A non-judgemental approach to students on probation

How should we respond when students struggle to meet academic expectations? Recognising that academic issues are only one part of the bigger picture, staff at the International College of Manitoba (ICM) have developed a non-judgemental approach that acknowledges students’ busy personal lives and helps them ‘reboot’.

Probation, not punishment

Students who do not pass at least half of their courses in a term may be assigned academic probation in the subsequent term. These students are monitored to ensure they are successful in their future studies, and are strongly encouraged to meet with an advisor and (pending their probation level) the Student Success Manager to go over their progress and potential areas of need.

Probation is therefore not a punitive measure, but rather it is added effort to ensure students who may have had a poor academic term are being supported to get back on track. Advisors can make suggestions for academic and non-academic support for students, as well as keep students aware of their progress in a term.

Reboot Workshops

Students on probation are offered access to a series of workshops designed to help them better manage their academics and their day to day lives. These ‘Reboot’ workshops are free of charge and run for 12 weeks of the semester. It is not a mandatory class, so the students can choose if they want the added support. As an incentive to successfully complete Reboot, students are given priority registration the following term (meaning they get to register ahead of other students).

The learning outcomes for Reboot are to:

  • Develop the ability to assess yourself and identify areas for improvement, both personally and academically;
  • Develop an action plan to identify realistic next steps in response to your assessment;
  • Understand and develop learning techniques and strategies;
  • Understand different communication methods for the effective presentation of ideas and information in class (speaking, reading, writing, listening and presenting);
  • Engage in problem recognition and solving;
  • Understand the relationship between goal setting, time management, health and wellbeing to learning.

The topics covered are outlined in the infographic below:


The Reboot Action Plan

Part of the Reboot course requires students to complete an Action Plan, worth 25% of the course grade. The Action Plan is a contract the student makes for themselves to pinpoint a plan for each of their classes.

The students meet with an advisor at least once in the term to go over their action plan, which is also worth 25% of the course grade. This encourages the student to be held accountable for their goals and focus on what they can control in order to be successful.

Where to next: ‘rebooting’ Reboot

Staff at ICM are now looking to re-model the Reboot Course, incorporating feedback and learnings from their experience so far. For the Fall/Autumn 2017 semester, Reboot has been split into two separate sections, with one focussing on the academic topics and the other on Balance and Well-being. This gives students a choice as to which section they wish to join, tailoring support to better suit their academic needs or because another area of their life is off-balance. With a supportive, non-judgemental approach, Reboot can help get students back on track in a way that speaks to them, both academically and non-academically.

To hear more about Reboot, watch the recording of Robert and Melissa’s recent presentation. For more information about Reboot and other approaches to student success at ICM, please contact Robert Daudet Robert.Daudet@navitas.com or Melissa Mushikori Melissa.Mushikori@icmanitoba.ca