Process to lift probation status alters

Short video, online quiz streamline removing level 2 academic, progress probation

By Robert Clinton, Sports Editor

Within the Financial Aid Office, students who seek to regain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), and have their registration restrictions lifted, will now be able to take the probation level 2 quiz online instead of attending sparsely scheduled meetings in a group setting with counselors, beginning this semester.

But Contra Costa College still has (SAP) meeting dates for June of 2014 posted on its website. Those meetings were only held on Wednesday and Thursday, and occasionally on a random Tuesday.

The quiz is located at under academic progress. A 21-minute YouTube video explains the information needed to complete the test.

“Shifting from a live workshop to an online quiz with an instructional video will give access to more students hoping to fulfill their probationary requirements,” Financial Aid Supervisor Monica Rodriguez said. “Before, students had to hope their schedules coincided with the workshop dates.

“Even if the dates work out, there still may not be enough seating to accommodate everyone who needs to take the test.”

The move was not just to help the process along for students, it was also part of an overall shift by campus administration to streamline accessibility of the educational process.

A seemingly constant work-in-progress, financial aid has never been a one size fits all endeavor.

“I think the process is fine, but not the criteria they base the judgments on,” music major Darrick Parnell said. “I understand maintaining a pace of progression but to withdraw from a class and have that affect a student’s financial aid eligibility seems like another way for the state to make money by forcing students to pay tuition fees for merely adjusting their schedule to accommodate actual life.”

Requiring students to pass at least 67 percent of their course load cumulatively per semester, including in-progress, incomplete or withdrawal, leaves some students who adjust schedules for work or athletics on probation.

That happens no matter what grades were received in the completed courses.

Level 2 Probation also occurs when a student earns a cumulative GPA of under 2.0 for two consecutive semesters. After one sub 2.0 semester, enrollees are issued a warning which constitutes Level 1 probationary status.

(SAP) notifications come by message to your InSite mailbox. Students that take the quiz must pass with a score of at least 70 percent.

The test covers common issues students face. Previous workshops that had good turnouts like unclear educational goals, work or school overload, underutilized campus resources and how and when to approach a professor when you think a problem may be on the horizon again.

The quiz is located on the same page beneath the video. It consists of 10 multiple choice questions, all related to the probationary process.

As for the downside, the test seems easily passable, as the answers can be plucked directly from the video to the multiple choice questions without students committing any of the material to memory.

“You have to wonder if they retain the information,” Athletic Director John Wade said.

“If the process was both in person and online maybe (more) people would be reached who learn better through either of those processes. Regardless, you have to do something to help them get back on track.”

Scores are submitted within one business day upon completion of the exam. Probationary holds will be removed after passing. If the student does not pass he or she will be notified through their InSite mail.

After successfully completing the quiz, the administration estimates a wait time of 24 to 48 hours for probationary holds to clear before students can sign up for classes.