Virginia Commonwealth University

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Students in Academic Difficulty

Project Excel provides intervention for freshmen who show signs of academic difficulty early in the semester. The program helps students improve academic performance before the end of the semester. Three components of Project Excel are an attendance reporting system, a residence hall referral system and the early alert program.

The attendance reporting system allows faculty teaching selected introductory classes monitor attendance and report students with attendance problems to the UC. Advisors contact the students to discuss absences and academic difficulties that may accompany the absences. Referrals to appropriate resources are made as needed.

In the residence hall referral system, students exhibiting at-risk behaviors outside of class are referred to their UC advisor for assistance. The student then meets with their assigned UC advisor, who helps him or her in identifying positive habits to promote academic success.

Through the early alert program, faculty members identify students who receive a mid-semester grade of ā€œDā€ or ā€œFā€ in lower-level courses (100- or 200-level). Students are encouraged to meet with instructors to discuss ways to improve their grades. At the same time, UC advisors also contact students to discuss their study habits in general. Advisors help students identify unproductive study habits and recommend study strategies and learning resources.