Over the course of a semester, you may have one or more students that you are concerned about due to excessive absences, poor academic performance or missed exams. Below you will find commonly asked questions and responses of how to work with students in academic difficulty.
Q: What should I do if a student in my course has missed a substantial amount of classes and I am concerned for their well-being or they are in jeopardy of failing my course?
A: First, email the student regarding your concerns and ask them to respond to you to let you know that they are okay and what their plans are for the course. This hopefully will generate a response from them in which a conversation can continue about where they stand in your classroom and whether you recommend they continue in the course. Drop deadlines for each semester are posted on the University Registrar’s Website: http://www.bu.edu/reg/dates/semester-dates/
Q: If I have contacted a student from my course that has excessive absences or is in academic difficulty, and I have not heard back from them, can I report it to CAS Administration?
A: Yes, faculty and instructors who are connected to the Lecture section of any BU course can use an online reporting system to report academic difficulty. This online system is available from the sixth week of classes and remains active for use for six full weeks of the semester. During the time the reporting system is active, you may log into the faculty/staff link www.bu.edu/link and you will see an information box at the top that encourages you to report students in academic difficulty in your courses. An administrator in each school checks these reports regularly and will contact the student to provide resources and to notify them that they need to take action as they have reported to be in difficulty in your course and the information will be placed in the student’s internal record.
If you are extremely worried about a student in your course prior to the sixth week of courses, after the online progress report system closes, or you want to discuss an extremely sensitive case, please contact the Academic Advising Office at 617-353-2400 and ask to speak to the Advisor-on-call.
Q: If a student has informed me that their academic difficulty stems from time management issues or lack of study skills, where should I direct them for help?
A: The Educational Resource Center’s staff excels at working with students who need time management, study skills or academic planning assistance. They hold weekly workshops for students to assist them with test preparation, anxiety, time management, etc. Refer students to the following link and make sure to look through their site yourself: http://www.bu.edu/erc/programs/
Q: When is it appropriate to award an Incomplete grade to a student who has missed coursework?
A: We encourage faculty to use Incomplete grades with thought and after conversations with the student. According to the University’s bulletin, “No incomplete grades shall be reported unless the instructor and the student have conferred, the student has presented a compelling reason why a course cannot be completed on schedule, and the instructor has assigned a date within the succeeding 12 months by which time all course requirements must be completed. Students may not complete an incomplete course for degree credit by sitting through the course or a significant portion of the course a second time. No credit for incomplete courses will be granted unless the work is completed by the date assigned, which must be within one calendar year of the end of the semester for which the incomplete grade is reported. In the event that coursework remains incomplete on the assigned date, the I grade will be changed to an F grade by the faculty member. All remaining I grades are changed to permanent F grades 12 months after the end of the semester for which the I grade has been assigned.”