Since many of us are drawing to the end of another enrollment period, we are reviewing our Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) communications in anticipation of the next round of communications. Here are some suggestions to enhance your communications to these students to change outcomes.
Highlight campus resources to put them back on track. Students may need a reminder of the awesome resources your campus has to help them be successful like academic advising, counseling, tutoring, mentoring, special programs and outside referrals.
Discuss the “costs” for failing to maintain SAP. Caution them about how much time it can take bouncing from major to major. Remind them of the loss of potential earnings by referring to the average earnings by educational attainment (Reference U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics chart: http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm). Draw attention to the money their annual contributions to college cost.
Balance work and college. It can be great that a student is able to work and go to school at the same time to earn a degree. But there can also be drawbacks. Re-focus these students on degree completion. Give them tips for conversations with employers about creating flexible schedules and managing stress.
Create a multi-part communication strategy. First let them know they are on SAP status. Then, let them know about campus resources. Next, check in part way through enrollment period to remind them of status and encourage them. Finally, offer congratulations to all students who get back into good standing.