Second chances after academic disqualification

By Melissa Espinoza
Flapjack Chronicle

Homework, papers, midterms, studying, work, family, friends, life, extra circulars, stress, etc. The list of stress in an average day of a college student are never ending but what happens to students who falter under the weight of these stress and don’t meet the designated GPA requirement? That student falls under the category of academic “probation” or sometimes “disqualification.”

Being disqualified from a university doesn’t mean your college career is over or tarnished. One student’s come back-story is that of Gustavo Moreno, a 22-year-old, kinesiology major. After his first year as a transfer student at HSU, he was disqualified because of poor grades.

“I didn’t feel bad about it at first because I knew I would come back to school however, as time went on it began to hit me,” said Moreno.

He took a year off and spent his time working two jobs to help pay for future tuition costs. Typically when a student is disqualified they have to wait one semester before reapplying but Moreno chose to take a year off because he rationalized that it would be smarter to wait until the distractions he was facing dissipated. The best resource he had when he began the process of reapplying was HSU’s Learning Center.

“The Learning Center was a great resource during my application process,” Moreno said. “They told me all the necessary steps that I needed to take and made the whole process a lot easier.”

Moreno credited the Learning Center with helping him transition back to school smoothly. But it wasn’t painless.

“I had to wait an agonizing two months before I found out that I was reinstated,” he said “It was really terrifying I wasn’t sure what I would do if the school didn’t take me back.”

In attempts to help students on track to graduating Humboldt State students are placed on academic probation if their GPA falls below a 2.0 (either their overall GPA or HSU GPA).

“The purpose of academic probation is to alert you that you are in danger of being disqualified from the university,” Cai Maver, an academic probation adviser, said. HSU’s learning center is a free resource for students to use to avoid academic probation and disqualification. They offer tutoring, supplemental instruction, test preparation, workshops and as much hands-on help as students require.

“There are many variables involved when a student is in the probation process and each student’s case is different,” Maver said.  “I’ve witnessed a student take 19 units and receive straight F’s [and be on probation] and the next take 12 units and have all A’s but still be disqualified because they have 19 units of fails against their GPA.”

This fall is Moreno’s first semester back and he is determined to do better than ever and is taking full advantage of all the resources the school has to offer.

“I’m in a better place than I was a year ago,” Moreno said. “I actually spend time to thoroughly complete my homework. I go to the library almost everyday, and enrolled in a weight training class to help control my stress levels. I know the coming years won’t be easy but taking a semester off really put things in perspective.”

Learn more about academic policy or the Learning Center.

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