Competent Student Skills
Manage your GPA
Grade Point AveragFe (GPA) is a short-cut measure of how strong a student you are and determines your academic standing.
- Students with high GPAs may qualify for scholarships or graduate with honors.
- Employers may use GPA as a screening standard for job applicants.
- Your GPA may determine whether or not you are admitted to graduate school.
Keep your GPA strong by discussing your academic choices with your advisor and making good decisions. Here are some strategies to consider:
Plan a Manageable Course Load
- Don’t take more credits than you can handle.
- You should plan to spend approximately 8 - 12 hours a week studying for a 4 credit semester course, maybe more depending on your assignments and experience with the subject.
- Taking three, 4 credit courses per term is the equivalent of a full time job.
Choose Course Formats That Work for You
- Traditional classroom courses usually meet once a week.
- Reduced seat time courses usually meet every other week and are D2L or online supported.
- Independent study courses, although very flexible, require a great deal of self-discipline to get the work done. Students work alone with assistance from the instructor. Compared to students in a classroom setting, a higher percentage of students do not complete independent courses, resulting in an “F” on their transcript.
- Online/Internet courses are conducted through a D2L classroom. Students have weekly assignments, course projects, and hold discussions online with their instructor and classmates.
- Regardless of the format, research has shown that the more time and effort you put into the course, the more you will get out of it. Course formats that require less time in class will require more reading and more assignments to compensate for not providing classroom instruction. Additional information on alternative learning strategies can be found at Choose the Learning Options Right for You on page H-14 of the College of Management Student Handbook.
Check and Follow Prerequisites
Instructors expect you to know the material taught in prerequisite courses. Taking a course without taking the prerequisite almost guarantees that you will be lost, confused, and at a disadvantage compared to other students. Refer to the current university catalog or web site for prerequisites and descriptions.
Get Help Early and Often
When struggling in a course, don’t wait until you are hopelessly lost. Seek out assistance immediately if personal issues, family difficulties, learning difficulties, career stress or other difficulties are interfering with your ability to complete courses successfully.
- Talk with your instructors about why you are having difficulties, discuss options.
- Organize an online study group.
- Use tutors.
- Talk with your advisor about strategies.
- Seek assistance from Counseling Services for study skills, time management, or personal and family issues.
Know Drop and Withdraw Deadlines
You may need to add, drop, or withdraw from a course because of unforeseen circumstances. If you are concerned about your progress, consult with your instructors before the deadlines. You may choose to drop a course after attending class the first week because the course is more difficult or time-consuming than you anticipated, or you may find that the instructor’s teaching style and your learning style aren’t compatible.
Avoid the frustration of losing out on a refund or missing a deadline to withdraw - write these important dates in your calendar each term.
- The Academic Calendar in the inside front cover of the class schedule lists the deadlines for the current semester.
- You can only get a refund if you drop a course within the first week.
- If you drop after the first week, you will receive a grade of “W”, which is better than an “F”! If you miss the deadline to withdraw (approximately the end of the 12th week of classes), you are stuck - you can’t withdraw and will receive a grade at the end of the course.
Repeat Courses if Necessary
At Metropolitan State, if you get an unsuccessful grade (lower than a C-), you can delete that grade from your GPA by repeating the course and getting a better grade the second time. If you need to repeat a course, the first “D” or lower will be dropped from your GPA and the second grade counted. However, if you repeat a course more than once, the grades that follow will all be calculated in your GPA. A repeat course form should be turned in to the registration desk when you re-register for the course.
Use P/NC Grading Judiciously
If you are concerned that a course in a weak subject area may hurt your GPA, consider taking the course P/NC instead of for a letter grade. However, don’t expect the course to be less work to pass - at least C- level work is required to earn a P grade. If you plan to go apply to graduate schools, take your major courses for a letter grade. Although College of Management at Metropolitan State does not limit P/NC grading for major requirements, at least 75% of a student’s credits must be taken for a letter grade if a student wishes to receive an official GPA. Courses taken for General Education and Liberal Studies (GELS) requirements have no restriction.
Stay Qualified for Financial Aid
Students must maintain good academic progress and meet academic standards to remain eligible for financial aid. A student receiving aid should contact the Financial Aid Office for the financial aid policy relating to satisfactory academic progress.
Stay in Good Academic Standing
At Metropolitan State, a 2.0 GPA (a “C” average) is required each term to maintain satisfactory academic progress, and a cumulative 2.0 GPA is required in order to graduate. If you start to run into problems completing courses successfully, seek out your advisor early, before you do serious damage to your GPA. Your advisor can help you sort out what is going wrong, and identify strategies and resources at Metropolitan State that can help you succeed.
For academic progress policies, academic warning, probation, and suspension, please refer to Metropolitan State's Student Catalog.
To determine what grades you will need to improve or maintain your GPA, you can use the GPA calculator.
Commonly Used COM Terms, 3/13/12
Newly Admitted COM Student, "What Can I Expect?" 03/13/12
Learn to Manage Your Time
Time management is important in balancing your study time with work, family, and social time. You may be having problems getting your studying done if you have taken too many courses. This cannot be solved by managing your time better, but by registering for a manageable number of courses. However, you may be having problems because you are not making the best use of your time. Here is information on time management provided by the University of Chicago Student Counseling and Resource Service.
For more information contact Advising Center at 612-659-7269.