Turning your GPA around

Oct 052010
Authors: Hannah Cornish

Each year about 5,300 students at CSU struggle to keep up in class.

In order to reduce that number, the Institution for Learning and Teaching, known as TILT, piloted Tuesday night what it calls U-Turn, a program designed to help students who have been identified by their teachers as needing help.

A few weeks ago, select teachers awarded students in their classes either a “U,” for unsatisfactory, or an “S,” for satisfactory performance –– this based on test and assignment scores, attendance and participation, depending on the class.
Students are told before the fact that a teacher will review their performance.

Students are alerted if they receive an unsatisfactory rating and invited to attend U-Turn.

“It’s really beneficial, and I was able to find tutors for the classes I need help in,” said Tommy Wetzel, a junior fish and wildlife major who attended Tuesday’s event.

The following courses were selected to provide feedback:
CHEM 108,
CHEM 111 and 112,
CS 160,
HIST 100,101,105,151,170, and 171,
LIFE 102, and
MATH 100 level calculus courses.

Students struggling academically are not forced to seek attention and can come and go at their will during the U-Turn program. The TILT Building partners with 15 different campus resources, such as the CSU Writing Center, Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement and the Career Center.

Heather Landers, associate coordinator of TILT, said one of the main goals of U-turn is to expose students to resources all in one place.

Though U-Turn is unique to CSU, other Colorado universities are taking steps to help students struggling to adjust to college life achieve academically.

CU-Boulder has a variety of one-on-one tutoring and mentoring along with study groups.

The University of Northern Colorado’s Academic and Support Advising program provides the majority of guidance to students lost in the mix of college, said Nate Haas, UNC spokesman.

UNC’s program provides students with feedback alerts five weeks into the semester after which, they are asked to also complete an online survey for first-year students. This is similar to CSU’s “Taking Stock at Mid-Semester,” sponsored by the Center for Advising and Student Achievement and Residence Life.

CSU’s survey gages how students are adjusting to college life by asking questions concerning academic progress, social issues and being homesick.

Students who attended U-Turn filled out an academic evaluation form and were paired with a “navigator” to help pick three resources they believed the student should visit in TILT’s Great Room.

The students then met with individuals manning the resource booths to see what tools could help them get back on track.

Cynthia Diaz, an undeclared freshman, said she visited TILT and SLiCE and found both resources to be beneficial.

“TILT should definitely continue to put on this event,” Diaz said.

Landers was skeptical about whether or not this event will continue in the future, but said that considering the positive feedback from students, it looks as if the event will return next year.

Staff writer Hannah Cornish can be reached at news@collegian.com.

U-Turn is put on by TILT and was piloted Tuesday.
Resources that attended the event: Adult Leaner & Veteran Services, Career Center, CSU Health Network, Off-campus Life, PACe, Student Financial services, The Writing Center, Advising, TILT, Assistive Technology Resource Center Diversity Programs, Eagle Feather Tutoring, Resources for Disabeled Students, International Programs, SLICE, Arts and Sciences Tutoring.
5,300 students were issued “U’s” for “Unsatisfactory” by their teachers.

 Posted by at 5:41 pm

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