At Lake Michigan College, mid-term grades are recorded shortly before the halfway point of each term length (i.e., 14-week, 7-week, etc.); specific dates are listed in the Academic Calendar on WaveLink. Mid-term grades can show that you’re on the right path to a great term, or they can be an early indicator that you need to step up your academic game. At LMC, we’re committed to helping students discover and practice better strategies for better grades, providing ongoing support, and helping you develop your own plan for continued success.
Here’s everything you need to know from helpful tips to potential impact on your student account and available support services:
- Be ready for midterms. Review your syllabus and make sure that you are up to date. Attend your classes, complete your assignments, consult with your instructor when you have questions or need clarity, do all of your assigned reading, and review your notes. Midterms do not necessarily imply midterm examinations; rather midterms are a snapshot of where you are at the halfway point of the semester. Don’t assume that you can catch up in the second half of the class if you get behind in the first half. Remember that your midterm grade is not necessarily an accurate predictor of your final grade; the course syllabus may provide information about how final grades are computed.
- Evaluate your own progress before midterms. Have you done all of your assignments? How many quizzes and/or tests have you taken? What grades have you received? Have you attended all your classes and lab/discussion sessions? Have you been an active participant in classroom discussions? Have you completed assigned problem sets and/or reading? If your grades for a class are on Canvas, do you regularly review them?
- Check your midterm grades as soon as they are available. To review your midterms, go to www.lakemichigancollege.edu/mylmc, log in to WaveLink, and click on the View My Mid-Term Grades link. If you do not see midterm grades posted, you can check your class Canvas site or contact your instructor for information on your progress in the course.
- Evaluate your progress after midterms. Are you satisfied with your performance in all of your courses? If so, keep up the good work. If not, take responsibility and develop an action plan. Generally speaking, more of the same will not improve your performance in a course. You may need to adjust your level of effort, your study skills, your reading comprehension, and/or your attendance record. You may need to seek outside help in the way of a study group, academic support services, or tutoring. You may need to do all of these things. See the list of academic support services and resources below to help you get started and set up an appointment with your Advisor right away.
- Talk with your Instructor. If your mid-term grades are lower than you expected, speak with your instructor to see what you may have missed, misunderstood, or can potentially re-do. Then be sure to make an appointment with your academic advisor to review any additional resources you may find helpful.
- See your advisor. If you are disappointed in your performance in one or more courses, see your academic advisor. An advisor can help you evaluate academic policies and requirements related to the course/s that you are doing poorly in. An advisor can provide information on available academic support services. An advisor can walk you through any choices that might be available to you. Consider the information and resources below to help you prepare for meeting with your advisor. If you have circumstances that have affected your academic performance, be sure to tell your advisor.
If you are disappointed in your performance in one or more courses, plan on going to office hours or contacting your instructor at the information listed on your syllabus. The following tips will help you prepare for speaking with your instructor:
- Take responsibility for your performance in the course. Own up to any classes, assignments, or reading you may have missed. Most instructors are not going to be sympathetic to students who claim not to know why a midterm grade was low when their attendance, assignments, reading, class participation, and/or test grades have been below expectations for the course.
- Be prepared. Develop a list of questions related to the course or reading materials. Ask specific questions about concepts you don’t understand. Focus on what you think you need to do to better understand the material and check with the instructor to see if you are on the right track. Instructors may be aware of support services available through the department or the college to supplement the information taught in the course. In addition, they may be aware of additional reading materials that students can explore to help them better understand what is being taught.
- Consider withdrawals carefully before making a decision. While withdrawing from a course does not impact your GPA, there are several other potential consequences to consider, outlined below. Talk to your advisor about your options, understand the pros and cons of withdrawing from a course and receiving a W on your transcript, and make a timely decision before the deadline passes. Withdrawals with a guaranteed “W” are available during the first 80% of the course; during the last 20% of the course, instructor permission is required and a withdrawal is not guaranteed. See the Academic Calendar in WaveLink for dates.
- Determine if the following items are relevant to you. Know how your decision will impact you as a student before you make a decision: impact of a withdraw on your status as a full-time student; impact of a withdraw versus a failing grade on your financial aid eligibility; impact of a withdraw on your visa status; impact of a withdraw versus failing grade on your intercollegiate athletics eligibility; impact on time to degree completion, and/or impact of a withdraw on your on campus housing status. The information presented in the Consequences of Withdrawing section provides a general overview of these issues.
- Make the necessary effort to bring your grades up if you decide not to withdraw from a course. Change the behaviors or conditions that may have resulted in a poor midterm grade; utilize recommended academic support services; learn new study strategies; and investigate what you will do if you don’t bring your grade/s up. Will you need to retake the course? Can you take another course instead? What impact will doing poorly in a course have on your financial aid and/or intercollegiate athletics eligibility? What impact will it have on your future enrollment in a particular course or major?
- Know what having a “W” grade on your transcript means. Develop a plan for how you will improve your performance in the course if you have to take it again, and focus on doing well in the courses that you remain enrolled in.
International Students: You must maintain your Registration requirements:
- Always maintain full-time enrollment. Full time at LMC means a minimum of 12 credit hours for any semester (fall, spring, or summer).
- Dropping below 12 credit hours before consulting with the Office of International Services will affect your status.
- Contact the International Student Specialist regarding any questions you may have about maintaining your status, full-time requirements, travel, and employment on or off campus.
