Right Now This Term: Fifth Week Flags & Beyond
A Fifth Week Flag is an early warning email alert sent by the instructor of a class to any freshman whose work is below a grade of C at the fifth week. Spring flags will be sent March 10 and thereafter.
The Flag is an alert to let you and your advisor know that you need to improve your performance in one or more subjects at the point where there is still enough time in the term to do so. Fifth Week Flags are for your information; no notation is made on your internal or external record.
Flags are sent via email to you from your instructor or TA, with a copy to both your freshman advisor and staff in Undergraduate Advising and Academic Programming (UAAP).
- For a first flag, you will receive a follow up email from Dean Donna Friedman, copied to your advisor, with a list of helpful resources. You are strongly encouraged to to reach out for help.
- Should you receive a second flag, you will be expected to be taking aggressive steps to recover performance, including writing a plan for success. See Two or More Flags-How to Make a Recovery Plan for additional information and advice.
Roughly 18-20% of the freshman class is flagged in any one term. Do not wait until the end of the term to respond to a Fifth Week Flag -- by then it will be too late. MIT subjects cannot be learned in the last few weeks of a term.
You need to take any flag seriously and to proactively address the issue(s) affecting your performance:
- Ask for help. Freshmen who receive Fifth Week Flags and seek out resources are far more likely to go on to pass the subject(s) in which they were flagged.
- Make an immediate appointment with your TA or recitation instructor to discuss ways in which you can improve your performance.
- Be in touch with your advisor, who will also want to know what steps you are taking.
- Go to subject review sessions. These are advertised in your subject syllabus.
- Review the MIT Center for Academic Excellence (ACADEX) website for useful tips on time management, studying effectively, test-taking skills, and other topics.
- Take advantage of the free tutoring resources available.
- If you still believe you are in serious trouble in a subject, and may possibly fail it, meet again with your advisor and instructor.
- Make an appointment with Student Support Services (S3). S3 deans will advocate on your behalf and/or direct you to other resources.
- Make an appointment with Dean Donna Friedman or one of UAAP's advising staff, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Use the Academic Performance Self-Assessment and Recovery webform to help you identify the issues affecting your performance.
- See the Sample Academic Recovery Plan for ideas on things you can do to improve your performance.