Academic Warning

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by CT2014parent, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. CT2014parent

    CT2014parent New Member

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    Our DS failed calc :( Now he's on "academic Warning." How does this work? I know he has to retake & pass calc-1. Assuming he can pass calc-1 this time around (not a given) what happens if he fails physics or terr-nav? Will he be set back or, since the new super doesn't like set-backs, will he be disenrolled? He went multiple times to the professor but didn't get much satisfaction. He also met with tutors twice weekly - but they both went on about why the professor was explaining things the way he did - so that wasn't much help either. He is so stressed now he's lost all confidence. And what happens if he passes everything this tri - but then fails something a year from now? Does the second failure mean disenrollment no matter how many trimesters come in between the two failures?
     
  2. denisem

    denisem USMMA KP So. Cal. Mom

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    Our DS also failed Chem. What happens now? He says he can re-take it 3rd tri without summer school. Is this true? My understanding is summer school is only if you fail 2 classes in 1 year. Anyone have clarification for me. That would be geat!
     
  3. 1goodboy

    1goodboy Member

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    I'm interested as how this works out for your son. The calculus department seems to take pride in failing the students. Double Kudos to ones that passed, but I'm hearing more and more that failed calculus (including my son) and didn't get quality help when requested. Sorry I don't have an answer to your questions, I wish I did, they are real concerns. It would be helpful if there was ONE person at that school to talk to and that knew the correct answer. I have asked a couple of questions and different people gave me different answers.
     
  4. CT2014parent

    CT2014parent New Member

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    Sorry 1goodboy. I've been away on business,,, just seeing your post now. As you can see here I didn't get any answers. My DS is doing all he can to pass everything this trimester. I share your concern regarding calc. My DS spent every waking moment trying every resource he could - to understand it & he had made some real progress bringing his average up. Then, evidently he bombed on the final. We are hoping he passes everything this tri but quite honestly, his demeanor has changed. I think he's preparing himself for the worst. Good luck to you and your DS.
     
  5. North Fork

    North Fork New Member

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    I asked my son and he believes that 2 failures will lead to dis-enrollment. He also believes that exceptions to this rule can be made if your total cumulative grade point average is better than 2.0 (C) average, and you can convince the board that you are determined to improve.

    Son has said that several plebes basically gave up before the end of the first trimester and were making plans to leave. One plebe actually did not even show up to take the final calculus exam.

    The class of 2014 that started at 345 or so is now under 300 from what I understand , after only the first trimester.
     
  6. KP2013Momm

    KP2013Momm Member

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    I have heard that there have been students in the past that once at KP decide it is not for them and they see the only way out is to sabatoge themselves by failing classes. I am not saying this is always the case but may account for some if the number has truly gone from 345 to below 300.
     
  7. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    Absolutely. This is purely anecdotal but I am sure there are kids who sabatoge themselves academically so they don`t have to tell Mom and Dad they quit. There are kids who never wanted to go to KP in the first place and only show up through parental pressure. There are also kids who fail to adjust to college, fail to adjust to a regimental system, just plain cant handle the academics and for some it just turns out to be not at all what they expected.

    If you consider all the rationales for why a plebe might leave after one trimester, 50 or so actually isnt that big of a number.
     
  8. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    You used to see a number almost that large just from Indoc.

    That has changed a bit over the last 15yrs or so and now the vast majority will complete Indoc.
     
  9. North Fork

    North Fork New Member

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    Why do you think this change has occurred over the last 15 years?

    Is Indoc today more watered down, in your opinion, or is the MMA admitting better qualified candidates these days that have better potential to in fact make it through Indoc?
     
  10. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    Getting through indoc has nothing to do with how "qualified" you are for the school. It has everything to do with the ability to adapt to an unfamiliar environment and recognize it for what it is (mostly mind games), realize it only last two weeks and then just power through it.

