Student Life Editor
TJC Assistant Director of Housing Aukse Harris has taken it upon herself to encourage students whose grades are falling behind with a program called Bounce Back. The program was developed to support students as they work to improve their grades.
Many campus residents come to college unprepared and find themselves in trouble at the end of the semester when their grades are posted. Harris sends emails notifying campus residents that their GPA is below a 2.0, and because of it, they have been placed on housing academic probation. That means:
“…any violation of the Resident’s Code of Conduct may result in removing your visitation privileges for the entire semester or immediate removal from on-campus housing,” states Harris in the emails sent to residents.
The notifications are sent out to students as a wake-up call.
“When they receive that letter at home, they realize, ‘Oh crap! This has not gone as well as I thought it would be,’” said Harris
After Harris sent out the emails over winter break, she was inundated with students asking for help.
“Most of the students that I see are the ones who say, ‘I just did not take things seriously first semester. I had too much fun and disappointed my parents,’” said Harris.
Harris is dedicated to helping struggling students who are willing to put in the work it takes to recover.
“If [there’s] anything you need, and I mean anything, ask me. So as long as they are the ones who put an initiative to seek help, they will receive help,” said Harris
Due to the stricter grade requirements for campus residents implemented this year, it is more important than ever to maintain a high GPA. It is imperative that students get help, because consequences for bad grades go beyond academic achievement.
“It is a bigger picture that I see, because a lot of these students have financial aid. And a lot of times I tell students, let’s look at this, this way. You took financial aid, now you’re on financial aid probation. One more semester you don’t have 2.0; you’re not gonna have financial aid. You’re gonna have this debt to pay in six months after you leave. … Yet you will not be able to pay because you cannot have a proper job,” said Harris.
Harris also stated that the community as a whole also suffers because it is their tax money that provided the financial aid.
Retention is a high priority for the college, so they provide a plethora of services to help with academic success. Many students neglect to use these services even though they pay for them as a part of their tuition fees. Harris believes that students don’t take advantage of the services because they are overwhelmed with the experience of being a freshman in college.
“Inside, you’re a complete mess, but outside you have to present yourself as if you’ve got everything together. Which you don’t; nobody does,” said Harris.
The Bounce Back program simply emphasizes the use of resources already provided by the TJC campus. Those in Bounce Back are required to attend two writing center workshops and to use TJC’s tutoring center, quest center and STEM center. Apart from getting tutoring and going to workshops Harris recommends going to advisors, peers and instructors for help.
“Talk to your instructor. Trust me, you need to talk to your instructor,” said Harris
By speaking to instructors and advisors, students fighting to recover their GPA may be presented with alternative options, such as grade replacement or 12-week, 8-week and 4-week courses.
There are resources at TJC that help get students back on their feet available to anybody and everybody. All students are encouraged to use the services provided. It could be just what students need to bounce back.