Class of 2025 Becomes FGCU’s Highest Failing Freshman Class

Dara Rosen, Contributing Writer

FGCU saw its highest-ever failure rate in the freshmen class of 2025 last fall. While the university has not yet published documentation of this failure rate, the Center for Academic Achievement is working towards helping struggling students at FGCU this semester more than ever before.

“During my job training, the CAA administrators told us that the university saw its highest failure rate for freshmen in the fall of 2021,” Peer Academic Coach Sydni Miklas said. “The CAA has been busier this semester as last fall’s freshmen are working towards getting back on track in their academic careers.”

According to an Associated Press article, researchers have stated that it is apparent that remote instruction has hindered learning for those who graduated in the last two years during the pandemic. Experts fear many may struggle academically.

“There are many reasons why first-year students face challenges in their academic career, which can include economic hardship, undeveloped time management and organization skills, difficulty feeling engaged with the campus community and peers, as well as health-related concerns, including a lack of proper nutrition, sleep and physical and mental wellness,” University Communications and Media Relations Coordinator Pamela McCabe said.

For the class of 2025, the last two years of their high school experience were overtaken by the COVID-19 pandemic. With online courses and lockdowns during their junior and senior years of high school, the transition to college may have been more difficult for them than previous classes of first-year college students.

“The transition from high school to college is already hard, but during a pandemic, it becomes much harder,” Miklas said. “I graduated high school at the start of the pandemic and came to college while there were still COVID protocols in place, so I understand the struggles that the class of 2025 may be facing.”

While FGCU saw this high failure rate, the university is staying committed to its students and is stressing the importance of students taking advantage of the academic resources offered to them on campus.

“FGCU is committed to helping students find academic success,” McCabe said. “There are many resources available to students who are struggling academically. Students should work with instructors during their scheduled office hours to review challenging course content and consider forming student teams or groups with peers from their class. Students can also visit the Center for Academic Achievement, where academic coaching, tutoring, supplemental instruction and writing consultations are available at no cost.”

Effective Learning is a 3-credit hour, graded course that students can choose to take for elective credit. This course was designed for any undergraduate student with 30 credits or fewer who is potentially at academic risk. While FGCU has offered this course in the past, the sections of the course have almost doubled this semester, with more students looking for resources to help them improve their GPAs.

“As a peer academic coach, I help to teach a class called Effective Learning where FGCU’s current sophomores that have a GPA below a 2.0 receive the skills they need to reach success in their other classes,” Miklas said.

Students who enroll in this course must meet with a Peer Academic Coach five times over the course of the semester to discuss study habits, time management skills and academic goals. 

Any students who are struggling can visit the CAA’s website to make an appointment and get the free resources available to them through the university.