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UMaine System Launches Effort To Retain Students In Academic Trouble

As college students await - and perhaps dread - the results of their semester final exams, the University of Maine System is launching what it hopes will serve as a lifeboat for some students who have had academic trouble this semester."In fact, out of 4,000 students, approximately, coming as a freshman class, as many as just under 800 of them will fail at least one course," says University System Chancellor Dannel Malloy.

And of those students who fail a course, Malloy says, some 56 per cent will choose not to return to school the following school year. Those drop-out figures, he says, are too high.

Enter the Make the Grade Student Success Initiative. Malloy says the pilot program will offer a free course and support to first year students who fail a class in the fall 2019 semester.

"This is a unique program that we are rolling out here in Maine, in part because we know that our retention rate at university is lower than some of our peer institutions," Malloy says. "So that causes us to have to re-examine our presumptions and causes us to look at the numbers."

There are any number of reasons why a first-year student may have trouble transitioning from high school to college, says Malloy.

He hopes the pilot program will provide a helping hand to encourage struggling students to work harder, seek remedial help, and re-enroll next year.