if your review is deferred
Here is what you need to know if the Committee on Academic Performance votes at the Grades Meeting to defer action on your record:
For further information, contact CAP's Staff Associate (see Contact).
You and your advisor will be notified of a Deferred Action vote by email soon after the Committee meets. You, your advisor, and your department will also receive a printed letter confirming the vote. This letter is mailed to your term address in January and to your permanent address in June. You can update these addresses in your Biographic Record on WebSIS. You may also ask CAP's Staff Associate (see Contact) not to mail a letter to your permanent address.
The same process recurs after CAP takes a final vote on your record at the Deferred Action meeting: email followed by printed letters.
No record of a Deferred Action vote is kept in your official educational record; it never appears on internal or external transcripts.
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. CAP invites you and your advisor to submit written statements; these should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than two days before the Deferred Action Meeting. The exact deadline appears in your notification letter.
Types of Deferred Action
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 Withdrawal. (Required Withdrawal is never voted at the Grades Meetings.)
Your response will differ, depending on which type of Deferred Action you receive; this is spelled out in the notification message and letter.
How to Respond to Deferred Action
For both types of Deferred Action:
Consult your advisor immediately, in person, by email, or by phone. Your advisor will represent you in person at the Deferred Action Meeting: s/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 you will have time to revise the draft before submitting it to the Committee. Submission deadline is two days before the Deferred Action Meeting. The exact deadline 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, CAP is more likely to vote Warning rather than Required Withdrawal for a student who is connected to resources.
If you have been working with a dean in Student Support Services, contact that dean as soon as possible. The deans attend Deferred Action Meetings and, with your permission, will describe in general terms any circumstances 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.
Guidelines for Your Written Statement
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 CAP is likely to ask.
- Email your statement to email@example.com no later than two days before the Deferred Action Meeting. The exact deadline appears in your notification letter.
If CAP is considering Warning:
- 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.
If CAP is considering Required Withdrawal:
Outline your case for remaining at MIT. Present a concise, sincere, and clear evaluation of what the problems have been and what concerete 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 concrete 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.