You’re in trouble, you know that much, but your principal or headmaster keeps throwing out terms like “academic probation” and “suspension,” and you’re not entirely sure what they’re talking about. Whether you’re in high school or college, it is possible for you to be placed on academic probation if you get in trouble with your school. On this page, I will go into further detail as to what academic probation means and what your next step should be.

What Does Academic Probation Mean?

Whether you are put on academic probation in high school or college, you’ve done something to violate the school’s policy. In high school, you might be placed on academic probation for cheating on a test or plagiarizing a paper. In college, you can be placed on academic probation for the same actions, or for being caught drinking underage, selling test answers, etc.

Hearing Before Probation

Many schools allow students a hearing in which they can explain the actions that have led the school to take actions against the student. During the hearing, a board will determine if the student is innocent or guilty based on the argument that is made.

You can express how you aren’t guilty during this hearing or you can plead with the board to give you less severe punishments based on your good history with the school. The board will then determine if you are to go on academic probation and if there are other punishments that you should receive.

Once You’re on Probation

Being on academic probation will mean different things depending on what school you go to. You should read your school’s code of conduct policy to determine what violating academic probation entails and the consequences of violating probation.

In most cases, academic probation acts as a warning that if you do something else that the institution does not allow, negative actions will be taken against you. For example, if you cheat, plagiarize, or break the school’s rules, you will be punished by being suspended, expelled, or by getting detention if you are in high school. If you are on academic probation, it is in your best interest to comply with all of the school’s rules.

Academic Probation in College

Academic probation is more popular in college than it is in high school. Some schools stick to purely academic issues when placing students on academic probation.

For example, some schools will only place students on academic probation if they are failing their classes, if they cheat on a test, if they sell test answers, or if they plagiarize. Students are oftentimes given one semester to prove to the school that they are capable of succeeding at the institution. If students cannot prove this to the school, they can be suspended or even expelled.

In other cases, colleges will place students on academic probation for generally violating the school’s codes. For example, if the college forbids underage drinking or smoking marijuana in school dorms, and you are caught doing one of these things, you can be placed on academic probation. Again, this will depend on the school that you attend, so it is important to check your school’s code of conduct.

This is a basic explanation of academic probation, but it is important to remember that all situations will be different based on your individual school. For further assistance, you can contact me by calling my office.

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