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New fee coming for Academic Turnaround Program

By Kristy Koehler, May 31 2019—

The Academic Turnaround (ATP) program at the University of Calgary will now come at a cost of $500. The program is intended for students whose grade point average is not sufficient to continue in their program and as a result, are facing a Required to Withdraw notice.

Students in participating faculties who may be required to withdraw from their programs due to their GPA falling below the threshold currently receive a letter from the dean or designate inviting them to participate in the ATP program. Up until this point, the program was offered free of charge to students.

U of C vice-provost student experience Susan Barker says that the program has become more extensive and thorough over the last four years and, as a result, necessitates charging a fee.

“The support provided in the program has increased,” she said. “It’s become more systematic. We’ve got more faculties involved in the program and what we’ve found is that, when a more systematic approach is taken, that the success rate of the students is much more significant.

“It’s been this organic development of the program and so it’s come to the point now where it is a really comprehensive suite of workshops and one-to-one support that, in order for us to sustain it, we are implementing a fee.”

Barker says that the fee keeps the U of C consistent with the academic landscape across North America, citing fees from $500 to $1500 at other institutions offering similar programs. There are also alternatives such as upgrading at other universities, but Barker notes that there are costs associated with those as well.

The financial investiture would also make sure that students are committed to the program and to their eventual success, according to Barker. She noted that ultimately, ensuring students succeed is the main goal.

“We want our students to get that extra support to be successful and go on to complete their degrees,” said Barker.

Students registering for ATP in the fall will have the $500 fee assigned to them in their student centre.

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