Many students face academic difficulty at some point in their college careers—you are not alone! There are many people across campus that are here to support you in your academic journey.
Step 1: Academic Probation Policy
Students whose term, CPSLO, or Higher Ed GPAs fall below 2.0 will be placed on academic probation (AP). Being on academic probation causes many students (and supporters) to feel confused, overwhelmed, and stressed. If that's you, take a deep breath-we're here to help!
Know Your Status
First, it helps to understand your status. The academic probation policy breaks down varying levels of severity into two statuses: Academic Probation Status and Disqualification Status. Be sure to read the difference between these statuses and learn more about which applies to you.
Note that disqualification status does not automatically equate to dismissal from the university. Below are the Disqualification Thresholds to be aware of:
Academic progress levels and GPA limits
|ACADEMIC PROGRESS LEVELS
||ACADEMIC PROGRESS LEVEL GPA LIMITS
|Academic Progress Level IV (75.1%-100%)
||1.950 Cal Poly Cumulative or Higher Ed GPA
|Academic Progress Level III (45.1%-75%)
||1.850 Cal Poly Cumulative or Higher Ed GPA
|Academic Progress Level II (20.1%-45%)
||1.700 Cal Poly Cumulative or Higher Ed GPA
|Academic Progress Level I (0%-20%)
||1.500 Cal Poly Cumulative or Higher Ed GPA
Step 2: Requirements for the College of Engineering
Students in the College of Engineering will be required to participate in a tailored intervention as a means of providing support and to promote student success. All students will receive an email stating exactly what they are required to do and the deadline for completing it.
All students on Academic Probation at the end of Winter Quarter 2023 must complete their intervention by May 5, 2023.
If you had an appointment with an advisor in our office during spring break, that meeting will count as your required intervention.
First Year Students on Academic Probation
First year freshman will be placed in the appropriate First Year Success Program.
First year transfers on Academic Probation for the first time will be placed in the Transfer Academic Success Program (TASP). TASP will require that you meet with an Advisor. If you are on Academic Probation for a second time, you will be required to complete the interventions outlined below.
These programs are designed to give students the skills, resources, and support they need to be successful in future quarters at Cal Poly.
Continuing Students below a 2.0 CPSLO Cumulative GPA
Must Schedule a Required Academic Probation Appointment with an advisor.
If you are in EOP or CP Scholars, you can meet with your specific EOP or CP Scholars advisor to fulfill this requirement.
Continuing Students between a 2.0 - 2.4 CPSLO Cumulative GPA
Continuing Students above a 2.4 CPSLO Cumulative GPA
Disqualified Students on an Academic Success Contract
Disqualified students will be notified of their status on Monday, April 3, 2023.
Disqualified students will be allowed to stay enrolled for Spring Quarter 2023 to work on improving your GPA, per the policy
You will be placed on an Academic Success Contract that will be emailed to you during the first week of Spring quarter. You will be required to Schedule an Appointment with Kim Marsalek or Katie Jennings to review your contract and discuss success strategies for your upcoming quarter.
If you were on an Academic Success Contract during Winter 2023, details about your next steps will be emailed to you directly.
Step 3: Reflection on Previous Quarters
It's important to reflect on how your quarter went and how you would like to approach future quarters to meet your academic goals. We recommend reviewing each of these categories to get more information on resources and skills that could help you improve your academic performance.
- Prioritizing your tasks by sorting them into groups (1's, 2's, 3's) can help with time management. The tasks you categorized as 1's should be completed first.
- Decide how much time a task or assignment is going to take and how much energy you need. Schedule in an allotted time to complete the task (e.g. laundry for 2 hours, writing a paper for 1 hour).
- Regularly planning time to relax and organize your thoughts can help you when you are busy.
- Allow extra time for UnForseen Obstacles (UFOs). Leaving time for last minute events or obligations can help ease anxieties and stressors in a busy schedule (e.g. leave an hour open before class to print an assignment or grab coffee).
- Utilize free time for floating tasks, or things you can do anywhere at any time (e.g. carry around a book you need to read for class, or note cards to review for an exam).
- Check out the Time Management Schedules for useful calendars to use during the quarter.
- Make sure to prioritize self-care. This can be something you already do that makes you happy and gives you an outlet for expression and relaxation (e.g. exercising, waking up early, painting, going to the beach, connecting with friends).
- Set boundaries for yourself. If your job asking you to work every day of the week, but you only want to work two days, set that boundary. You know yourself best. Take time for yourself and your school work.
- Remember you are a student first. It can be fun getting involved, but try not to over commit. Find one or two opportunities on campus that you are passionate about and stick to those.
- You are human. Things come up and sometimes you have to put yourself before your commitments. Make sure to communicate with others and set boundaries so that you can focus on what is most important: you.
- Write down all the formulas or key points at the beginning of an exam so you do not forget.
- Bring water or a snack so you can fuel your body while taking an exam.
- Sit in the front of the room so you do not see others come and go. This helps minimize distractions!
- Get a good night's rest before taking an exam. All-nighters tend to increase lack of focus and understanding.
- Limit your use of social media when studying for an exam or completing an assignment. Block certain sites, put your phone in "do not disturb" mode, or delete apps that are distracting.
- Change up your study spot. Find a different place to study so that your brain doesn't associate one specific place with studying. Instead of going to the library, try a new coffee shop or sit outside.
- Rewrite your notes by hand or find someone to "teach" the material to.
- Use the 5 Minutes Rule. If you tell yourself to focus on the material for just 5 minutes, studies show that your brain will stay focused and you will keep studying after 5 minutes.
- Check out the Academic Skills Center and Writing and Learning Initiatives
- Staying motivated, especially when things get challenging, can be difficult when we have a lot on our plate. As a student, it is important you stay focused on your long term goal: graduation. To do this, you can set smaller, more attainable goals to help keep you motivated. These are called SMART goals (see Step 4).
