Academic Probation: Back on Track

Where You Are

Your grade point average (GPA) last semester was below a 2.0. This places you on academic probation.  The goal of this page is to serve as the first step in the process of you getting your academic career back on track. Specific goals of this course are:
  • To reflect on your experiences last semester and to describe and discuss what you believe led to your academic difficulties
  • To identify the specific behaviors and factors in your life that contributed to earning a low GPA
  • To identify your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to study skills and habits
  • To complete some preliminary exercises to address identified areas of weakness
Energy, honesty, self-awareness and hard work will be necessary to accomplish the short-term goal of returning to good academic standing and the long-term goal of earning your undergraduate degree from Truman State University.

What You Need to Do

STEP ONE: Read each section of this page as outlined below.
  • Where You Are and What You Need to Do: This introduction to the Back on Track course.  You’re doing it now!
  • Resources, What Are They Good For: A guide to Truman services to help you succeed.  You’re paying for them already; you might as well use them!
  • Planning to Succeed: Create a preliminary plan with specific commitments and expectations for the upcoming semester, addressing the problems identified in your self-assessment
STEP TWO: Make an appointment with your academic advisor to review your situation, adjust your schedule if necessary, and to finalize your preliminary plan.  This should occur within the first week of the semester so that your schedule can be adjusted during the free add/drop period.If your advisor is not available (e.g. on sabbatical) you should contact the department chair of your major for an appointment.
STEP THREE: Carry out your plan for the semester
  • Hold yourself to the commitments you made in your plan
  • Ask your advisor for feedback and to serve as an accountability partner
  • Utilize university resources to support your efforts at improvement and growth
  • Incorporate constructive feedback from faculty, friends, family, etc.
STEP FOUR: Celebrate getting back on track!
  • Continue to adjust your approach via self-assessment and seeking feedback and accountability
  • Recognize what constructive steps you took to change your academic performance, and what changes you made
  • It’s easy to let up after a successful semester—keep working!

Resources, What Are They Good For

Please browse each of the following resources available to you on the Truman State University Campus. After you have looked at each website, click to launch and complete the four reflections. 

Academic Advising

Check out the website for academic advising at the Center for Academic Excellence. Wish you could figure out when you could graduate? There are long-range plans for each major that will give you a starting point for creating your own long-range plan to graduation. Want to talk about maybe switching majors? Have questions about calculating your grade point average? Wonder if there’s a better way to study for tests or take notes in class? If you’d like to speak with an advisor, stop by Kirk Building.

Career Center

Did you know that the Career Center has a checklist of stuff you can be doing right now to prepare for a career? It’s on the Student tab on TruView, bottom center. Check it out! Also, check out the website. Not sure if you’re in the right major? Take an interest inventory. Talk with a staff member. Browse the books. This is a resource to use from day one on campus until graduation. Get going!

Disability Services

Did you receive accomodations for a disability or learning difference when you were in high school? Did you know that Truman offers accomodations and services to support students with disabilities? If you believe that accomodations would help you to perform to the best of your ability, contact the Disabilities Services Office.

Financial Aid

Understanding how to finance your college education is somewhat complex. Probation can create some new financial aid questions. Let the experts in the Financial Aid office address your concerns!

Pickler Memorial Library

Pickler Memorial Library is a foundational resource for any college student. Not only are there phenomenal reference librarians and amazing holdings and collections, but there are books, artwork, coffee, and more! If you didn’t use the library much before now, that may be about to change!

Multicultural Affairs

Multicultural Affairs helps under-represented students develop a support network on the Truman campus and helps foster greater campus diversity and awareness of its vital importance. Many resources are offered by the MAC.


Contrary to what you might have been conditioned to believe in elementary school, tutoring is not for dummies. Tutoring is designed to help students develop new strategies for learning unfamiliar material. When a concept doesn’t make sense, or something just isn’t clear, that is the time to seek tutoring. Don’t wait until a little gap in understanding widens into a chasm.There is lots of tutoring on campus: lots of places, lots of kinds, lots of subjects. At the Center for Academic Excellence, there are certified, trained tutors available to do one-on-one scheduled tutoring, drop-in tutoring, presentations, and more. Even better, it’s free!

Student Health Center

It’s pretty obvious that the Student Health Center is the place to go if you think you have bubonic plague or some other terrible malady. It might be less obvious that there is a huge focus on wellness and student self-care for minor illnesses. It might be even less obvious that the Student Health Center can screen for clinical depression or severe anxiety.

University Counseling Services

Need to talk? Feeling stressed or anxious? Depressed? Relationship problems? Family stuff? Need someone to help you sort things out? Support is a good thing—and UCS is a good place to get it!

Writing Center

This may not be a popular point of view among certain subgroups (for example, most bright high school seniors) but all of us can grow as writers. Mediocre writers may not realize their need for improvement; great writers know they can always get better. Whether you need help editing or tightening up your arguments or getting past a near-terminal case of writer’s block, the staff of the Writing Center can help.

Planning to Succeed

Beginning of the semester checklist

Before classes start:

  • Get your textbooks and any other required course materials.
  • If you don’t already have them, get a planner and a calendar.
  • Look at your class schedule and compare it with any schedules you might have for work or other activities. Which days are busiest? When will your best studying times be? Plan ahead to make the best use of your time.

First week of classes:

  • Get syllabi for all your classes and put all important dates into your semester calendar. Break semester projects into steps (research, outline, rough draft, editing, etc.) and mark when you plan to complete each step on your calendar.
  • Pay attention to your professors’ teaching styles and the type of material that will be taught in each class. Decide what kind of note-taking and organizational techniques will work best for each class, and begin implementing them.
  • Begin to gauge which classes will be the most difficult. Investigate tutoring and your professor’s office hours, and talk to other students about study groups.

For additional tips, see this non-Truman affiliated video.