The Death of the Ordinary Students and How to Save Yourself




College is a time of adjustment.  The independence of the first true experience of “being an adult” coupled with competing priorities of work and social life often have a negative impact on student retention rates or the percentage of students who successfully complete their first year and return to begin a second year of studies.  According to the Ohio Department of Education the average retention rate of first year students progressing to a second year of education averages approximately at 78% while at the community colleges the retention rate is 59%. The Ohio Department of Education figures in 2016 indicate a retention rate of 67%.

According to the publication Inside Higher Ed, “Colleges lose the biggest share of students in their first year, so institutions direct most of their student-success resources to freshmen. Schools dedicate resources disproportionately toward two groups: those whose GPAs are below 2.0 in an effort to ‘boost’ their grades and students whose GPAs range above 3.0 through 4.0 who are considered more likely to graduate, therefore, more valuable.  However, the group of students in between, the “murky middle” whose GPAs range from 2.0 to 3.0.  These students make up nearly half of total dropouts.

So how can this large group of students in the middle avoid failing to make the ‘jump’ securely from first to second year?  Obvious solutions include finding a proper balance of work, school, and entertainment.  Setting goals for standard hours of study in a location away from distractions is another positive step.

UCBA students, however, do not have to make this transition from a successful first year to their second year alone.  There are several resources on campus which are open to all students and designed to be an integrated part of the classroom curriculum.

Science Lab

The UCBA Science Learning Lab is in Walter’s Hall Room 200.  The science lab is dedicated to assisting Biology, Chemistry, and Healthcare Studies students. The science tutors consist of 3 full-time faculty and 5 student tutors. Student tutors must be enrolled in Organic Chemistry so that they will be able to aid students attending classes at UCBA. The faculty Science Lab instructors are generally available before 4:00 pm and the student instructors are generally on duty after 4 pm. Based on the tutors’ experience, they will be more available for one-on-one questioning 8 -10 and and 2-8 pm.

Math Lab

The UCBA William R. Deane Mathematics lab is located in Room 112G of Muntz Hall. This space is dedicated to those taking classes in Statistics, Physics, and Mathematics. Four full-time faculty staff this lab and two student tutors work there while the lab is open. The Math Lab requires student tutors complete Calculus and be recommended by a UCBA instructor. When planning on visiting this lab, a student may find visiting between 9:30 am to 1:30 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, as well as 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays times when the tutors are most available.

Writing lab

Located in Muntz Hall room 327, the Writing and Study Skills Center is dedicated to improving a student’s writing, reading comprehension, and test taking skills serving those enrolled across in a wide selection of majors and disciplines.  This lab is dedicated to a one-on-one experience with most visitors arranging an appointment to meet with tutors.  This appointment can be arranged by visiting the Skill Center’s webpage.   “Walk-in” visitors are also welcomed and normally can meet with a tutor.  The Writing Center’s five full time tutors and student aides are available to work with individual students or groups between 9 am to 8 pm.

The best time to take advantage of the UCBA labs is now.  With the greater freedom of college comes greater personal responsibility.  The burden of self-reliance is significantly lessened by resources such as the various UCBA learning labs.

About Joseph Platt

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