Alert: 4 strikes and you’re out!


Lane currently has a system designed to keep students on a track to “success” that has been affectionately labeled the “Alert System” by a majority of students and some faculty. Regrettably, this system has become more of a hinderance, because struggling students that have been placed in this program are at great risk of being suspended from Lane, and having their educational journey halted in its tracks.

According to Lane’s Academic Progress Standards, students are required to maintain a 67 percent credit completion rate, as well as a 2.0 GPA. This standard is something most people could get behind, as it seems like a harmless baseline for success, but the consequences set for students who do not meet these requirements feel more like retribution than rehabilitation.

There are four levels of consequences for students who do not meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards, or SAP standards, as it is ironically referred to. The first three levels are relatively harmless and designed to allow students to analyze their past mistakes and receive helpful suggestions for future success, including both online and in-person workshops.

However, the ability for a student to continue falling further down the Alert System is easier than some think, and if a student finds themselves in Alert Status 4 they are dismissed from school. This is where punishments exceeds rehabilitation, according to the design of the system.

The cut and dry process that automatically places students into the Alert System if they do not meet the SAP standards is not exactly fair.

For example, the deadline to drop classes is the first Sunday after the first week of classes each term. If a student finds a reason or need to drop the class after this time, it still counts toward their attempted credits. That means they could potentially pass all their classes and still get placed into the Alert System.

Another way a student could fall into the Alert System is by not passing a high credit class, say a five credit class — possibly in a subject area that is most difficult to them — while taking and passing with A’s in two classes totaling seven credits. That student would have a credit completion rate of 58 percent.

A student can have multiple consecutive satisfactory terms and still be placed into the Alert System. This means a student could have had four terms in a row with straight A’s, followed by one bad term resulting in the next level of the Alert System — completely overlooking the student’s past efforts.