Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The First Year at MIT

Advising Right Now: Advising Students with Fifth Week Flags

A Fifth Week Flag is an early warning emailed by the instructor of a class to any freshman whose work is below a grade of C at the fifth week. The Flag alerts the student that s/he needs to improve their performance while there is still enough time. Flags will start to be sent during the week of March 10.

How You Can Help

Although you are not copied on the flag notifications, you should check in with your advisor to see how you might help any advisees who are struggling in a class.

Your first-hand experience can have a powerful impact on your advisees. Even if you never received a flag, you likely have been disappointed over your performance in a class, and know what it's like to be overwhelmed but not want to ask for help.

Your knowledge of resources and how to access them can help freshmen. Encourage those who are struggling to:

To Drop or Not

When freshmen are thinking about whether or not to drop a class, you can remind them to look at the big picture and ask them questions to help think through their decision:

Drop Date is Thursday, April 24. If a freshman is clearly failing a class, they should drop the problem subject well before this deadline instead of hanging on and negatively impacting the other classes. See the detailed advice on making the decision whether to drop or not that is provided on the Class of 2017 site.