One-fifth of ’16s receive fifth week flags

Freshmen in danger of failing classes warned by administration

203 freshmen, about one-fifth of the freshman class, received fifth-week flags last week. According to Julie B. Norman, senior associate dean and director of the office of undergraduate advising and academic programming (UAAP), 37 of the 203 freshmen who got a flag received more than one. The number of freshmen who received who received flags is on par with that of previous years.

Seventy-seven flags were issued in 7.012 (Introductory Biology) — the most of any class. 13 percent of freshmen in the class received a flag, a decline from last year’s 7.012 flag rate of 21 percent. Of the four most-flagged classes, 8.01L (Physics I) had the highest percentage of flagged students, with 19 percent flagged out of 139 enrolled, while 8.01 had the lowest flag rate of 5.4 percent.

Flags are sent to freshmen who have a grade of C or below five weeks into a class. They consist of an e-mail from the professor, followed up by an e-mail from Associate Dean Donna Friedman encouraging struggling students to take advantage of academic support resources, including tutoring, TA office hours, and assistance from the UAAP and the Office of Minority Education.

Brittney H. Johnson ’16 was not surprised when she received a flag in 7.012.

“I pretty much saw it coming,” Johnson said. “I bombed the first test and forgot to turn in the second p-set.”

For Johnson, improving her grade is a matter of changing her high school study methods to fit the demands of freshman year.

“It was like a wake-up call,” Johnson said. “In high school, compiling the information was enough, but I’ve found that here, I need to compile the information and then study what I’ve compiled.”

Johnson says she knows what she needs to do next. She doesn’t plan to use the additional support resources, though she thought the information would be very helpful to students who don’t know where to find help.

Like Johnson, Richard C. Spence ’16, was unsurprised when he was flagged in 8.012, considering his performance on the first exam. After learning his exam score and receiving a flag, Spence made changes to his work habits.

“I started collaborating a little more on the p-sets, and got a decent score on the last one,” Spence said. He met with his professor to discuss exam strategy, and believes things are looking up.