At the end of the fall and spring semesters, the Student Affairs Committee conducts an academic review of each student enrolled in the College of Education and Social Services. The review is to ensure that each student is meeting the academic expectations of the University of Vermont, and the College of Education and Social Services.

Disciplinary actions, such as placement on trial (academic probation), discontinuation from current program of study, or dismissal are designed to encourage high-level academic performance in our programs. A student is subject to academic disciplinary action, including dismissal from the university, if (a) their semester or cumulative average falls below 2.0; or (b) they have failed six or more credit hours of coursework in a given semester; or (c) they are not meeting program-specific benchmarks.

What are the academic actions and what do they mean?


On Trial (Academic Probation)

A student who earns a semester or cumulative grade-point average higher than a 1.0 (which merits dismissal) and below a 2.00, is placed on trial (academic probation). In order to avoid dismissal from the University, a student who is on trial must, in the subsequent semester, meet several conditions.

The conditions of being "on trial" include, but are not limited to:

  • Have no grades of "F"
  • Carry a course load of 12 or more semester hours *
  • Resolve all grades of "Incomplete" **
  • Take all courses for a grade and elect no courses on the "pass/no pass" basis
  • Attain a semester average of at least 2.0
  • Attain a cumulative average of at least 2.0 (this may require that your semester GPA be considerably higher than 2.0)
  • Additional conditions as determined by the CESS Student Affairs Committee

* If you need to carry less than 12 hours, be certain to provide a typed rationale during the first week of classes which will be reviewed by the Student Affairs Committee. Bring your rationale to 528 Waterman.
** Only applies to students who have been assigned grades of "Incomplete."

Failure to meet any of these minimum trial conditions may result in your dismissal from the University by action of the College Student Affairs Committee.

Continued On Trial

Students who had "on trial" status and who considerably improved their academic record, but who are not yet in good academic standing, may be "continued on trial" and will be expected to meet the "conditions of trial."

Discontinued from Current Program of Study

Discontinued status means that the student has not met program-specific academic benchmarks. These benchmarks are set by each individual program and are outlined in the program handbook or advising folder.

Some examples of program-specific benchmarks include:

  •  Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 at end of first year for all teacher preparation programs
  •  Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 at end of sophomore year for all teacher preparation programs
  •  Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 at end of junior/senior years for all teacher preparation programs
  •  Completion of required courses with specific GPA requirements

Once a student is discontinued from their program, they will remain enrolled in CESS as an Undeclared student, and may register for courses outside their original program.  Discontinued students have one (1) semester to regain entry to their original CESS program, or to transfer to another major. Students are responsible for determining the CESS or UVM program into which they are eligible to transfer and for completing any application requirements. Students who fail to regain entry into their original program or transfer within one (1) semester will be notified by letter of their status in the CESS or the University.

Students who are not following their program requirements, but who may be in good academic standing, will receive a letter warning them of their possible discontinuation from their program of study.

Students who are following their requirements, but who are not eligible for admission to the professional portion of the program because of their grade point average (below 2.5), will receive a warning letter.

Dismissal from the University

A student is subject to dismissal from the University as a result of one or more of the following:

  • Does not satisfy the conditions of academic probation
  • Earns a semester grade point average of 1.0 or lower
  • Earns failing grades (F) in two (2) or more 3-credit+ courses

Students dismissed from the University of Vermont may not enroll in coursework at UVM until they successfully appeal the dismissal decision, although they may appeal to complete coursework as a continuing and distance education student. Students who successfully appeal their dismissal will return with either "on trial" or "continued on trial" status. They may also be discontinued from their current program of study.

Students who do not appeal or who are not successful in appealing the decision, will not be eligible to return for one semester. At the end of the semester away from UVM, the student may request to return through the University's re-entry process.


Additional FAQs

When are academic records reviewed?

Early January and Late May

Do I need to maintain a specific grade point average to be considered in good academic standing?

Students are required to earn a minimum grade point average of 2.0 for their semester and cumulative averages to be considered as a student in "good academic standing." However, students enrolled in the teacher education programs and the social work program who maintain only this minimum grade point average will not be eligible for admission to, or continuation in, the professional portion of their programs.

Can I be dismissed without first being placed on trial?

Yes, students can be dismissed without first being placed on trial. This includes First Year students and new transfers. Members of the CESS Student Affairs Committee dismiss students and provide them with an opportunity to provide a "plan for success" as part of the appeal process. This sends a very clear message to students that they must have a plan in place to improve their academic record or they will not be permitted to continue in a degree program.

What is the dismissal appeal process?

The dismissal letter includes very specific dates, deadlines and guidelines for the appeal. You will need to decide if you have information appropriate for an appeal.  While every dismissed student has the right to appeal, keep in mind that the appeal needs to have more substance than simply a letter expressing that you know you can do better. Your appeal must include the following:

1. Part 1 - Explain why you experienced academic difficulty. Also include the extenuating circumstances. (If you have questions concerning your grades, you will need to either contact the Registrar's Office or the professor. If you completed paperwork to withdraw, contact the Registrar. If you think you have earned a higher grade than you received, contact your professor. Issues concerning your grades should be resolved prior to submitting your appeal letter.)

2. Part 2 - Submit a plan to bring about change to experience academic success. This should include resources you will use to improve your academic record during the next semester if permitted to return.

Where is my academic status letter sent?

As per University policy, dismissal letters will be emailed to the student's UVM email account. It is your responsibility as a student to ensure that your UVM email is forwarded to any other email address that you may prefer using. Declaring that you "didn't know" doesn't negate the dismissal decision.  We will also call you on the cell/home number indicated in your UVM profile.  This phone call is to notify you that there is an important academic status update in your email that you need to review.  We will not leave messages on the phone or with family members with specifics of that email.

When will I have access to my grades?

During the final exam period, the Registrar's Office enters the grades on the system as soon as they have been submitted by the faculty. Students can then easily access them online through their UVM portal. Grade reports which include your semester and overall grade point averages are run after all grades have been recorded.


Who should I contact if I have any questions about my academic standing?

Your first point of contact should be with your academic advisor.  You can also call a staff member in the Student Services Office (802) 656-3468 to discuss strategies for improving your academic performance.  And, you can access many of the University departments on campus designed to provide guidance:

The Learning Cooperative            (802) 656-4075
Student Accessibility Services      (802) 656-7753
Counseling Center                        (802) 656-3340
Career Services                             (802) 656-3450
Mosaic Center                               (802) 656-3819