College First Semester

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by NorwichDad, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    Success in College begins with a Great Semester 1 GPA. For the parents of kids of class of 2016, make sure your son or daughter does not overload their class schedule the first semester. If they have difficult majors do they really need to take French 4? Do they really need to take difficult non core courses? Set them up for success, make sure they do not 20 credits. There will be time for that later.
    That first semester success will make college a lot easier later. Make sure they understand that.

    Good luck
     
  2. Gojira

    Gojira Member

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    Adding to what NorwichDad said - there are some classes your son or daughter might be eligible to get a waiver for, through testing out in the CLEP program.

    They can check at their college what the rules and fees for the CLEP program - at my kid's school.

    Maybe they can test out of a GE class they are proficient in, with a little independent study.
     
  3. Packer

    Packer Member

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    In ROTC programs recognize GPA is king. You may have some AP classes that will allow you to get college credit. I would suggest not automatically taking the credit and moving on to the next class in the series. Think about it and in some cases it may be wise to take the class again at the college level rather than taking the AP credit. Your GPA will be higher and you will definitely have a firm grasp on the subject material. My observations have been that all AP classes are truely college rigor.

    My suggestion is to strategically think about which AP classes to take credit for and which ones to retake in college to set yourself up for success.
     
  4. kpmom2013

    kpmom2013 Member

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    Packer, you are right. In ROTC, as well as at service academies, it can be a lifesaver to have an easy "A" for a semester or two. Make sure you know what you are doing before trying to validate a class. Ask yourself is better to have more time to study for more difficult classes or to up your GPA by getting an "A" in an extra class with very little work? My son at USMMA with an IB diploma chose the latter in many cases and is glad he did even though be has carried 19-22 credits. It has helped him keep his GPA up as well as reassured him of his capabilities, keeping his confidence up when sometimes struggling in difficult classes.
     
  5. Packer

    Packer Member

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    Correction: My observations have been that all AP classes are not truely college rigor.
     
  6. nick4060

    nick4060 Member

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    Definitely agree. Its alot more fun when you're a senior if you have a good record of grades over the years - allowing you to cruise for the last semester or two. Its no fun to you put yourself in a hole freshman/sophomore year and then have to spend your last semesters digging yourself out!
     
  7. terp1984

    terp1984 Member

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    I would not agree with the blanket statement of taking the course again that you had AP credit for in hopes for an easy A. Some schools just don't give out too many A's whether you had the course or not in high school. My DS used his High school AB and BC calculus AP credits and started in Calc. 3 and earned an A in it. IMHO if you are sure you can get an A in the course maybe retake it to pad the GPA but alot of retakers don't get that A. Do some research on rate your professor , you may reconsider. Indeed the GPA is extremly important for OML so pick major and classes wisely.
     
  8. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    As to whether or not to retake a class where AP credits were earned, it may or may not be an option. Some schools also offer/require a placement test in math/foreign language/english to determine an appropriate starting point for incoming freshmen.

    As to the concept of managing your GPA, avoiding non-core classes where you may have problems your first term may be a very good idea. In fact, putting off non-core courses where you may struggle until your Senior year is an excellent way to eliminate that grade from your OML score completely. So if foreign language is not your cup of tea and they require you to take an additional 2 terms of one, take it in your Senior year and take your C's to the bank (2 terms of a different language from your HS foreign language is typical or finishing the 3rd term of the language you took in HS).
     
  9. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    Good point on senior year. Also take courses on winter and summer breaks at home. My son did an summer online English course a few summers ago. Remember all this is just the first semester. 2nd, 3rd and 4th years you can attack a heavier courseload.
     
  10. eboyd

    eboyd Member

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    15 credits is about average for a Norwich freshman here. Some people don't do as well as they should because they spend the first half of the semester falling asleep in class due to waking up before 5:30 every morning *cough cough* :rolleyes:
     
  11. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    I also heard it is a balmy 15 degrees there today. You can also sleep at the chapel as a rook. This is about first semester at any college. I am on my third child going to college. Quite a few of the academically promising friends of my kids were home for good after one year of college. Even 15 credits are tough when you have a rough 5 classes. Parents should just tell them to not be so agressive with their course selection that first semester. Anyway sleep is for wimps.
     
  12. eboyd

    eboyd Member

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    I believe it was -17 at formation yeterday morning. Anyway, I didnt mean to steer the conversation. Many of my friends switched from 15 credits of an engineering major to 15 credits of something a little easier after this last semester. The best advice I was given was to make sure I took no more than 15 credits and it helped me. Second semester is when someone should up the courseload a little if they so choose.
     
