MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
For Advisors
The First Year at MIT

Advising Right Now: Advising a Freshman with Multiple Flags

Students with more than one Fifth Week Flags are at the highest risk of an end of term action by the Committee on Academic Performance. Freshmen must take advantage of available resources to help them pass these flagged subjects.

As the advisor, please make every effort to either meet in person or have a telephone conversation right away with any advisee who gets a second flag.

Help the Student to Assess the Issues

You can help your student assess his/her situation and focus on what s/he needs to do differently to improve performance now. The expectation is that your advisee will submit to you a written plan within 2 days (48 hours) with a copy to Dean Elizabeth Young.

There may be a number of factors that are impeding the student's progress. Generally, the biggest problems for most flagged freshmen are ineffective study habits, poor time management, and an inability to ask for help. Some students may also be struggling with personal, social, emotional, or health-related issues and need to connect with on-campus resources.

For study skills and organization issues, encourage the student to review the online MIT Center for Academic Excellence (ACADEX), a comprehensive virtual learning strategies website with practical advice on learning to be a successful MIT student.

For students who are struggling with personal or mental health issues, Student Support Services is a low-barrier, friendly and easily accessible hub of support.

Help the Student Formulate a Recovery Plan

Now that the student has identified the problems, work with him/her to come up with a concrete set of action steps. You and the student can suggestions and a sample recovery plan on the Class of 2019 site.

Follow Up with the Student

Please make a plan to follow up with your student within the week of meeting to ensure that the student is following through with his/her plan. If your advisees does not follow through or resists contact, please be in touch with Dean Elizabeth Young.