Advising Right Now: End of Term Academic Issues
This page provides important information about processes and procedures for freshmen who are struggling academically at the end of the Fall semester.
By January 3, you will be able to review your advisees Fall Pass/No Record grades on WebSIS. WebSIS will only display grades of P, D, or F. See the Grades and Student Privacy page for complete information on freshmen internal "hidden" grades and grading policies
While the vast majority of freshmen will pass all 4 subjects in the first term and can look forward to a successful transition to the second semester, at the end of each term, about 160 freshmen are flagged for not passing one or more full subjects. These students will be reviewed by the Committee on Academic Performance for possible action.
End of December Academic Review of Freshmen
The Committee on Academic Performance (CAP) is a faculty committee that concerns itself with, among other issues, the academic progress of undergraduates. At the end of each semester, the CAP, in conjunction with academic departments, reviews the records of all undergraduate students who are not doing well academically.
The Office of Undergraduate Advising and Academic Programming serves as the academic department for freshmen and is therefore responsible for reviewing the end of term performance of the freshman class and for making appropriate recommendations to the CAP.
There are two sets of CAP meetings in January: the Freshman Grades Meeting and Deferred Action Meetings.
January 8 Freshman Grades Meeting
Donna Friedman, Associate Dean, Freshman Advising and Academic Services, represents the freshman class at this meeting and will bring forward recommendations for any CAP action for flagged freshmen (3 full subjects or fewer). The Committee can vote one of the following:
- to take No Action
- to issue an Academic Warning (warning letter or academic probation) or
- to consider Required Withdrawal. Any potential Required Withdrawal case will be deferred until the Deferred Action meetings.
January 22-23 Deferred Action Meetings
If the CAP needs additional information to help them to take an appropriate action, they will defer further discussion to later in January. In that small likelihood, you will be invited to represent your advisee at the Deferred Action Meeting for a scheduled 5-minute hearing on January 22 or 23.
- Students do not appear before the Committee; they are encouraged to write a statement on their own behalf.
- As the freshman advisor, your role in the Deferred Action appointment is to offer your perspective and to advocate for the student as appropriate.
- While it is very rare for freshmen to be asked to leave MIT after one semester, the possibility does exist.
Dean Donna Friedman is available to address questions or concerns about the CAP processes for freshmen.