Getting Back on Track

Many students end up in academic difficulty for a variety or reasons but are able to turn things around the next semester with a new motivation and resources to assist in reaching goals. Some of the reasons student have academic challenges include:

  • Academic Unpreparedness (poor time management, study skills, attendance, etc)
  • Major/Career Uncertainty (or possibly in a major that doesn’t fit the students strengths and interests)
  • Personal Reasons (family, health, financial, substance abuse, etc)
  • Social Issues (loneliness, roommate conflict, homesick, difficulty adjusting to college life)

Whatever the reason may be, we have resources on campus to help you get back on track! When you begin a new semester, take advantage of the tips below.

Meet with your Professors

They want to see their students SUCCEED, but they need to know you care about your academics and are making an effort. Talking with professors during office hours can be extremely helpful. This is especially the case when you are in a large class setting because it is more difficult for them to know you individually. Reach out early in the semester (even before your first test).

Connect with your Academic Advisor

Your academic advisor will be a great resource when discussing your strengths, areas for improvements, and an action plan to help you reach your goals. Also, discuss taking a lighter course load, possible grade replacements, and consider scheduling courses in which you feel you will be academically successful.

Utilize the Pirate Academic Success Center (PASC)

Take advantage of study skills and time management assistance at the Pirate Academic Success Center (PASC). Schedule an appointment with a learning specialist (252.737.3009) and check out the daytime and nighttime tutoring services to help you with individual classes.

Have an open conversation about motivation

Discuss with your advisor what is best for you personally — major change, taking time to regroup, getting connected with career/personal counselor, etc.

Reflect on adjustment to college life

If you had difficulty transitioning to college, please check out free, confidential counseling services at the ECU Center for Counseling & Student Development in 137 Umstead Hall. You may schedule an appointment by calling 252.328.6661. Also, consider looking into clubs and organizations where you can meet other students with similar interests.

Create a weekly plan

At the beginning of the semester, print off the syllabus for each class. EVERY Sunday night, review each syllabus and create a plan for the upcoming week. Write down upcoming assignments, class time, and study time in a planner/calendar/your phone.

Go to class

Attend class even if there is not an attendance policy. Material missed and classroom lecture/discussions are vital to both learning and securing a high grade in class.


Study for the sake of studying even if you do not have an assignment due or an upcoming test. The more often you do it, the more routine it will become. The more you study the more you commit information to your long-term memory and the more likely you will be successful on your tests.

Other ECU resources that can aid in your success include, but are not limited to: