4

CHAPTER

Lack of Readiness, Underachievement, or Disability? Diagnosing Academic Difficulty

The learning of things is better than the ignorance of them.

—Moroccan proverb

takes a lot of hits to strike a nail in the dark.

—African American Saying

Assessment in medical and psychological disciplines often involves the concept of differential diagnosis. Differential diagnosis refers to the process of using interview and/or test data to accurately match symptoms to a specific diagnosis. A student development professional faces a similar challenge when attempting to determine the causes of a student’s academic performance problems. The professional must differentially diagnose whether the student has

•  emotional and motivational readiness for ...

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