- International Student Specialist, Benton Harbor Campus, Main Building; (269) 927-6181, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Financial Aid: To maintain your financial aid eligibility, you must make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward completion of your degree. SAP requirements for financial aid are separate from degree progress requirements monitored by the Registrar’s Office. The SAP policy for Financial Aid is available in the Financial Aid Handbook.
- Withdrawing after the 60% mark of the term will not affect your current term aid, but could impact your future eligibility by lowering your SAP Completion Ratio.
- GPA is also an important factor in determining SAP for financial aid. You should consider the impact grades of D or E (failing) might have on your GPA. Receiving a grade of E and, therefore, no credit for a course would also impact your SAP Completion Ratio.
- If you have questions about how a withdraw or your academic performance may affect your financial aid eligibility, please contact: Financial Aid Office, Benton Harbor Campus, Main Building; (269) 927-8112, email@example.com.
Intercollegiate Athletics Eligibility: If you are a student athlete and having difficulty with one or more courses at midterm, consult with your Athletics advisor before making any decisions.
On-Campus Housing: On-campus housing students must maintain full-time enrollment. Full time at LMC means a minimum of 12 credit hours. Withdrawing from a course during a term does not affect your housing during that term (provided you do not drop below 6 credits/half time), but may impact your ability to continue living on campus for the next term.
- You must meet with the Housing Office prior to withdrawing from class(es).
- If you have additional questions about how enrollment changes may impact your On-Campus Housing, please contact: On Campus Housing/Beckwith Hall, Benton Harbor Campus, Beckwith Hall; (269) 927-8190, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student Outreach and Support Services: Student Outreach and Support Services offers services and activities designed to assist you with your academic success. Services and activities may include tutoring, classroom modifications, note-taking, counseling, vocational guidance, career development activities, and attendance costs.
- Call (269) 927-8866 to schedule an appointment. The office is located in A-205 on the Benton Harbor Campus.
- Student Outreach and Support Service also provides opportunities to students with disabilities in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act 1990, as Amended. The college ensures that its physical facilities, programs, and services are accessible to students with disabilities. Call (269) 927-8866 to schedule an appointment for accommodations review and implementation.
International/F1 Visa Students: Students studying on an F1 visa who are struggling in class should speak with the International Student Specialist to ensure their status is not compromised. Contact Becky French at email@example.com.
English as a Second Language: LMC offers English language learner support for both international and domestic students whose first or dominant language is not English. If you are an English language learner and want additional help in developing your language skills, contact the ESL Program Specialist at (269) 927-4557 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student Support Services: Student Support Services (SSS) is a federally funded program that offers additional support services to first-generation, low-income, or students with a disability to assist in the successful completion of an associate degree from Lake Michigan College and/or transfer to a four-year college or university. Call (269) 927-8603 or visit https://www.lakemichigancollege.edu/sss.
- Academic/Transfer Advising
- Academic Support including Individual Tutoring
- Study Skills Workshop
- Educational Development Plan
- "Early Alert" Progress Reports
- Transfer Campus Visits
- Calculator and Laptop Computer Lending
- Academic Incentive Scholarships
- Assistance with Financial Aid
- Volunteer Opportunities
- Financial Literacy - Financial Avenue
Tutoring and the Learning Assistance Center: Learning Assistance is available free of charge to all Lake Michigan College students in courses at LMC campuses. The Learning Assistance Center offers help with homework, test preparation, studying and test strategies. Learning Assistants are certified by the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA). For more information, helpful links, and resources, visit the Learning Assistance Center’s web page.
Writing Center: The Writing Center helps all students at any level work on all types of writing—academic, personal, or creative. More information is available from the Writing Center: Benton Harbor Campus, Main Building, room C-206.
- Provides students with the opportunity to work with trained staff and talk about thoughts and ideas about course writing assignments. We can help you work on the following writing skills:
- Improving critical reading skills so that writers can think and write more clearly and coherently
- Identifying the structural features of specific academic writing genres, relevant to each major of study and/or specific writing assignments
- Refining writing processes through generating ideas, drafting, peer evaluation, and individual writing consultations
- Learning to see through the reader audience’s eyes
- Effectively using the work of others in writing, including the use of sources and citation methods
- Expanding and improving a writer’s ability to work independently by exploring new strategies for learning
Additional Non-Academic Resources
In addition to academic resources, LMC offers various non-academic resources for those things outside the classroom that may affect your ability to be successful. Be sure to speak with your advisor if you need help with:
- Child Care: KidZone offers full daycare and preschool serving both the Benton Harbor and South Haven campuses. For more information, visit http://www.kidzoneonline.com. Benton Harbor: (269) 927-6293; South Haven: (269) 637-7501
- Laptop/computer or calculators: The William Hessel Library has a Laptop Loan program where students can borrow a laptop computer, TI-84 and TI-34 calculators and digital recorders. Call (269) 927-8605 for more information.
- LGBTQ+: Resources and support are available at LMC in support of the LGBTQ community. The student and faculty group works to promote a welcoming and safe environment at LMC for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/question persons and their families, friends, and allies. Contact Missy Howse-Kurtz at (269) 927-8623 for more information or to get involved.
- Emergency and Success Funds: Every year the LMC Foundation provides a small fund to help students in difficult situations, who, with just a little help, can stay on track. If you believe you may meet the criteria for a one time emergency fund, please complete and submit an application; call (269) 927 4560 for more information.
- Food, clothing, or other basic needs: Student Services maintains a Needs Pantry for students who find themselves needing assistance with food, clothing, toiletries, or other basic needs; long-term assistance guidance and information is also provided. Contact (269) 927-8866 for help or more information.