By Ethan J. Snyder
Halfway through the fall semester, instructors were asked to flag any students experiencing academic difficulties. If a student isn’t attending class regularly, or experiences mediocre or failing academic achievement, they’ll be referred to the Youngstown State University Center for Student Progress.
The CSP provides students with academic coaching, tutoring and online learning resources, as well as disability services.
Becky Varian is the director of the CSP. She helps connect students with potential academic advisers, potential tutors and can even help students find jobs through career advising. If a student is referred to the CSP due to poor academic performance, they are connected with an academic adviser.
“Students are required to meet weekly with an academic coach,” Varian said. “If they hadn’t attended any meetings, they received a reminder letter to schedule an appointment with an academic coach.”
The job of an academic adviser is to help students explore their academic interests and identify resources for additional information and support. Advisers also help students develop plans to study appropriately for their classes and improve their grades. Students are free to request an academic adviser for any reason at any point during their college career.
When a student applies for their next semester at YSU, they must go over all available information and determine if they are eligible. The first information most students need to figure out when applying for their next semester is whether or not they have the required GPA.
YSU academic requirements state, “Students must have a grade point average of 2.00 or higher on a 4.00-point scale.” Students also are expected to maintain a GPA above 2.00 throughout their college career. Failing to maintain an adequate GPA can lead to holds on a student’s financial aid or even expulsion, if a student is a repeat offender.
“Federal and State of Ohio regulations require that Youngstown State University review the academic progress of students,” Patrick Hoffman, the director of the YSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, said. “The purpose of this review process is to measure whether a student is making satisfactory progress towards their educational goals.”
If a student doesn’t make satisfactory academic progress, they’re placed on academic probation for the remainder of the semester. This leads to the Office of Financial Aid placing a hold on the student’s financial account. Students with a hold on their account will not be able to access financial aid offers or scholarships. However, they may submit an appeal to have their financial aid restored.
“Students with extenuating circumstances may submit an appeal,” Hoffman said. “They are instructed to appeal by completing the form, attaching any documentation and returning the form to the Office of Financial Aid.”
Extenuating circumstances include any situation beyond a student’s control. This could refer to anything from a death in the family to an unforeseen illness.
“Federal financial aid for a subsequent semester may only be approved when the student is maintaining satisfactory academic progress according to Youngstown State University’s Satisfactory Academic Progress standards,” Hoffman said.
The Center for Student Progress is located at Kilcawley Center and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays. Their phone number is 330-941-3538.
Director, Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships
Director, Center for Student Progress