Students Get Chance to ‘Reboot’ Academic Lives

As students get the chance to make New Year’s resolutions, many may involve academics. Though there is no “GPA reset button,” the Reboot Academic Recovery Program is a good place to start for those looking to make changes.

The Center for Academic Success
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Students looking to set and achieve academic goals can find assistance through the Reboot Academic Recovery Program, part of the Center for Academic Success.

Reboot automatically invites all students on academic probation (those with a 2.2 or lower GPA) to apply, and also encourages applications from any first- or second-year student with a GPA of 2.29 or lower. The program meets once a week for 50 minutes and provides a variety of resources to help students achieve their academic goals.

“Reboot doesn’t tell you exactly what you need to do but will guide you into the proper thinking and mentality to make changes that are best for you,” said Steven Goss, a third-year mechanical engineering major who participated in Reboot last spring. “I needed to change what I was doing to set myself up to succeed and wasn’t sure how to do that, but Reboot taught me how to do exactly that.”

Reboot encourages students to make simple changes, such as participating in tutoring or PLUS sessions, which many may have been aware of but not tried.

Goss found that Reboot helped him develop more effective study habits, including how to take better notes, get the most out of lectures and more efficiently manage time. He learned that having a study method, such as spending an hour a day on each subject and then moving on, keeps him moving through material and getting more done.

“It made a drastic difference. I was a lot happier and I found more free time to do other things,” Goss said. He even did so well in a class that semester that he became a teaching assistant for the fall. He’s now in his second semester as a TA for a Computing for Engineers course and credits Reboot for his success in the course.

Of the many students who have a specific GPA they are working toward, nearly all who participate in Reboot raise their average. 

“One student told me that she feels empowered when she leaves Reboot,” said Beth Bullock Spencer, interim associate director in the Center for Academic Success who manages the program. “This is important because a student needs to believe that he or she can make changes and achieve goals.”

Spencer added that Reboot works for students who are ready to commit to making changes in their academic lives. “Participants have to be open to trying new strategies, learning new study skills and working toward becoming self-regulated learners.” 

In the past, Reboot has served around 30 students per semester but will accommodate all students who want to participate. Spencer encourages participants to continue using the resources of the Center for Academic Success (which are open to all students) after their time in Reboot ends, especially since many will make progress toward their goals but, ultimately, not attain them in one semester.

“Turning one’s academic life around is a process,” she said. “There are no quick fixes, and persisting in new habits is not easy.”

Applications for Reboot for this semester are now available online, and meetings will begin Thursday, Jan. 17.