Ask Deanie: My Student Is Struggling With Grades

ask-deanie-sm.jpgAll of the things students may be feeling now are very normal. A myriad of emotions comes with the transition to college. Your student may be worried that the transition to college has been more difficult than anticipated and that they have fallen behind. Their writing may not yet be the quality their professors are looking for. They do not understand what the professor is talking about in class. They are working so many hours outside of class that it is cutting into their study time.

For all of these questions and concerns, I recommend four things:

1. Be sure that your student knows they have your support and that you are there for them through thick and thin.

2. Don’t ask what you, as a parent, need to be doing. Ask your student what they, themselves, are doing about the situation. (Hint: Going to see their professor, regardless of the kind of problems they are having, is No. 1).

3. Remind them about the Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center. Free tutoring sessions, workshops, the writing center and one-on-one academic counseling can be accessed online or by calling 214-768-3648. Some of the topics for workshops include:

• Textbook Study/Reading
• Taking Notes
• Preparing for Tests
• Essay Exams, Multiple Choice Tests and Test Anxiety

Another workshop, GPA 101, discusses bad results on first tests and how to turn things around. It can be arranged as a one-on-one session if needed.

4. Tell your student not to give up. It is not too late to make adjustments that can affect their classroom performance in a positive way.

If your student seems unusually stressed-out, the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports is a great place to release some of that tension. Counselors at Counseling and Psychiatric Services are available if your student wants to talk to someone. They have a very good Web site – even a site for parents. Stress and anxiety often come with change, and going to college is a big change.

Good luck,

Question for Deanie? Ask Deanie at or 214-768-4797.