The Student who is Struggling Academically
Facts about the student who is struggling academically:
- Academic difficulties are often combinations of problems with the course content, the techniques used to process the information, and/or personal motivation.
- UConn students do not struggle academically because they are not ‘smart’ enough. Our students have more than enough of the myriad characteristics encompassing intelligence.
- Many of our students, in fact, are negatively impacted by their natural abilities. Their intelligence and memory capabilities are at such a level that they have not needed to develop systematic, intentional approaches for processing large amounts of detailed information in order to produce high grades.
- The most common remark heard from students struggling academically is that they did not have to study much before coming to UConn.
- The second most common remark heard from students having difficulty with their grades is that they are studying more now than they ever have. Translation: Many of our students are working hard, but not effectively.
- There are two large categories of students who struggle academically: those with the requisite amount of motivation who do not know how to study effectively, and those who lack the requisite amount of motivation. From the outside, the results look very much the same.
- The first group responds well to coaching in intentional approaches that aid them in both understanding and remembering the course material. With effective coaching, often their results improve from one evaluation to the next.
- Learning how to efficiently process large quantities of information in order to remember what one understands is not akin to rocket science…really.
- Many of our students have a belief that if they were smarter, they would not need to use structured approaches to studying.
- The second group needs to be challenged to discover the personal benefit attached to achieving in the university environment.
A Proactive Approach: UConn Connects
UConn Connects is an academic intervention program that connects students with mentors (faculty, staff and advanced students) who will provide guidance and support for the duration of an academic term. First and second year students who are on probation at the end of the fall or spring term are automatically invited to participate in the UConn Connects program but any student who would like to work with a facilitator is welcome to join. The goal of UConn Connects is to get students off of academic probation as soon as possible and introduce them to the strategies, skills and resources that will help them achieve long-term success. Students can enroll in UConn Connects at the following web site: http://achieve.uconn.edu/program-information/.