Shared by Student Development

The Standards of Academic Performance (SOAP) at Harper College were first established in 1989 to provide comprehensive counseling and advising that supports academically vulnerable students. Since then, Harper College has implemented a new case-managed advising model that assigns all credential-seeking students to an academic advisor for educational planning, career exploration, success strategies, and transfer assistance.

To align Harper’s SOAP policy with the more proactive nature of case-managed advising and the college’s federal financial aid criteria (SAP), we will begin to include a student’s course completion rate along with their GPA in calculating an academic standing. Using multiple measures for calculating academic standing allows the policy to be more proactive and catch students when they begin withdrawing from their courses instead of relying only on their GPA as an indicator of success. The new SOAP policy was vetted and approved for implementation through Harper’s Shared Governance process in 2019.

Beginning in the Spring 2022 semester, any student who enters Academic Warning will be required to meet with an Academic Advisor. The advisor will co-create an action plan with students designed to support their academic success.

According to the Community College Resource Center, for non-academic supports such as academic advising to be effective, they need to be integrated more thoroughly and consistently across the student experience and take an approach that has been termed SSIP: Sustained, Strategic, Intrusive and Integrated, and Personalized (Karp & Stacey, 2013). The National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) also recommends a proactive advising approach for students on Academic Probation. Earlier interventions are needed to increase the probability of a student’s academic recovery (Gehrke & Chard, 2019).

We are hopeful that our new SOAP policy will allow a more proactive, intrusive approach to closing the equity gaps on our campus and support retention and completion of a credential for all students.

Gehrke, S., & Chard, S. (2019). Advising Students on Academic Probation [Pamphlet]. Manhattan, KS: NACADA.

Karp, M. M., & Stacey, G. W. (2013). What we know about nonacademic student supports. New York, NY: Columbia University, Teachers College, Community College Resource Center.