Student Advisor Advice: Failing a Course? You Have Options

Student Advisor Advice: Failing a Course? You Have Options
Beth Dumbauld

Are you worried because you are failing, or already failed, a college class? Are you considering dropping a class because of what it will do to your GPA? Are you avoiding classes that you need because you don’t think you have what it takes to succeed?

When you have concerns like these, it may seem there is no one to turn to for practical advice. Fortunately, we have the help you need.

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StraighterLine Student Advisors Are Here to Help

Every day, our Student Advisors work with students on real-life questions around taking online courses and earning a college degree. If you have questions, we have answers!

So, if you find yourself concerned about where you stand in your courses, and need options around earning credit for your degree, our Student Advisors have practical answers to your most pressing questions. We’ve compiled their best advice so you can better understand all your options:

Abby recommends Straighterline “as a great way for students to get credit for courses they may have had trouble with in the past. Our courses are all self-paced, we offer tutoring, and students can seamlessly transfer their credit back to their school to use towards their degree.”

Emily advises students to take advantage of StraighterLine’s free tutoring that’s included in each membership purchase. “Plus,” she adds, “StraighterLine courses are self-paced, so there’s no pressure to rush through a course. You can take your time and study as much as you need to.” She also likes to recommend StraighterLine “professor-led courses for students who want or need additional help.”

Ashley agrees, “Our self-paced and flexible courses help students complete work on their own time; which can often reflect in better grades - and passing!”

Tyree also points out that “retaking a course with StraighterLine not only helps fulfill credit requirements, it also shows your college that you have the fortitude to complete courses and in some cases keep you from going into academic probation.”

Nick suggests that students “go over the equivalency guides for our partner schools. The equivalency guides, customized for each partner, spell out all the courses that will transfer over for credit. If the course is equivalent, taking it at StraighterLine will help save you time, money, and any inconvenience in searching for another course.”

We have close to 100 partnership schools. Check them out here!

A Second Chance for Your GPA?

Our advisors are often asked how their online course grade will affect their GPA at their college. You’re not alone in asking this question -- it’s a great one!

As Emily explains, “StraighterLine doesn't have a traditional GPA, therefore you don’t have to worry about your StraighterLine enrollment status if you don’t succeed the first time you take one of our courses. In fact, you can retake a StraighterLine course as many times as needed -- and it won’t affect your GPA at your school.”

Molly adds, “as long as our course fits with the equivalency guide for that course at a partner school, you can take your course here and transfer it. Typically, our courses apply as pass/fail, so while you would receive the credit for passing the course, it most likely would not affect your GPA.”

Nick advises that it may also be worthwhile for students to also see if their school “will accept our course as a replacement for the grade they originally earned.”

Want to know how to get started? Get your free personalized degree plan today!

Tips for Successful Course Completion

According to Jenn, “If a student is having a hard time moving forward through a StraighterLine course, they have quite a few options. Their first option is to access the free tutoring within the course to better understand the material. Students can also attempt quiz #1 again to try to achieve a higher grade.”

Advisor Success Tip: Reach Out to Tutoring

Emily always advises that students reach out to a tutor if they need extra help - and highlights the fact that our tutors are available around the clock.

Nick agrees, “If a student needs assistance, the initial purchase of a StraighterLine membership comes with 10 free tutoring hours. Students can leave a question to be answered by the next available tutor, or schedule blocks of tutoring time to go over course concepts.”

Nick also adds that a little preparation goes a long way! He advises that students “Review previous quizzes/exams in their course, and be sure to complete the assigned readings for the topics in the course. The readings are essential for fully preparing for upcoming assessments.”

Advisor Success Tip: Retake Your First Quiz

If this is your first online course experience, we understand that you might not know what to expect. We get it! That’s why we we allow students to retake their first exam. “If your first exam doesn’t go as well as planned,” Adrienne often recommends that “a student consider retaking the very first exam for extra points.”

Our goal is to help you get the credit you need for your degree - and sometimes retaking that first exam can make all the difference!

Advisor Success Tip: Retaking a Course

Taking a course with StraighterLine offers students a low-risk way to try challenging courses. If at first you don’t succeed, you have the option to try again!

As Molly explains,“If students don’t get the grade they need on a course, they are able to take it over again. A course retake or repurchase means that a student purchases the course again and can start from scratch. Students can do this as many times as they need to - there is no limit to repurchasing a course.”

Advisor Success Tip: Making a Course Switch

Abby advises students to consider their other options, “If you have just begun a course and realize it’s not going to work for you, we can assist with switching to a different course that may be more appropriate for your online learning style.”

You Have What it Takes to Succeed

With self-paced courses, you can take as long--or as little--time as you need to get through the material. You take quizzes and exams when you are ready, not before. If you need to earn credit for a required course at one of our partner colleges, taking one of our courses can really make a difference -- and help reduce the stress and pressure around costs and course completion.

At StraighterLine, our goal is to help you succeed in your courses and achieve your degree goals more affordably and more flexibly. Though you may find bumps in the road, we view them as just another challenge we can help you overcome on the path to your college degree.

Working while earning your degree? Download our free Guide to Working While Going to College

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