"It's like a blessing": A collaborative program to support students on academic probation

This paper presents a reactive intervention strategy that closes the loop joining individual students at risk, Academic Language and Learning (ALL) advisors, faculty staff and university administrators. Students who have been placed on probation are at imminent risk of dropping out of university. To increase the retention rate of these students, the Academic Skills Program (ASP) at the University of Canberra developed a collaborative program working with other student support providers across the University. Working initially in partnership with student administrative services, the ASP contacted students who had been placed on probation inviting them to attend an individual consultation with a learning advisor. The consultation focussed on identifying students’ needs and developing strategies for improved performance. In many cases students were referred to other support services such as Health and Counselling, the Disabilities Office and faculty-based Learning Resource Centres. In some cases, course convenors were drawn into the mix. The retention rate of students who participated in the program was 15 per cent higher than those who did not, amply providing a financial justification for the program. More significantly, perhaps, a survey of these students showed that they strongly appreciated the concern shown by the University and felt better integrated into the University community as a result of the program.

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Prentice, Sue
Collins, Gary
Couchman, Judy
Li, Linda
Wilson, Kate
Year of publication: 
Title of Journal, Edited book or Conference and Page numbers: 
Journal of Academic Language and Learning, Vol. 3, No. 2, Special Issue: Proceedings of the 9th Biennial Conference of the Association for Academic Language and Learning; pp. A82-A93
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