Advising Academically Weak Students

Advising Academically Weak Students

Advising Academically Weak Students

One major objective of academic advising is to help students who are academically weak to stay on track. This involves: (1) identifying students with academic problems; (2) finding the causes of students’ problems; (3) tracking students’ progress.

(1) Identifying students with academic problems

Students often do not place sufficient importance to their own problems until their academic performance are seriously affected (e.g., required to meet with Faculty Review Committee). Even if they understand the seriousness of their problems, many of these students are reluctant (or do not know how) to proactively seek help.

Advisers are therefore encouraged to identify students in need by taking a look at the GPAs of their advisees at the end of each semester (the GPA information is available in the “Academic Advising Tools in SIS” – click here for instructions). A very low GPA (e.g., GPA < 1.5) or a significant drop of GPA are indicators that a student needs particular attention from his / her Academic Adviser.

(2) Finding the causes of students’ problems

Students’ weak academic performance may stem from academic or non-academic reasons. Advisers should try to find out the problems that irritate their advisees. If the problems are non-academic in nature, Advisers may consider referring the students to counsellor (for psychological problems), to student advisory officer of CEDARS (for financial problems), to the University Health Service (for medical problems), or to other supporting units as appropriate (see here for the tips of referral).

(3) Tracking students’ progress

Advisers are encouraged to frequently follow-up on the situation of their academically weak Advisees to provide timely advice / guidance in case of need. In this connection, Advisers are recommended to keep proper records of every advising meetings for future reference.