Academic Standing Workshop:
Why Am I on Probation? (page 2)
- Counseling Department

Academic Probation

The fastest way to get off probation and clear up your record is to enroll in fewer classes, repeat any substandard course work, and pass all future courses.

Here is an example of one student (let’s call him John) who completed 3 semesters at Ohlone and was placed on Academic Dismissal status. Let’s look at John’s academic record for his 3 semesters. Then we can examine strategies can choose for his 4th semester that can help him most.

Fall 2000
Semester 1 Units Grades
Art 103A 4 D
Psy 101 3 F
Math 151 5 C
GPA 1.17 (semester GPA) 1.17 (cumulative GPA)
Spring 2001
Semester 2 Units Grades
Eng151B 4 B
Hist 105 3 C
Math 152 5 D
GPA 1.92 (semester GPA) 1.54 (cumulative GPA)
Fall 2001
Semester 3 Units Grades
Hist117A 3 C
Mus 102 3 C
Art 101 3 C
Spanish 5 D
GPA 1.64 (semester GPA) 1.58 (cumulative GPA)

John is now on Academic Dismissal Status. Here are 4 typical strategies that students try in this situation.

Strategy 1 (“Same plan, just try harder”)

Spring 2002
4A Units Grades
TD 102 3 C
AJ 101 3 C
PS 102 3 C
Soc 101 3 C
GPA 2.0 (semester GPA) 1.68 (cumulative GPA)

In this example, John takes 4 courses like he had done his first 3 semesters. He works harder and does better, earning all “C” grades. However, “C” grades earn a 2.0 GPA for the semester and oly bring this students cumulative GPA up to a 1.68. Since this students cumulative GPA is below a 2.0, they are still on probation.

Strategy 2 (“Fewer classes, more study=much better grades”)

Spring 2002
4B Units Grades
PS 102 3 A
Soc 101 3 A
GPA 4.0 (semester GPA) 1.91 (Cumulative GPA)

In this example John takes only 2 courses and does excellent, earning all “A” grades. He is able to get better grades because he can devote much more study time for each class, and the quality of his work goes way up. John’s cumulative GPA goes up significantly to a 1.91. This student is still on probation since their cumulative GPA is below a 2.0, however, they could potentially get off probation after one more successful semester like this one.

Strategy 3 (“Fewer classes, more study & repeat D’s and F’s”)

Spring 2002
4C Units Grades
PS 102 3 A
Psy 101* 3 A
GPA 4.0 (semester GPA) 2.05 (cumulative GPA)

In 3rd and final example John has chosen to repeat Psy 101 (which was an “F” grade during the Fall 2001) and take only one other course. John also gets all “A” grades, however, because he is repeating an “F” grade (and Ohlone’s policy is to only count the 2nd grade in a repeated course), his grade point average shoots up to a 2.05.

This student is no longer on probation! By taking less classes and repeating a prior substandard grade John was able to get off probation after one semester!