End of Term Academic Review: If Your Review is Deferred
Here is advice on how to respond constructively if the Committee on Academic Performance defers a decision on your term record at its End of Term Review. It's very important for you to take action early in the period between the Grades Meeting and the Deferred Action Meeting.
Deferred Action gives students, advisors, and departments approximately ten days to gather enough information to help CAP make an informed final decision on an unsatisfactory record. In that time you should:
- Contact your advisor
- Contact a dean in Student Support Services (S3)
- Draft a one-page written statement for the CAP.
Consult your advisor immediately, in person, by email, or by phone. Your advisor will represent you in person at the Deferred Action Meeting: she or he needs to be prepared to answer the Committee's questions and to help them decide on the appropriate action.
Set a date by which you will provide your advisor with a draft of your written statement to the Committee. Set this early enough that your advisor can suggest revisions before you send the statement to the Committee. The submission deadline is two days before the Deferred Action Meeting; the exact date appears in your notification letter.
If your grades suffered because of any internal or external stress (health problems, family or relationship issues, financial stress, depression, etc.) and you have not yet consulted Student Support Services (S3), do so now (5-104, 617-253-4861). A dean can speak with you (over the phone, if you are away) to help you draft your statement and to gather information that will allow her or him to advocate for you at the Deferred Action Meeting. Asking for help from S3 or MIT Medical is not a sign of weakness; in fact, the CAP often votes a less severe action for a student who is connected to resources.
If you have already been working with an S3 dean, contact her or him as soon as possible to discuss what information you want the dean to share with the CAP that may have led to your unsatisfactory record. Representatives of MIT Medical also attend the meetings. With your written permission, they can confirm that you have received treatment and provide other relevant information.
CAP votes to defer review for two reasons:
- When the final vote may be Warning but information is missing at the Grades Meeting;
- When the final vote may be Required Academic Leave. (Required Academic Leave is never voted at the Grades Meetings.)
Your statement will differ, depending on which type of Deferred Action you receive; this is spelled out in the notification message and letter.
For all statements:
- Keep it brief and to the point—no more than one printed page.
- Share your first draft with your advisor and S3 dean, and ask for suggested revisions. They know what questions the CAP is likely to ask.
- Email your statement to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than two days before the Deferred Action Meeting. The exact date appears in your notification letter.
- Briefly describe the circumstances that led to your unsatisfactory record. Be as objective and concrete as possible.
- Briefly set out a plan for improving your performance in your next term. Specify the people and resources you will use to support your own efforts.
Outline your case for remaining at MIT. Present a concise, sincere, and clear evaluation of what the problems have been and what concrete steps you will be taking to ensure success next term. Answer the following questions:
- Were there extenuating circumstances that may have had a negative impact on your performance this term? Did you seek help from anyone? What resources will you use next term if such problems arise again?
- If you are allowed to stay, what subjects will you be taking next term? It is important that you take a realistic load, and not try to overload in order to "make up" for failed subjects.
- What plans do you have for studying more effectively next term to ensure your success? Be specific: list concrete and realistic steps that you will take.