Perspectives on Probation

These stories reflect common experiences that many students report having in the academic probation​ process ~



“I was very busy one semester keeping up with class, work, and family responsibilities. My grades tanked. Still, the probaImage result for student imagestion letter was a shock. I hadn’t thought much about the academic probation policy before, so I didn’t realize I had let my grades get so out of hand. I was ashamed and embarrassed at first. How did I let this happen? After talking with my peer coach, I felt a little better. Eventually, I saw that probation is UCA’s way of making sure that everyone is doing okay. I can understand that, and I’m glad this process is there for students when we need it. This experience increased my awareness of policies and expectations, but it also connected me with people like my advisor who helped me figure out how to manage my schedule. I ended up taking a leave of absence for a semester, and that helped me get back on track. Graduation is around the corner, and I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished.”


“A few semesters back, I was struggling with some mental health issues. I felt like I was barely holding it together. I couldn’t focus on my studies, so probation didn’t come as a surprise. But it did help me realize that I didn’t know how to deal with everything, so I reached out for some guidance from people around me including one of my close friends, and a counselor in the UCA Counseling Center. They helped me learn how to manage my mental health better—to take care of myself and get support when I need it. I still struggle sometimes, but overall I’m doing better mentally and academically now, and I’ve learned how to deal with stress and hard times more effectively when they come up.”


“I love UCA–the experiences I’ve had, what I’ve learned, and the people I’ve met. I wouldn’t trade them for anything. But a while Image result for student imagesback, I made some poor choices and my grades suffered. At first I ignored the problems. I hoped they would just go away. Of course they didn’t. Getting on probation was really hard for me because I knew I could do better. Finding out that it could affect my financial aid kicked me into action. I went to the financial aid office and ended up talking with a woman there about my options, like different kinds of loans you can get and that you can file an appeal. Then, I set up a meeting with one of the peer coaches. He clearly understood people sometimes make mistakes but can learn from what happened and improve and grow. We strategized and made a plan. To be honest, it’s been tough. But I’ve done it. And that gives me confidence that I can handle whatever other challenges the future holds for me.”


“Coming to UCA hit me like a ton of bricks. I’d done well in high school but I just wasn’t prepared for the way college works, how much reading some professors assign, or the academic language some people use. When I ended up on academic probation, I felt like a failure, like I didn’t belong. After a while, I realized that probation didn’t define me as a person or limit my potential as a student. Yeah, I struggled, but it wasn’t that I couldn’t do the work. I needed to learn how to do college. It took some time, but I made an effort to take advantage of as many resources as I could: I met with my advisor, used grade forgiveness, and started spending more time at the library. Now, I’m on track to graduate and I know that I deserve to be here just as much as anyone else.”


“Being a student is really important to me, and so is my family. That’s a huge part of why I’m here at UCA–to be able to create more Image result for student imagesopportunities for my family in the future. One semester, there was a lot going on at home. That, on top of work and school, was just too much and I did poorly. When I got the academic probation letter, I wondered if maybe I should just give up. Thankfully, though, I talked with a friend who encouraged me to keep going. I also talked through all my responsibilities with my peer coach and that helped me make a plan for how to get done what needed getting done. I started talking with my professors and some of the tutors early on this semester to get tips about how to be strategic and efficient. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m proud of what I’m doing for me and for my family.”