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National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

Publication Details

An Emperical Study of Students on Academic Probation

Author(s): James, C. L., & Graham, C.

Citation: James, C. L., & Graham, C. (2010). An Emperical Study of Students on Academic Probation. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 22(2), 71-92.



A substantial number of university students are placed on academic probation each year, many of whom never succeed in academia. Hence, it is critical to identify who these students are, why they end up on academic probation, and most importantly how best to intervene. To determine this, an empirical study of students on academic probation for the first time was conducted at a Canadian university. The results revealed that on average these students tended to be younger than the general population and included a disproportionate number of males, international, and First Nations students with the majority enrolled in first-year, general arts/sciences, or academic upgrading programs. The reasons cited by the students for being on academic probation tended to be of a more personal than academic nature, and although not statistically significant, an intervention involving personal contact via the telephone increased the retention rates for students in an experimental group.


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