jedi who have demonstrated expertise in the subject they tutor and have been trained to assist others in course content. Request tutoring online, via myMU.
- The Writing Center allows students to get feedback from a writing tutor. Bring in any paper, for any class, at any point in the writing process. Whether you are having a hard time getting started, or need a final draft reviewed, the writing Yodas can offer sage advice. Drop in hours are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and 5 p.m.-9 p.m.; Fridays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Our Academic Learning Specialist works individually with students to develop skills and strategies in areas ranging from reading comprehension to note taking, and building organization skills to goal setting. Additionally, the College Liaisons are here help students navigate their academic program, follow up on concerns, and connect students with support across the galaxy. Make an appointment if you would like their assistance.
- The Student Success Center offers a full menu of workshops on topics such as finding smartphone apps to assist with studying to composing a better thesis statement. Visit the SSC section of myMU for a schedule of upcoming workshops.
- Students who have received an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) during high school or who have a disability classified under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and who have not yet visited the SSCshould do so. The SSC is dedicated to helping students with disabilities gain the access they need.
Come to the Smart Side! Visit us in the lower level of Alumnae Hall, or call (570) 674-6408 for more information or to make an appointment.
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About the author: Jessica Randall, MBA, MEd, MAS, is the Director of the Student Success Center at Misericordia University.