CES Advising Center

Parent's FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions

We told you at orientation that engineering was a challenging major and most students would find their stride.  What if yours didn't do as well as hoped?   Please don't panic.  The FAQs below can help you and your student figure out the next step.

My student's GPA is below a 2.0.  What does that mean? 

A student whose cumulative GPA is below a 2.0 (C average) is considered on academic probation.  No notation appears on the student's permanent record.  Approximately one-fourth of our students don't do as well as anticipated at first, but most of them improve given time.

My student said that he/she could repeat a course and replace the original grade with the new one.  Is that correct?

The Academic Forgiveness Policy allows students to delete a maximum of three (3) course grades with a D or F from their cumulative GPA.  The course will remain on the transcript, but will read in a way that shows the credit and grade have been excluded from the student's earned hours and GPA.  Students should consult their academic advisor ASAP once they know they earned a D or F in a course.

What if my student wants to withdraw from class?

Effective Fall 2013, students will not have limits on withdrawal hours.  However, students should always consult their professor and/or academic advisor about this decision.

Will my student be able to retain the LIFE or Palmetto scholarship?

Students WILL be reviewed at the end of the spring semester to determine if they meet both the GPA and credit hour requirements for LIFE and Palmetto. If they are short hours or grade points at the end of the spring semester summer school may be an option. Make sure that you know the rules for your student's situation.  Check the Financial Aid web page for more information.

What resources are available to help my student get off of academic probation?

All of the same resources are available. See below.

·  Free tutoring through The Academic Success Center  

·  Supplemental Instruction in Calculus, Chemistry and Physics classes

·  Undergraduate Teaching Assistants (UTAs) hold evening hours to help with General Engineering homework and test preparation. Sunday – Thursday 6 – 9 pm in Holtzendorff Hall.

Additional resources.

Are there special requirements for engineering and chemistry freshmen and new transfer students on academic probation?

CES advisors strongly encourage our students on academic probation to work closely with us.  We can help each student explore what action (or inaction) contributed to his or her situation.  We also help students put together a realistic plan to make up needed courses and to maintain their academic progress especially for financial aid.  And, we can help them figure out if they are in the right major.

What can I do to help my student get off probation?

Be supportive.  Ask about their plan to improve their grades.  Does it seem realistic? Do they need to spend more time on homework even if it isn't graded?  Do they need to hone time management skills...learning how to break large assignments into smaller, more manageable parts?  Would working with the Academic Success Center be helpful to acquire time management skills or to learn how to take class notes?  Point out the resources we have listed on our webpage.

Encourage your student to take responsibility. Clearly communicate that the responsibility to use any resource belongs to your student.  Express confidence in their ability to sort through information and make the right choice. And encourage them to work with us.

Should my student change major?

Maybe he or she should, or maybe he or she should not.  If it is a case of cold feet because your student didn't do well: probably not.  However, now is the time to find out why your student really chose a major.  Was it because they have always done well in science and math?  Technical majors require more than just skill at solving equations.  They require mastering the reasons the laws and science work the way they do so that those equations can be solved.  Does your student see $$$$$$$$ at the end but not all the hard work to get there?  It is very difficult to work so hard for four or five years and remain enthusiastic if money is the only goal.  Is it because your student is mechanically inclined?  Engineering and science are more mental than tactile, but that's ok.  There are many other majors in which your student can excel and still have a successful standard of living.

If your student is questioning the major, help him or her explore other possibilities.  Get them on line to find information about other fields.  Get them talking.  Ask what they found out.  How long does it take to become a  (fill in the blank).  What kind of degree does a person need for a certain career?  Does Clemson have that major?  What kind of growth is this profession likely to see in the next 5 or 10 years?  What are the salaries like?  Let your student know that it is ok to change majors if what they are in is not for them.  And, as always, encourage them to work with their advisor.

Should my student take classes in summer?

It depends.  Many students take a course in the summer to catch up or to lighten the academic load for the upcoming semester.  Students may take classes closer to home if there are equivalent courses offered.  Students may take classes at Clemson during the summer.  Advisors can help students determine which option will work best.  Please refer to the Work Elsewhere Module for more information on how students obtain permission to take courses somewhere other than Clemson.

There have been some changes to Clemson's summer calendar this year.  We offer the two traditional five-week sessions.  But, for the first time, Clemson is offering a long summer session as well as four mini-mesters.  Please check the Schedule of Classes for more information.  If a course is not listed, it is not offered that session. 


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