Why Do Students Who Are Eligible to Enter University Fall into Academic Probation?

Why Do Students Who Are Eligible to Enter University Fall into Academic Probation and What Possibilities Are There for Effective Interventions?

Salim Atay1,2, Jean-Jacques Ruppert3,4, Neşe Gülmez1, Banu Çırakoğlu2, Hakan Kılıç1
1Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey
2Career and Talent Management Association, Istanbul, Turkey
3University of Applied Labour Studies of the Federal Employment Agency (HdBA), Mannheim, Germany
4Applied Vocational Psychology and Policy Research Unit (AVOPP), Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourgice, 2014, 2016).


Probation is the academic status of students who do not meet minimum academic criteria of Grade Point Average (GPA) as specified by the university. Probation furthermore restricts the amount of credits that can be loaded. It is a growing problem with many different causes. It has been studied for many years with e.g. The Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire (SACQ) consists of four subscales that are social adjustment, personal-emotional adjustment, academic adjustment and institutional attachment (Gerdes & Mallinckrodt, 1994). In 2014, Istanbul Technical University (ITU) Dean of Student and Registrar’s Office published the General Statistical Evaluation Report highlighting the issue of academic probation. In this study the authors aimed to identify the reasons of academic probation and to set up an intervention model at the University Career Centre. For this purpose, semi-structured interviews and group discussions were conducted with 182 undergraduate academic probation students from 13 faculties. Data analysis using Qualitative Data Analysis Software (MAXQDA) was used to identify the reasons for academic probation. Once the reasons had been identified, existing tools were improved and new tools were developed. After the implementation of various intervention measures such as promoting career summits, setting up a web portal, informing the administration of the university of the importance and necessity of creating open areas, the results were analysed. At the end of a two-year period of strenuous efforts, the effectiveness of those measures was evident as the probation rate had dropped from 23.46% to 17.08% (ITU Dean of Student and Registrar’s Office, 2014, 2016).