Below is a description of the University of Pittsburgh Learning Skills
Center's Academic Success program.  In the earlier years of our Center,
we ran a program for probation students. Since our students are formally
reviewed academically at the end of the year, so much was lost by the
time they ended up on probation.  So, we presented an idea of an early
intervention program to our College of Arts and Sciences and this is what
has resulted. For the investment of time and energy we put into it, we
and the students get better results than we did when we worked with
probation students.

We also learned that individual contact is very important.  Circumstances
that have caused problems can vary widely.  So, although the end result
is the same (poor performance), causes are very diverse.

If you wish to know more, contact me and I'll put you in touch with the
member of our staff who coordinates ASP.

Georgine Materniak
University of Pittsburgh

Academic Success Program
The Academic Success Program is a joint retention program of the LSC and
the College of Arts and Science(CAS).  It is to provide an early
intervention for students experiencing academic problems and to reduce the
potential for probation at the end of the first year. At the end of each fall
term, the grades of students who have just completed their first term in CAS as
a freshman, transfer, or relocated student are reviewed.  Students who
have a term QPA of less than 2.0, and/or who have less than a C- in a
skills course or in a sequential course, are sent a letter from the CAS
Dean.  In the letter, students are instructed to see their academic
advisor and are strongly encouraged to contact designated staff at the
LSC.  Typically, 700 students make up this cohort; the LSC actually
assists about 100 students.

The LSC conducts a highly individualized approach to providing assistance
to ASP students.  When an ASP student contacts the LSC, an individual
appointment is arranged with a member of the professional staff of the
study skills component. Students complete a detailed intake form and a
study skills survey.  The staff member reviews the results immediately
with the student and conducts an interview to gain more insight into
possible causes of the student's first term academic difficulties.  The
student and staff member work out a plan of action which usually includes
participation in one or more of the LSC's support services and referrals
to other campus resources such as personal or career counseling. Students
are monitored closely over the term and adjustments are made to their
individualized program as needed. Students evaluate the program at the
end of the term and the LSC collects data on the students' spring term
performance. Comparisons are made of the QPAs of students who
participated in the ASP program to those students who choose not to
participate.  Results show that participants consistently earn a term
average of above a 2.0 while their counterparts' term QPA is an average
of less than 2.0.