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Western Kentucky University

Retention Programs

Retention Programs

Below is a list of retention initiatives within the Best Expectation Programs (BEP) in the Academic Advising & Retention Center (AARC).


The Probation retention initiative is designed for continuing WKU students who have an academic standing of academic probation. These students must earn a 2.0 GPA for the current semester to avoid being academically dismissed from WKU.

Visit the Probation Initiative Page

Step Up

Students Taking Exceptional Pride and Upholding Progress (Step Up) is a retention initiative for WKU African-American Juniors and Seniors who are experiencing academic difficulty. These students must earn a 2.0 GPA for the current semester to avoid being academically dismissed from WKU. The intent of this initiative is to comply with the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education mandates to increase retention and graduation rates of African-American students.

Visit the Step Up Initiative Page


Success Through Evaluation, Placement, and Support (STEPS) is a retention program for first-time freshmen who have developmental needs in two of the following three subject areas. This includes an English ACT sub-score below 16 (SAT Verbal/Critical Reading score below 410); a Reading ACT sub-score below 18 (SAT Verbal/Critical Reading score below 450); ACT Math sub-score below 22 (SAT Mathematics score below 510). These students are required to take the required developmental courses during their first semester at Western Kentucky University.

Visit the STEPS Program Page

Undergraduate Retention

Undergraduate Retention is a retention initiative for students who have had two consecutive semesters with a GPA below 2.0. These students have been academically dismissed from WKU, appealed the dismissal, and granted one last semester to show academic progress. To be eligible for continued enrollment, these students must achieve a 2.0 GPA during the semester for which the student was allowed to return.

Visit the Undergraduate Retention Initiative Page


Any WKU student that does not qualify for a retention program may choose to voluntarily participate to receive additional academic support. These students must adhere to the same requirements as other retention program students. Generally, students opt-in to BEP voluntarily to increase their GPA's to qualify for scholarships, fraternities, sororities, departmental program requirements, etc. Other reasons to voluntarily participate include: developing positive study habits, improving time management skills, and increasing overall academic performance.

Visit the Voluntary Initiative Page

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 Last Modified 9/24/14