Midterm Grades for the Fall 2015 First-Year Cohort and What They Mean for Student Success at UK

Midterm grades are in as of the end of October and the following information was gathered together by UGE’s Office of Student Success for all to review and consider as we plan to improve this coming year’s first-year retention rates. Here are some key highlights in summary:

  • One-third of the Fall 2015 cohort (1,706 of 5,173) has earned at least one D or E midterm grade.
  • The percentages of first generation, underrepresented minorities, Pell recipients, and medium or high unmet need students earning at least one D or E midterm grade are higher than their representation in the total Fall 2015 cohort.
  • The percentage of the Fall 2015 cohort earning at least one D or E midterm grade (33%) is similar to the percentage of the Fall 2014 cohort earning at least one D or E midterm grade (32%) during the first fall semester. However, the Fall 2015 cohort earning at least one D or E midterm grade reports higher percentages of underrepresented minorities and students with medium or high unmet need than the Fall 2014 cohort.

Bethany Miller, Director of Retention and Student Success, has already taken the following immediate actions. Lists of undergraduate students earning at least one D or E midterm grade have been shared with academic colleges, residence life, and support services areas for individual and immediate outreach and intervention. In addition, undergraduate students earning at least one D or E midterm grade were sent an email on October 27th outlining next steps and resources/services for recovering academically. Two days later Transformative Learning staff also sent out targeted emails to undergraduates earning at least one D or E grade regarding Power Hours, The Study, Presentation U, and other academic resources and services.

Future actions that the Division of Undergraduate Education plans to take in collaboration with faculty leadership and professional staff include the following:

  • Examine grade distribution of 1G, URM, and Pell recipients in large enrollment 100-200 level courses, asking faculty of courses reporting success with 1G, URM, and Pell recipients to host best practice workshops (similar to Dr. Kramer’s PSY100 pilot section for 1G students).
  • Collaborate with CELT to offer a new faculty workshop(s) on student success in the classroom that supports high-impact practices.
  • Collaborate with Financial Wellness Director on programming regarding financial and academic success.
  • Collaborate with UK Connect and Transformative Learning on targeted programming for 1G and URM students.

Dr. Miller has shared some of the key details about the students who earned low grades. In the F15 cohort, 1,706 distinct students (33%) have earned at least one D or E grade.  Of the 1,706 distinct students receiving at least one D or E grade:Demographics of students who earned D or E midterm grades in Fall 2015

  • 7% (407) are First Generation, compared to 18.4% in the total F15 cohort
  • 2% (600) are Out-of-State, compared to 38.4% in the total F15 cohort
  • 1% (462) are an Underrepresented Minority; compared to 18.5% in the total F15 cohort
  • 8% (474) are Pell recipients, compared to 21.1% in the total F15 cohort
  • 4% (910) have Medium or High Unmet Need (> $5K), compared to 46.3% in the total F15 Cohort
  • 4% (518) have No Unmet Need, compared to 38.4% in the total F15 CohortChart of Students who Earned Midterm Grades of D or E  who have financial needs still unmet
  • Regarding high school readiness index scores (HS Index):
    • 1% (420) have an HS Index of 50 or higher
    • 3% (962) have an HS Index of 40 – 49 (the range of the Target Success students)
    • 9% (309) have an HS Index of 39 or lower (the range of the UK Connect students)

When looking at where these students are primarily located, we see the following spread across the undergraduate colleges. Demographics of students who earned D or E midterm grades Fall 2015 in terms of their high school success indexArts & Sciences and Undergraduate Education report the largest numbers of majors receiving a D or E grade, 21.9% (374) and 21.6% (369), followed by Engineering 15.2% (260), Business & Economics 12.7% (217), and CAFE 10.6% (181).

Comparison:  Fall 2015 Cohort A or B midterm grades

Within the Fall 2015 cohort, when comparing those earning at least one D or E midterm grade to those earning at least one A or B midterm grade, the following differences are seen:Colleges of Students who earned Midterm Grades of D or E in Fall 2015

  • 9% more First Generation are earning at least one D or E (23.7% D/E grades compared to 17.8% A/B grades)
  • 5% less Out-of-State are earning at least one D or E (35.2% D/E grades compared to 38.7% A/B grades)
  • 2% more URM are earning at least one D or E (27.1% D/E grades compared to 17.9% A/B grades)
  • 2% more Pell recipients are earning at least one D or E (27.8% D/E grades compared to 20.6% A/B grades)
  • 8% more Medium or High Unmet need are earning at least one D or E (53.4% D/E grades compared to 45.6% A/B grades)
  • 7% less No Unmet need area earning at least one D or E (30.4% D/E grades compared to 39.1% A/B grades)

Comparison:  Fall 2014 Cohort

Within the F14 cohort, 32% (1,634 of 5,144) earned at least one D or E midterm grade during the first semester (compared to 33% of the F15 cohort).  The F15 cohort reports 324 more D or E grades for 72 additional distinct students than the F14 cohort during the first semester. The most striking difference between those in the F15 and F14 cohorts receiving at least one D or E midterm grade, is that a considerably higher percentage of F15 cohort students have Medium or High Unmet Need (53.4% compared to 31.2% in F14); and a considerably lower percentage have No Unmet Need (30.4% compared to 51.1% in F14).  Within the F15 cohort, there are also higher percentages of underrepresented minorities.  However, the F14 cohort reports a higher percentage of first generation and Pell recipients earning at least one D or E midterm grade.

Academic Recovery

When comparing midterm and final grades for all undergraduates during the 2014-15 academic year, 56% of students earning a D midterm grade were able to recover by the end of the semester (receive a final grade of C or higher).  Of those earning an E midterm grade, 38% were able to pass the course by the end of the semester.  These percentages remain fairly consistent across first generation, underrepresented minorities, and students with medium or high unmet need.

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About UK Student and Academic Life

Undergraduate Education is now recreated within the Division of Student and Academic Life in the Provost's Office at the University of Kentucky.
This entry was posted in Academic Alerts, Diversity, Exploratory Students, First Generation, Retention, Student Success, Target Success Students, UK Connect Students and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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