The beginning of college can be a real challenge for some students. After just one semester, they have dug themselves into a hole. A rescue class is designed to help get students out of trouble. A well designed rescue class should be able to guide students through a recovery semester so they can get out of academic difficulty.
Some of the keys to a rescue course include the following:
- Each student develops a realistic academic plan and can project his/her cumulative GPA based upon realistic grade goals.
- Grades are monitored throughout the semester and early intervention actions are taken when grades are not at a level they should be.
- Academic skills are presented at the time of need and in very realistic terms. Students are expected to use the skills and learn to reflect on what works for them.
- Students and the teacher develop a protégé/mentor relationship. The teacher (mentor) supports the student in many different ways.
- Grade expectations, discipline, and study skills are expected to grow as the course progresses.
A sample course syllabus is shown in Exhibit 1.
The various topics from the University Survival website can be very effective when incorporated into the rescue course. Here are some strategies of how the topics can be used.
- Assign certain topics as reading prior to each class. Each class session will generally have 3-5 topics that directly connect to the topic.
- Give students assignments to use the content from specific topics in their classes. The assignments should ask students to report on how successful they were in using the suggestions.
- Invite students to make suggestions for new topics or to add ideas to an existing topic. This is an opportunity for bonus points. The topics or ideas that you feel are good ones can then be submitted to the University Survival website.
A well designed and executed rescue course should have over a 90% success rate of getting students out of trouble for students who take the course seriously and receive an A or B in the course.