Interim grading and being successful

The Science Help Center is one of many academic assistance facilities on campus that go underutilized despite being a great place for students to improve their performance.

It is a typical conversation that most Indiana State University Students find themselves having with each other.

The efforts of many to maintain their grades and ensure their solid academic standing here at the university often get derailed by the fast pace of the fall academic semester.

Interim grades are supposed to be the leisure time between students stressing about midterms and their overall final grades. An idea that in a perfect world would work but for students, we don't have time to benefit from the report.

A semester of college is anything but easy. Based on my first three semesters of college, I've realized one thing. Indiana State University does little to prevent the academic falloff that many students face each semester.

Let's face it; if they did, many of the people we knew freshman year would've made it past their first semester.

Before I get deeper into my opinion, I'd like to say that the university offers many programs, opportunities, and mentorships for all students. I see firsthand that students do not know how to access these tools or when to ask for them.

But at the same time, the university seemingly cannot get anything right regarding student outreach here on campus.

Instead, it hides under the umbrella of the interim grading period, and by then, it's too little too late.

At that point, most students are either doing well in their coursework or barely keeping up. Interim grades can't do anything for the students that are struggling in a specific course. It comes too late in the semester for students to dig themselves out of any hole.

And even after interims, there's little to no outreach to students that fall into these categories. Indiana State University's NAACP found that many students felt that their options to improve their grades after the interim grading period were limited to none.

Take me, for example, in my first semester of college.

Although my freshman year was pretty easy, I still struggled academically thanks to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic that limited Indiana State University to a hybrid schedule for most of the school year, and my advisor reached out to me.

Although I'm not concerned about my academics this semester, many upper-level students need that extra push from the university before the interim grading period.

From a student's perspective, yes, the university provides many outlets for students to succeed in most — not all — areas for academics.

Take the most pressed department about mentoring, the math department, for example.

This semester many math courses require students to study for one hour a week in the lab.

Because the math lab was a requirement for students in their math courses, it may seem as if students are forced to use this tool for a grade but eventually, it's seen as a tool for students and not a simple punishment for coming to college.

The math lab requirement model should be used throughout the semester by the university. However, it's essential to understand the various responsibilities many students have here on campus.

If you mandate each tutoring program for each student, students are overwhelmed.

After speaking to my academic advisor and another professor, I got guidance throughout the semester. They made it clear that students underutilize their office hours

Office hours are something that will help your grade in more ways than you may assume.

Many mentors and tutors stress the importance of office hours to students by helping them with any questions they may have for an upcoming assignment, quiz, test or exam, but it also establishes the relationship between the student and the instructor.

It shows an effort among the student to succeed in the course, and the instructor will more than likely remember the student's name and face for future reference.

Establishing a relationship between the instructor and the coursework is vital to succeed, or in some cases, over-perform in a course.

Indiana State University should think about how all of the programs intended to catch a student slipping in academics are reached by students

You can't force someone to want to do well, but you can't fault them for falling off because they don't know that there are resources to help them succeed.

And by the time the one thing advisors stress — interim grades — comes around, it is too little too late.