Those behind to be identifed

Writing Professor Eric Schwerer teaches his Intro to Professional Writing class Oct. 3. He said encourages students who are struggling academically.

Alyssa Coleman

Writing Professor Eric Schwerer teaches his Intro to Professional Writing class Oct. 3. He said encourages students who are struggling academically.

Alyssa Coleman, News Editor

As the first semester of this academic year reaches the halfway point, professors are submitting midterm grades.

Midterm grade submissions helps administrators see where a student stands academically and determine whether the student might require academic help.

Academic Affairs Assistant Vice President Stephen Kilpatrick said professors have until Oct. 20 to submit midterm grades and that the midterm grades submission is meant for freshmen and (transfer students).

He said, when administrators encounter a student struggling academically, they may be asked to meet with their adviser.

“For the midterm grades, the report goes to the Academic Success Center staff and to me, and then, depending on how many classes the student is struggling in, we’ll ask the student’s academic adviser to meet with that student if it’s one or a few classes,” Kilpatrick said.

“If it’s many or most classes, I’ll request that they meet with me. Then we’ll see what support the student may need to improve in those classes.”

Kilpatrick said the purpose of submitting midterm grades is to help new students who are struggling academically and see what help could be offered to them.

“We want to identify new students who are struggling and may not have sought help, or may not be aware of the support resources available to them,” he said. 

“Our goal for every student is that they make good academic progress and earn a degree at Pitt-Johnstown.”

Kilpatrick said there are many steps a student can take if they are struggling academically.

“They can utilize tutoring if they haven’t already, they may consider withdrawing from a class or two to focus on improving in the other classes, or they may reconsider the current major program,” he said.

“It’s a different conversation and a different plan with each student.”

Midterm grades are reported in both the fall and spring for first-year students, or just in the spring if a transfer student starts in the spring.

Kilpatrick said administrators ask for all professors to submit midterm grades, and that they strive for and usually get 100% participation.

He said, while not every class has tutoring hours, many have regular drop-in tutoring, supplemental instructors and one-on-one or group tutoring.

He also said if there is no tutoring offered for a class that a student should request that tutoring be offered and that staff from the Academic Success Center reach out to professors teaching a subject that students are requesting tutoring for.

Kilpatrick said his advice to students struggling academically is to ask for help whenever they need it.

“Ask for help, and respond to offers for help, whether it’s from your instructor, your academic adviser, the Academic Success Center staff, myself, or all of the above. 

“It’s not a sign of weakness to seek help; it’s a sign of strength that you’re willing to take charge of your success.”

Writing Professor Eric Schwerer said he encourages his students to go to tutoring and come to him for help whenever they need it.

He said his advice to students who are struggling academically is for them to go to their professors and seek help.

“Visit your professors during their office hours,” he said.  “Bring them specific questions about course content, engage them in discussion, show them that you care.  

“This is one of the best things you can do to improve your grade.”

After midterm grades are submitted on Oct. 20, students have the opportunity to view their midterm grades on their People Soft Student Center account.