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

Publication Details

Academic Deficiency: Student Experiences of Institutional Labeling

Author(s): Barouch-Gilbert, A.

Citation: Barouch-Gilbert, A. (2015). Academic Deficiency: Student Experiences of Institutional Labeling. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 27(2), 101-111.



Limited existing research examines how undergraduate students in the United States experience the process of being identified as deficient due to their academic performance. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of college students on academic probation who were labeled academically deficient. Students expressed feelings of failure and embarrassment with respect to others (e.g., parents, friends, students). In addition, they indicated they had limited knowledge of academic information, such as grading systems and institutional expectations for academic performance. Ultimately, students shared their desires of being approached by the institution before academic probation in order to ensure their academic success. Implications for practice and future research are addressed.


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