Academic Suspension Recovery
Many who incur an academic suspension feel like they are the only one. You are not alone. It’s just that others are often not talking about it. The following are factors to consider if this happens to you.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. Other factors such as finances and family difficulties can interfere. This does not mean you can’t be successful in college if you really want to pursue a degree.
- Consider whether it makes sense to appeal the suspension. While there is no guarantee the appeal will be granted, it does not hurt anything to try the appeal process.
- Turn the suspension into an opportunity to review and reframe your career goals. Find out what it would take to be successful in your chosen career and evaluate whether another career may be a better match for your interests. Job shadowing and information interviewing are great ways to get more information and to meet people in the field you are considering. Career Development & Community Engagement can provide more information on how to do this.
- Clarify that you are pursuing the degree you want. It is a lot easier to feel motivated if you really like the degree you are pursuing. Career Development & Community Engagement can help you to clarify this. If you find that you really don’t know what degree you want, but you know that a four-year degree will still make you marketable for many jobs, you might think about what would be the most efficient and practical track toward graduation. This can help you to avoid the Excess Hours Surcharge that universities are required to impose if a student exceeds taking a certain number of overall credit hours. Ask your advisor about which Interdisciplinary Studies degree could be attained most efficiently when they look at which fields you have taken most of your classes in. Ask about a General Studies degree.
- If you determine that the traditional college route is what you really want, then take steps to increase your success for when you return to UWF. Take a class or two at a community college or state college and work on changing any factors that were getting in your way from being academically successful before. You can investigate the Associate of Arts (AA) forgiveness program. While rules can change and you always need to check with your advisors, this may help you to get back into a traditional 4-year Florida college and may mean that you would start with a new grade point average when you return.
- Plan what will be different when you return to UWF. This may mean spending time with a different group of people who will be more encouraging of you spending time studying. Plan to use the resources that UWF provides for you, such as the The UWF Writing Lab, Math Lab, Success Coaching, Mentoring, Advising, Counseling, and Career Coaching. Meet with professors when you need to. Form study groups with other students so that you can all motivate each other. Set limits with others so that you can study 2 or 3 hours per week for every hour that you are in class. Study more than that if you need to.
- Finally, be kind to yourself. Many successful people in this world had difficulties in college at some point in their lives. Many successful people attained their training through other avenues than the traditional four-year degree. Many people recover from academic set-backs and go on to earn their 4-year degree. Careers are not “one size fits all.” You are your own unique person and this is your time to find the path that will allow you to use the gifts you have to offer this world. They may be gifts you don’t even know yet that you possess. Take this time to explore and appreciate your talents.