  13. philmont

    philmont Member

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    Yep balmy indeed...should be up to 27 F today.
    If you can sleep sitting up (without falling over) then yes, you can sleep in the chapel :thumb: but as Norwich dad implies 'who needs sleep!" anyway. Hooah.
     
  14. GemStateMom

    GemStateMom Member

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    Good morning everyone. I wish DS could lighten his load a little. NOT counting the required ROTC classes, his semester credits for his degree are 16, 17, 17, 18, 16, 16, 14, and 14. I may have him look into the CLEP program that was mentioned in an earlier post, as I do not know much about it. So far so good (first semester, anyway), but I know it is only going to get more difficult.
     
  15. AscoreD

    AscoreD Member

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    I average about 15 credits a semester, though granted this upcoming semester I will be taking 17. The key is pairing up "weak" classes with "hard classes" so then you can balance the work load. And trust me I know about the troubles of staying awake in class, I get up at 4:30am every morning for a 5:30am-7am hockey practice. Throw that on top of class and extra workouts for hockey and ROTC makes a busy day. I just constantly drink water through class to keep me awake, plus bathroom trips can be rather refreshing then to help wake you up :thumb:
     
  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree with AscoreD, the trick is looking at the demands of the courses you have selected.

    IMPO, many freshman do not understand that even if you are in all AP's in HS it is not a 10th of what it is like in college. The pace is faster and you can be in classes with 250+ people. They move on with you or without you. Engineering especially.

    If you know you have hard courses and ROTC, not only float in the electives that may be easier, but also be smart on scheduling the classes. Too often kids will try to work their schedule to have one day off and one day with just one class, leaving 3 days of hard core long days.

    This is an issue because if you load T/TH with 3 classes, and have ROTC on those days, 0 on Monday and 2 on W/F done by noon, you will hit the wall because people are procrastinators. You will not spend Friday afternoon getting ready for Tuesday classes, instead you will have fun the whole weekend and come Monday at 3 do HW for T/TH. Which means after a long day on Tuesday you have to come back home and do work for the W/F class. You are so busy doing W/F that when you come home on Wed you are doing T/TH homework, same is true for the Thursday for the Friday class. Come Friday you are burnt and you take down time for yourself, bringing us back to repeating the cycle.

    We have 2 kids in college and both did this in their freshman yr. I advised them this was not smart, smiled when they disagreed with me and did it anyway. Both learned and have never repeated it again, one has worked it for Wed as their day off. When they did the scheduling to cram up their schedule believing they would study, it was their lowest gpa in their college career by at least 0.2 gpa, for AFROTC in your 1st 3 semesters that will hurt alot. Overall DS class of 12 has a 3.387, it would have been over 3.4 if he did schedule correctly because that 1 semester was 3.192.

    OBTW, he was merit(college) on top of AFROTC scholarship. He was placed on probation by the college for that 3.192 because they do not round up to the tenth, they round up to the 100th. They also do not do cgpa, but sem. gpa.
    He fell under the 3.2 they placed, he was Dean's list with 3.645 the semester prior.

    Check with the college if they are taking merit. Read the fine print from the college. We didn't, we assumed, and you all know what ASSUME means.
     
  17. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    I am at 21 credits + 20 hours of clinical per week right now as a senior including ROTC/PT/Labs ( which I don't even consider a class). It is definitely doable. I had to drop lacrosse and baseball in order for me to better time manage, so it goes without saying there will be sacrifices. I still go out on weekends, play video games and lift everyday, buttttttt this system will take a year or two to master. As a freshman just hold your head above the water as much as possible and realize sleep isn't always going to happen :biggrin: I have definitely fallen asleep in class before when I used to work 8pm to 6am and looking back on that I was insane.

    AP classes in my opinion aren't even close to college courses. I got college credit form my anatomy and physiology honors/AP class in high school and we literally covered everything I had learned in that semester within 2 weeks of college time. However, if you can use AP credits to past those pesky gen ed requirements (i.e. writing, literature etc) GO FOR IT!

    Lightening the load is not always an option for some majors.
     
  18. JennMcNeal23

    JennMcNeal23 New Member

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    Most first semester freshman take 15-18 hours. Any more is doable but, you might have to make some social or extracurricular sacrifices. Here is an article about common exam mistakes. I wish someone had given me this advice when I started college. When gearing up for you or your freshman's first semester of college, keep these mistakes in mind. If you make some of these mistakes, it could cost you a GPA point or exam grade!
     

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