- Often times we are more likely to complete a task if we have an incentive. You can motivate yourself by creating an incentive that you will receive after the task is complete. (e.g. Going on a trip or buying a new outfit once you finish the quarter.)
- Put yourself first. You can not be your best self if you are not taking care of your personal wellbeing.
- If you are struggling with any of the following, click on the links for more information on campus resources that can help:
- Finding a community on campus can be tough, especially when you are so busy. Luckily, getting connected is super easy!
- Join a study group, find a club, or introduce yourself to a new classmate every quarter. Each of these strategies can help you quickly build a community here at Cal Poly and make your journey through undergrad a little more fun.
- Reach out to different departments to find resources that could be of value to you.
- Just like your personal wellbeing, your physical wellbeing is extremely important. For our bodies to function at their best capacity, we need to be healthy.
- Make sure you are drinking water throughout the day, eating a balanced diet, and getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
- Our bodies are made to move, so if you find yourself feeling tired or sluggish, step away from studying and go for a walk. The movement (and fresh air!) will help your body reset.
- Similarly, getting regular exercise is beneficial to our overall wellbeing. Exercising for at least 30 minutes a day has many health benefits and is very important for the overall function of our bodies.
- Often times students will skip the gym to hang out with friends or do school work, but you can do both! Ask a friend to go on a hike, or read your notes while you run on the treadmill. Multi-tasking is a great skill to practice!
- Sometimes the reason students are struggling in their classes is because their major is not a good fit for them, and that is okay! You are encouraged to explore other options, both inside and outside of engineering.
- Talk with an Engineering Student Services advisor, connect with a Career Counselor at Career Services, or talk to professors in majors that interest you.
- If you are questioning your major, this is a great time for self-reflection. Think about your goals and your interests. Are there certain qualities about your major that you like or dislike? Does your desired career path allow for you to have the personal life you want? These are all important things to be thinking about as you earn your bachelor's degree.
- This process can be overwhelming, and might even feel discouraging. Know that you are not alone and if you want to talk to someone, ESS is open to all questions and concerns, just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step 4: Goal-Setting & Moving Forward
It is important to set small, attainable goals to help move you toward your long term goal. There are also resources that can help with goal-setting and moving forward.
- Undergraduate students may repeat a maximum of 16 units at Cal Poly for purposes of improving GPA.
- A course taken at Cal Poly or at another university or college may be repeated at Cal Poly with the new grade reported along with the prior grade.
- If the second grade is equal to or higher than the first, then the grade earned by repeating the course will replace the quality points, quality hours, and earned hours which were previously earned.
- The original grade is "forgiven" from the GPA computation, but both grades appear on the student's permanent record (transcript).
- Effective Summer 2007, any course is eligible for grade forgiveness one time only. Repeated attempts will be averaged in the student's GPA up to 18 units.
Step # 1: Review the University Policy
Step # 2: Request the Withdrawal Form
You will first need to request that Engineering Student Services create the withdrawal form for you in Adobe Sign. This step is just a request and does not start the official withdrawal form. Please see Step # 3 for the next step.
Step # 3: Fill out the Withdrawal Form
You will receive an Adobe Sign copy of the form in your Cal Poly email inbox. Please keep a look out for the form so that you can officially fill it out and sign it.
Step # 4: Form Routed for Signatures
Once you sign, the form will automatically be routed through Adobe Sign to the next individuals for signatures. This process can take some time. We recommend for a course withdrawal, that you notify your instructor that a form will be sent to them for a signature.
Step # 5: Form Completion
Once the form is completed, you will receive a copy and should see the grade change to a "W" in the next several days.
- What is a SMART goal?
- Specific: Your goal is direct, detailed and meaningful.
- Measurable: Your goal is quantifiable to track your progress.
- Attainable: Your goal is realistic and you have the tools and/or resources to attain it.
- Relevant: Your goal is important to you and your interests.
- Timely: Your goal has a deadline and you use this timeframe to stay on track.
- What is an example of a SMART goal?
- Specific: I want to read 12 books this year.
- Measurable: I will read one book a month.
- Attainable: I will read 1 hour at lunch and 1 hour before bed.
- Relevant: I enjoy reading and want to do some leisurely.
- Timely: If I read one book a month, I will finish in one year.
Step 5: Support Resources
Department & Resources
Multicultural Engineering Program
Our advisors are here to support you! Our program sends out biweekly newsletters to keep you updated on resources and events! Visit our website to learn more!
Writing & Learning Center
Tutoring services and writing support are free to use. Make your appointment online!
Also check out the Engineering Help Hub (canvas course with Zoom link) to meet informally with peers and classmates for support in your courses!
Study Strategies Library &
Academic Skills Center
Both of these resources are designed to enrich academic development. Includes workshops and resources for academic support.
Campus Health & Wellbeing
Visit Campus Health & Wellbeing's page to stay up to date on current information and connect with Health Services or Counseling Services by calling their line. They also have counselors that can meet with you virtually!
Health Services: email@example.com
Counseling Services: firstname.lastname@example.org
Study Sessions & Supplemental Workshops
Group tutoring sessions provide a collaborative learning environment for STEM courses. Supplemental workshops are led by trained peer facilitators and are designed to help you master course concepts. These will now be offered virtually - check out their website for more information!
Study Session: email@example.com
Supplemental Workshops: firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Academic Services
Student Academic Services (SAS) is a network of academic services, advisors,and activities designed to assist you in excelling at Cal Poly and in enhancing your learning skills.
Academic Skills Center:
Black Academic Excellence Center:
Cal Poly Scholars:
Educational Opportunity Program: