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Personalized success plans assist students struggling academically
Student studies outside of Student Academic Success Center

Personalized success plans assist students struggling academically

October 18, 2022 at 9:07am

Students who feel overwhelmed with their course load or like they’ve hit a roadblock in their studies have a place to turn for guidance at FIU. Through the Center for Academic Success, students who have below a 2.7 GPA have the opportunity to receive a personalized Academic Success Plan (ASP) created by an academic coach and tailored to their individual learning needs.

ASP participants have access to weekly, one-on-one tutoring in up to two subject areas. They also participate in biweekly sessions with an academic coach, who helps students develop the study and test-taking strategies that work best for them, improve time management and motivation, and more.

“It’s all based on what the individual student needs,” said academic coach Kiara Kumar. “Over the course of the program, I listen to them and help them identify areas we can work on together, and from there, we build their plan.”

ASPs typically last two semesters – during the first semester, Kumar works with students to identify and develop success tactics, and the second semester focuses on employing and perfecting those tactics to ensure long-term success.

“Each student is different and has different needs,” said Kumar. “One student may really need help with reading comprehension and notetaking, while another may be confident in their study skills but struggle when it comes time to put the knowledge learned to the test.”

It’s making a difference: The ASP program boasted a 100 percent year-over-year retention rate among the students who participated last academic year. Over the past two years, students who participated have seen an average increase of 0.14 in their cumulative GPAs.

“It’s so difficult to raise a cumulative GPA, but this increase could mean the difference between someone being on academic probation and then getting off, or being close to probation and then getting in the clear,” said Kumar.

Junior Dakota Ali is one of the program’s recent success stories. Ali hopes to pursue a career in medicine; but, last year, organic chemistry and physics seemed to be getting the best of him.

“I felt like I just couldn’t pass the classes, but I didn’t have a choice if I wanted to be in the medical field. I was feeling like I didn’t have anywhere to turn for help, and that’s when I learned about the program,” Ali said.

With an ASP and Kumar’s support, Ali passed the classes and is back on track for graduation.

“Working with [Kumar] felt like working with family – she’s an extension of your support system, and she really cares,” he said. Ali’s recipe for success was a combination of consistent tutoring, tips to improve notetaking and focus, and one-on-one support from Kumar – and it paid off.

“Now I have the confidence to overcome any mistakes I may make and move forward,” Ali said, adding, “If you’re willing to put in the effort, this program will make all the difference for you.” Learn more about Academic Success Plans online or by emailing Kiara Kumar at