What your academic standing means for your future at Concordia
As a student, your grade point average (GPA) is the official way to measure your academic performance, from how you did in a given term to your performance cumulatively throughout your degree.
Your assessment GPA determines your academic standing: acceptable, conditional or failed. Anything other than acceptable standing has implications for your future at the university.
Normally, Concordia calculates your assessment GPA annually, factoring in courses you took that academic year. May 2022 marks the return of this practice following a hiatus since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you are in conditional standing: You must achieve acceptable standing at the next annual assessment. You cannot have two conditional standing assessments in a row or you will be in failed standing.
If you are in failed standing: Normally, you must take time off from Concordia for one academic year, though in the case of extenuating circumstances you may apply for readmission for the following fall.
The good news is that it’s very possible to return to an acceptable standing from a conditional or failed standing, says Amy Kimball, an undergraduate academic advisor.
‘Students can come back from this and do well’
What kinds of conversations do you have with students who’ve just learned they are in conditional or failed standing?
Amy Kimball: When people first get the letter, sometimes it comes as a shock. Other times it’s confirmation of a situation they saw coming. There’s a real mix of emotions, including being nervous about what it means for them.
What do you tell students?
AK: I tell them I can see why it feels unsettling — but it’s not the end of the world. You can come back from this and do well. I also find it’s important to say: You’re not alone. We know there are many elements that factor into your academic performance.
What’s the path to regaining acceptable standing?
AK: The first thing is to figure out what was going on. Were there extenuating circumstances, like family issues or illness or financial factors? We know the pandemic amplified those challenges. Are those situations resolved? Will they be resolved? Do you need help? Were you unhappy in your program? Would it be better to take fewer classes? There are so many scenarios, so it’s important to investigate.
Once you have done some reflection on what happened, you can use those insights to plan your strategy.
What strategy works best?
AK: It’s a bit of a decision tree based on your particular circumstances. Sometimes people in failed standing apply for readmission right away because they’re confident things have changed to the point where they will be successful. Sometimes people decide to take a year off and tackle those challenges that got in their way.
Asking for help is a big part of it. Talk to an academic advisor or connect with a learning specialist. If you’re in failed standing, the University Skills for Success courses, UNSS 200 – Self Management Strategies and UNSS 201 – Successful Study Strategies, are very helpful. They can be game-changers.