I Got an AEW email--What do I do now?

AEW is a resource that enables instructors to communicate with their students about any behaviors that are interfering with the student's success in their class. If you have received an Academic Early Warning email, you are probably concerned about what it means and what you should do next. First, remember that an AEW notice is informational only. It does not: With that in mind, do something NOW to try to improve your grade and successfully complete the term. Here are some things you should do and think about.
  1. Talk to your instructor!

    Students are often nervous to talk with their instructors, especially when they need them most--for extra time or help. But do you know many instructors are surprised students feel uncomfortable approaching them? Professors are people just like everyone else, and they teach because they genuinely care about students. So even if you feel uncomfortable, step up to ask for help. Relax, introduce yourself and have an open conversation. Below are some tips for meeting with your instructor. Don't Wait! Speaking with your instructor sooner is better, especially if the subject is difficult for you. Deal with issues as they come up. Most problems are easier to resolve early in the term.

    Use office hours
    Your instructor may have office hours specifically to talk with students; they will be listed on your class syllabus. If the instructor doesn't have office hours, or the hours are inconvenient for you, make an appointment.

    Prepare for your meeting
    Preparation will help you arrive at your meeting with confidence and remember all the questions you want answered. If you are anxious, write a list of questions beforehand. If you are going to discuss grades, take class materials with you--your graded work, lecture notes and even your textbook.

    Be specific
    You may think a poor grade speaks for itself but it doesn't! Tell your instructor if you are having difficulty in class. Be specific so he or she can recommend strategies to help you. Don't be afraid to ask for clarification about comments your instructor wrote on your assignments or tests.

    It's OK just to say "Hi"
    Most professors enjoy talking with students--it's part of the reason they got into teaching--but chances are students rarely stop by their offices. Dropping in, even just to say hello, will make you stand out in class. And that's a good thing!

    But what do I say?
    If you aren't sure what to ask your instructor, here are some possible conversation starters:
    • Do you mind if I come by during your office hours to ask some questions?
    • If you were a student in your class, what would you do to get an "A"?
    • I'm not getting the kind of grades I know I can in your class.  How do I improve?
    • Do you have suggestions about how I can generate ideas for my paper?
    • May I ask a couple of questions about the homework assignment?
    • What resources can you recommend to help me prepare for this class?
    • What strategies do you recommend to prepare for a test?
    • Where can I find a tutor?
    Remember, your instructors were college students too! They are your best resource for becoming a successful student.

  2. Consider withdrawal--what does it mean?

    Sometimes students find themselves with a failing grade and too little time to improve it before the term is over. One option to consider is withdrawal.

    What is withdrawal?
    When students withdraw from classes, it means they have attended the classes for at least two weeks, but decided not to finish them for a letter grade. If students withdraw they will not earn credits for the classes or grades. However, the class will appear on students' transcripts, showing "W" instead of a grade. A "W" does not count toward a GPA.

    Are their consequences to withdrawing from a class?
    If you have financial aid, receive other funding support or you are here on an F-1 visa, there can be consequences for withdrawing from a class instead of earning a grade. If you are considering withdrawal, speak with the Financial Aid office, the Office of International Students or talk to others who are paying your tuition.

    How do I withdraw?
    You, the student, are the only person who can withdraw from your class; your teacher cannot do it for you. If you want to withdraw, you must submit a Change of Registration form with the Registration Office. It cannot be done online.

    When is the deadline to withdraw?
    In fall, winter and spring quarters, the last day to withdraw from most classes is the last day of the quarter's eighth week. Withdraw dates vary in summer quarter; students may verify dates with the Registration Office. If you miss a withdrawal deadline, you will receive the grade you earned in the course.

    Can't I just drop the class?
    No. If you have received an AEW email, the deadline to drop a class has already passed. You can withdraw from a class but you can no longer drop.

    How could withdrawing affect my funding?
    If you are receiving Financial Aid and have questions about how withdrawing will affect you, please contact the Financial Aid Office.
    Location: Gaiser Hall, Room 101
    Phone: 360-992-2153

    If you have an F-1 visa and have questions about how withdrawing will affect your visa status, please contact the Office of International Programs.
    Location: Penguin Union Building, Room 012
    Phone: 360-992-2390

  3. Use Clark College's FREE services to support students!

    There are services available to help you find success at Clark College. Please review these resources on the AEW home page.

    Additional Clark College resources can be found here:

  4. Talk to a Resource

    If you have questions about Academic Early Warning or how to use the academic services available to you, please contact us.