Are you curious about your first-year student’s academic progress? Your student should be able to share information with you soon. Early Warning Grades—or Mid Semester Grades—are posted in mid-October. The grades are processed for all 100 and 200 level courses, zero level Math courses, and for all first-year students who are currently registered for 300 and 400 level courses. Basically, all freshman students receive Early Warning Grades to provide a mid-term assessment of their academic progress and are good indicators of your student's performance. The grades are normally reported by the tenth week of class and can be accessed online. If your student has waived his or her right to privacy and given permission for you to view grades, you can use your parent/guardian access to log on at http://www.registrar.umd.edu/parents/.
Professors have the option of providing a letter grade (A, B, C) or satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) marks. A satisfactory or unsatisfactory mark can only be given as a mid-semester grade. Receiving a S or U can mean that the professor does not have enough graded assignments to provide an overall letter grade, but provides an assessment based on class attendance, participation, completion of assignments, etc. Utilize this time to gauge where your student is on the grade scale in each class and ask specific questions about assignments and performance. If you observe disappointment, help your student to be realistic about academic achievement in a college environment. It is not uncommon for students to experience a GPA drop from grades they received in high school. They have experienced, and continue to experience, many challenges as they transition to life as a college student.
Your student has the opportunity between now and the end of the semester to improve. Encourage your student to take advantage of the academic resources on campus, including the Math Success Program, Learning Assistance Services, and the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Education.
October is also a time for a spike in stress and mental health-related issues. Mid-term grades can cause students to doubt their worth and question their sense of belonging and their place in the college environment. Students also may be feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Please remind your son or daughter about the services and support available at the Counseling Center and the University Health Center.