Here a few solutions for professors that are dealing with poor performing students.
1. Motivation: Explore the student's motivation and try and help them find a connection to the information that is being presented. Seek to create relevant coursework of real life world problems. If the student can find a reason to learn and they have practical use for it you have won half the battle. The motivators could be intrinsic or extrinsic but they need to be important to the student.
2. Explore Skill Sets: Try and understand where the learning deficiencies are. If they had poor general education they may not be fully prepared so we have to consider how we improve on those areas. Sometimes augmenting work helps while other times offering general information on how to study is important.
Students have different personalities and different problems. Most of them can be categorized into motivation and skill sets. Encouraging stronger primary and secondary education is helpful in better preparing students to work in the modern high technology economy. Much of our education fails to change and focuses heavily on an Industrialized system. Helping students understand and develop is helpful to the overall process of creating a competitive nation.