    I could see a large difference in my indoc as a plebe candidate and the next one i went through as a M/N Officer. It was really pretty tame and the only ones who "cant" make it through just dont want to bad enough. There was a lot less marching and PT and a lot more lectures and classes. It is what it is and since KP isnt actually a military school but a maritime school there is nothing wrong with indoc being a cakewalk.
     
  11. DevilDog

    DevilDog Member

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    This is a true story. One of my best friends wanted to go to the MMA so badly. We graduated in 1978 from HS. His father was really well connected, a Navy Captain, a Senior VP of a financial firm, he knew everyone. There was no way my friend could get in right from HS. He was a bright guy, but not the level of the kids that get appointments to KP. For a whole year after HS, his father was calling in all the favors he could. My friend went to community college and did well. He retook the SAT's, did all the things he needed to do. Somehow his father finally got him in. They had a huge going away party for him. He went up to KP, and came home the very next day. He lasted less than one day.
     
  12. LLPirate

    LLPirate Mother, Mother Ocean...

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    Been there

    As a former KP midshipmen who dealt with the wonderful world of academic trouble here is my advice to parents who want to help.

    First off realize what you are dealing with, a student who prior to this moment probably never experienced an academic hardship in their life. Not only is this situation devastating it can also be paralyzing and it is very serious. Toss in some stress, that KP is good for dishing out and you’ve got a pressure cooker that’s about to blow. Can your son survive this? Yes, but IMO he needs to be aggressive and focus on what he can do.

    I think it’s funny that people post that the super is against setbacks. I am pretty certain that is the case for every superintendant. Why would they be pro-setbacks? It takes longer to get you out of the school system which cost money. I just wanted to share that thought. Plus keep in mind a setback is the last thing your son is looking for.

    For starters both of you need to read over the academic handbook and understand it forwards and backwards. This will be your road map to surviving the academy system. Live and die by it because what it comes down to right or wrong is the rules written in the handbook.

    Next don’t count on the academy to help your son out. It’s not designed to be a helpful environment, he’s on his own except for his fellow classmates and they will assist up to a point. Also realize that everyone learns differently and since he’s struggling as a plebe chances are he’s not fitting into the square peg that the academy wants as far as academics are concerned.

    If I could go back and help my plebe self this is what I would do. I’d hire an outside tutor and skip the whole upper classman tutor or hoping an advisor will help. I’d take ultimate responsibility early on and not blame it on my professor or KP or anything. I’d look straight at myself and figure out how to adapt. That’s the goal of the academy and its job to teach your son how to DO, not just hope. The motto comes to mind.

    I’d meet my tutor as often as necessary at the library or whatever arrangement I could work out. I am certain an advisor could help with that part. I’d also seek out and learn methods on how to speed read, manage my time, and how to memorize better. As a plebe there are a ton of courses that are simply memorization courses. I was very bad at this skill and it really crippled me academically.

    The other thing I would address is the depression, anxiety, and fear. When your son comes home for the holidays make a point to have him sit down with a certified therapist one that actually understands academic rigors. He needs to have the coping mechanism to face this head on and develop a plan of attack. When I was going through this I was very good at faking it to my friends and to my parents. I still brook down but would pull it together when I needed to be “on”. Your son is in an environment that does not lend itself to showing any sign of weakness. He needs to see this not as a sign of weakness but as a chance to grow both academically and as a person.

    He can learn to learn but first he has to believe that he can do it and fight for it. I was once told that KP was one of the easier academies to get into but one of the most academically rigors. I don't know how much truth there was to that but it was HARD!

    Hope that was helpful.
     
  13. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    I'd just like to note and echo several of LLPirate's excellent points.

    1) RE: "First off realize what you are dealing with, a student who prior to this moment probably never experienced an academic hardship in their life. Not only is this situation devastating it can also be paralyzing and it is very serious. Toss in some stress, ..."

