As the semester progresses, many students struggle with maintaining their grades. They’re tired of the exams, the papers and the assignments, (and who can blame them?!). At this time, improving their grades might feel like  a daunting task.

However, as SAPros, we can help students by making this task less intimidating. By using motivation, feedback and leadership we can help students achieve academic success.

Help Students Through Motivation

Motivation is key to sustained success. Even though motivation is an internal drive, we can nurture it through encouragement. Sometimes, all a student needs is someone who believes in their abilities. A simple “Good Job!” or “You’re doing great!” can go a long way.

In addition to encouragement, motivation also relies on setting goals. Some students never finish their degree or lack a clear vision of what they want. Helping our students to create goals and visualize their futures will motivate them to succeed academically.

Give Students a Good Example to Follow

As SAPros, we’ve gone through many of the same experiences as our students. We need to use these experiences to help students. Something we experienced may spark an unforeseen connection or conversation. For example, as a student, I struggled in my freshman year. I wasn’t sure how to juggle the workload. It seemed like there was never enough time to complete all the readings I was assigned. I’m sure many new students can relate to this. Knowing that they’re not the only one who found their first year difficult will make them feel less alone. It will also increase their confidence in seeking advice from you.

Point Them Towards Resources

In some cases, our students may need more than encouragement, meaningful conversations and goal setting to help improve their grades. A student may already have their future plans mapped out and have the motivation to graduate, but may find a particular subject difficult.

Pointing students towards study resources is essential:

  • Recommend they visit the tutoring center,
  • Encourage them to partner up with a study buddy or form a study group for each class they’re attending,
  • Suggest that they use a study timer
  • Advise them to seek help from their professor
  • Propose supplemental material that might help them understand a subject they’re struggling with.

These techniques should serve as a guideline to assess and help students facing academic trouble. The main determinant of success in higher ed is a student’s academics. Without the necessary grades, students will not graduate or graduate late. It’s our job to create the best learning experience for them, (and to reduce their stress as much as possible).


Student Engagement also plays a huge role in a student’s academic success. Read our ebook to learn more about Student Engagement