The average high school GPA for the freshman class of 2008 is a 3.47. Clearly, our students have a background of high achievement. Consequently, earning a C during freshman year is a grade they have never seen next to their names.
Most of the time, unless I know for sure that the student really sloughed off, I am much less concerned about their receiving a C than most students are. I explain that these grades represent where you’re starting in college—not where you’re finishing, that students’ grades do improve if they keep putting one foot in front of the other and refuse to give up.
Without condescending in the least, I also am aware that earning a C grade in some classes might represent a significant challenge for many students—even those who formerly earned all A’s.
I have taught freshman classes long enough to know that many freshmen often experience many challenges in earning a C. If the average GPA of entering freshmen is a 3.47, the average GPA for Bellarmine freshmen at the end of first semester is about a 2.8. For many students ending up in this average is a shock. I just want freshmen who have struggled with their grades to know that they can improve, that they just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other, asking for help, and working to improve, building their skills, and finding their way.