    Since the same point may also very well apply to the parents - i.e it's also often the first time they're finding themselves in the situation of trying to help and parent a child with academic difficulties and issues - please keep in mind that as stressful as this may be for parents, it's likely significantly more stressful to your children. Further, keep in mind they aren't young children, they are young adults and they likely very much still want to continue to be pushing out on their own. All of this only makes the entire situation all the more difficult for you and they to cope with and manage. I know those statements aren't especially insightful or helpful however, just reminding yourselves of those facts and working extremely hard to keep as even keeled relative to the entire situation will likely be the best help you can give your child and yourselves as you work through this situation.

    2) RE: "Plus keep in mind a setback is the last thing your son is looking for." Or at least in my opinion it should be the last resort he or she seeks and should do so as an alternative to being dis-enrolled. While lag classes and summer school will be stressful and hard, so to will staying motivated and focused while they take courses at a local college, etc. at or near home before returning to KP next fall. Further, the reward for "fighting through a couple of tough years the rest of their Plebe year and likely their third class year taking lag classes and summer school, is graduating on time with "their class" and that is something that in most cases every person who goes to KP wants to do.

    So my bottom line thoughts as to what parents can do to help their sons or daughters at KP who might be having academic difficulties is:

    Support - you know your kids better than me or anybody else so you likely know what works best for them but while you do work to support them remember they are living in a stress filled environment and they are frequently sleep deprived these days. Providing a non-judgmental, even tempered sounding board for them to use and have is great. The hard part is doing that without adding any stress or hassling them about pretty much anything - especially regimental stuff or class rates stuff. What am I talking about? I'm talking about parents asking their Plebe sons or daughters if they need to get a haircut while their home, or if they are allowed to take candy back to school or in their dorm rooms, or what it like to square corners, etc. or basically anything to do with what is now a regimental and class rate system they know, understand, and are likely sick of. When they are home they don't want to think about any of that sort of stuff nor do I think you should make or remind them. On the other hand if they want to ramble on about it or explain it to you and you have no earthly idea what they are talking about or why you should care, again don't worry about that either, at a minimum feign interest and try to keep them engaged and help them see the humor in the bizarre situations such a system creates for them. I always found and find that's pretty easily accomplished by contrasting their life to the lives of their friends at "normal" colleges. "Boy those guys don't get to have any fun - when was the last time they took free peanut butter, which is like the safest thing to eat at the school cafeteria, and used it to glue somebody into their dorm room overnight. No way they have fun like that at Tech..." etc. I know this might sound cruel or dumb to "normal people" but trust me at least some of your kids will jump on that band wagon and start making even more fun of their situation, as opposed to focusing on the truly depressing items they are dealing with. Like I said, most are more than ready for a respite from the whole thing and if they weren't in that mode this past week while they were off for Thanksgiving break, they will be more likely to be so come December 17th...

    Good luck to them all, as I've said before, it seems to me that at some point or another in every Plebe's plebe year, they will have a stressful, look in the mirror moment or time. Some are more of their own making then others and some last longer than others but it seems to me, everybody has one.
     
  14. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    I seem to recall losing nearly 25% of our class (81) from Indoc to graduation. The first wave left during Indoc, since it was a huge shot to the system. I know. Once classes started, we would lose some in dribs and drabs. I know that I sure thought about leaving right after Indoc until I finally got my head around the experience. Sea Year is when the next big round of cadets left. Being away from family and friends can be tough for many, let alone the lifestyle.

    I can say that before I started at the Academy, getting good grades was never really a challenge, and I don't ever recall studying very hard in high school. Once at KP, however, it was another story. There were a couple of classes where I studies harder than I ever had and was delirious with joy over getting a C-.

    I can say that the sense of achievement of getting through the program is unequaled. I can also say that it probably prepared me more for the challenges that I have had through my life better than I ever knew. Once one realizes that it isn't supposed to be easy or pleasurable, the battle is half won.
     

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