Academic difficulty

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by buster, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. buster

    buster New Member

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    Our plebe is having academic difficulty and is totally lost in calc. Is there someone he can see who can offer some guidance? Plebe is thinking it may be better to transfer out now. Thanks
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2010
  2. kpmom2013

    kpmom2013 Member

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    Help Is Available

    Your plebe is not alone. There are a ton of Plebes who are in the same boat
    so to speak. Many plebes do not pass all their classes. Some struggle, but manage to squeak by. There are very few who glide through their first year. Consider it good news if your plebe is only struggling in one class. The difference between those who make it and those who get set back is their willingness to seek out help. It is way too early to give up.

    Your plebe can find help in a variety of places. Has he/she gone to his/her team leader? That should be the first step. A lot of plebes are embarassed to let anyone know they need help. Some team leaders are more helpful than others. Has he/she tried to get help from his/her roommate? Sometimes plebes overlook the easiest source of help right under their nose. Some roommates, like some team leaders, are more helpful than others.

    Has he/she gone to the teacher? Some are more helpful than others. My DS's calculus tea her gave out his home phone number and took calls and
    questions by email at all hours.

    If your plebe is playing a sport, there is often help from upperclassmen on
    their team. He/she has to ask for it!

    There also will be help if a plebe is put on academic alert. They have
    mandatory study hall where there is help available. In addition, there are
    tutors available for calculus on certain days and times.

    The bottom line is that if your plebe wants help, he/she can find it. If he/she starts now, he/she can make it. If he/she waits, it will only get worse.

    You should also ask if your plebe otherwise happy at Kings Point. If not, then
    maybe the struggle with calculus is an excuse to quit? If your plebe is otherwise happy there, then encourage him/her to ask for help now! Please PM me if you need more ideas. Good luck.
     
  3. KPMarineopsdad

    KPMarineopsdad Member

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    The key here is you have to ASK for help. Many of these kids are used to being the "smartest one in the room" and they have never had to ask for help before. I am sure it is difficult to go from the one that was always providing help and tutoring others to being the one who has to ask for help and get a tutor. The upper classmen can be a great resource but they won't come to you. They are trying to stay above water themselves.
     
  4. 2012kpmam

    2012kpmam Member

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    My DS found Cramster a big help. It's an online answer to every other question in their texts. While their texts now give answers, the answers in their books are only the final answer, not the steps to the solution. Cramster will give you a step by step answer. For a small fee you can get every answer. Something that also helped my DS - do every question in the chapter. Somewhat time consuming, but helps reinforce the material, especially with Cramster. Also, there is a web site call Kahn Academy with you tube tutorials in both Calc and Physics.

    Biggest help though is asking anyone and everyone for help, especially the teacher. During physics II my DS saw the professor constantly. It definitely helped a lot. Also, your son cannot give up. Lots of them will be failing at midterm but pull it out by finals just because they continued to plug along and not give up. Good luck!
     
  5. kpmom2011

    kpmom2011 Member

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    Also your son should see their company academic officer. If your plebe is on academic probation the academic officer most likely already knows about it. My son is a CAO, and he is trying to stay on top of the academiac performance of all he plebe in his company.

    It is way to early to be thinking of quitting. Most plebes are struggling now. My son is a senior and has a 3.5 gpa in systems engineering and I remember him freaking out about the same thing at this stage of the game.

    Do encourage him to talk to his CAO, professors, and most of all to seek out a classmate who understands the subject and form a study group.
     
  6. ProudMom2014

    ProudMom2014 Member

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    Anyone know of some good web sites for Chemistry help?
     
  7. CT2014parent

    CT2014parent New Member

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    Our DS is also struggling in calc. He has worked with one of the tutors several times and has gone to the professor once. He thinks he's doing pretty well in all other classes. Can someone tell us - if he fails calc, will he have to retake it again in the next tri-mester or next summer? Can he be set back for failing the one class?
     
  8. kpfran14

    kpfran14 Member

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    Our DS was having difficulty in calc and physics. He has found help through upperclassmen and professors. If you want to find out more just send me a PM.
     
  9. kdbax

    kdbax Member

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    Private message coming your way....
     
  10. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Khan Academy

    For those looking for an extra tutorial area in many subjects check out Khan Academy:

    http://www.khanacademy.org/

    I believe it is 100% free and there are tons of lectures available. This is one of Bill Gates' "favorites". Might give a different teaching style that someone understands better than their professor.

    Best of luck, not an easy situation.
     
  11. baxted

    baxted Member

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    Course difficulties

    There are some excellent reference books out there that can be very useful. As several folks have correctly mentioned, a different point of view is often all the student needs to understand the concept. I got through engineering on two books: Mark's Handbook for Mechanical Engineers and CRC Press Standard Mathematical Tables. Both books are still within arms reach at the office. Given I bought both in 1979, I think they have more than paid for themselves. I tend to like the general books that cover a wide scope but the books that are geared towards one or two courses are also very good.

    For the online generation, MIT has much of their undergraduate material online (just look for MIT COURSES in your favorite web search tool) and most of it is very good. Likewise, many schools have worthwhile online material.

    As an engineering professor, please allow me to get on my soap box and insist your DD or DS ask for help. It is hard for excellent students to admit they need help but in these pressure cooker schools, everyone is being pushed hard and almost no one doesn't stumble on at least one course. A combination of professor office hours, midshipman who did get past the course and reference guides go a long way as long as help is requested early. Catching on to the course along week 13 is often too late. Good luck and hang in there, your DS or DD is not the first nor will they be the last!
     
  12. CT2014parent

    CT2014parent New Member

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    I checked out Khanacademy.org and thought it looked great. But when I suggested it to our DS he said Plebes can't watch any kind of online videos. i.e. they have no media priviledges. Does anyone know if there's an exception to this rule - particularly for academics?
     
  13. usmma2014dotcom

    usmma2014dotcom Member

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    Have the plebe talk to the women who runs the Peachman ACE. Her name is Victoria Gigante. She's great, and very responsive too. She's a staunch advocate for the plebes. She'll send out an email that let's everyone know it's okay to look at videos from academically focused websites.

    Wolfram Alpha is another resource...
     
  14. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Anybody who tries to punish a plebe for watching an online instructional tutorial needs a kick in the rear.

    The rule is for entertainment type stuff, not academic help tutorials.
     

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