Academic Difficulty Reports

Approximately every three weeks each semester the Academic Advising Office sends all faculty members academic difficulty reports (ADRs) to track students who are not doing satisfactory work in class. Many faculty simply send an email to the Academic Advising Staff when a problem becomes evident. These warnings are invaluable to the Academic Advising Office and to students' advisers, as they enable early interventions before failing grades are inevitable. The difficulty notices also provide documentation at the end of the semester when students' grades are considered by the Committee on Academic Standing. These reports help the Committee gauge students' performance and effort throughout the semester, and serve as a record of the College's efforts to warn students in a timely manner and to reach out to students experiencing difficulty. Faculty members may return these forms to the Academic Advising Office via campus mail, by e-mail (isgriga[at]grinnell[dot]edu), or may call with concerns, ext. 3702. As an adviser you will receive copies of these reports in the form of "yellow slips" from the Academic Advising Office. These are provided to you as a matter of information, and we recommend that you keep them in the advisee's folder. How you act on the information is up to you: it's person-dependent. You can presume that a staff member from Academic Advising is likely to be checking in with the student; not every time, but often. A "D" on a quiz (one of 10 quizzes in the semester) is not likely to elicit a response from our office; however, a "D" on an exam, frequent absences, and other missing assignments will cause one of our staff to follow up. Often we will check in with the adviser to see what you know about the student's academic strengths and weaknesses, about course selection for the semester, and about the specific situation. If the student is known to us, and is on academic probation, this makes it all the more likely that we'll communicate with you. You are also welcome to check with the office to see what we have learned. We do our best to maintain good communication with advisers about academic difficulty; communication about personal issues is sometimes more difficult because of confidentiality, but we'll share as much as we are able. Often it requires a team effort to help students make better choices about approaching their academic work and, simultaneously, dealing with their personal challenges.