Guidance Counselor Dragging Feet

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by FalconsRock, Sep 16, 2015.

  1. FalconsRock

    FalconsRock Parent

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    My DD gave her guidance counselor detailed information from AFA about submitting transcripts, school profile and senior class schedule. She was also given the link to submit the counselor evaluation over a month ago. Her deadline has passed and she has been reminded many times, at her request, and has still not submitted the information. The English and Math teachers submitted theirs and the other letters of recommendation have been completed. What happens if the counselor does not submit the information before the deadline? How long should we give the counselor before going above her head to try and get the information submitted? :mad2:
     
  2. 2018mom

    2018mom Parent

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    Have your daughter ask the counselor again and remind her of the deadline. It wouldn't hurt to copy the lead counselor and/or the principal. I work for a large school district and my DS went to a very large high school. Counselors get overwhelmed with requests, things get lost and forgotten and all counselors have their own ability to prioritize. What may not be critical to the counselor is critical to your daughter and she should be respectful, but persistent!
     
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  3. Falcon A

    Falcon A Member

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    Been there -- IMHO time to either make an appointment with the counselor, or you might try a nice phone call from you to the counselor inquiring where things are?, asking what do they need?, how can you help?, offer to come in and help with the information and paperwork if necessary?, explain how you know how very busy they are with multiple requests from multiple children going to multiple colleges but the ACADEMY IS DIFFERENT and the deadline for submissions to the Academy is very important and further delay could cause your child to lose an important opportunity . . . yada, yada, yada. Then follow up with an email after the call thanking them for their time and documenting what was said/agreed to for future actions and due dates. Then give it 3 days and if no result, time to send another email asking what is happening, attaching the previous email that documented the conversation, and adding the Principal or other supervisor to the copy line of the email.
     
  4. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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    Ugh....these folks are soooo overworked generally.

    However some counselors/teachers might have other reasons for the delay. I would have your daughter schedule a meeting with her to find out what is holding things up. If she resists or you find out that there is an agenda (anti-military etc.) with this person, you might have to have your DD approach the senior counselor. It is very tempting to do this for her as the parent, but this is also a learning experience for your daughter.

    We were fortunate in that our DS's counselor was a military brat and a fan of the SA's!
     
  5. FalconsRock

    FalconsRock Parent

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    Thank you both for the suggestions. I guess I will have to get involved as my DD already sat down with her last week and reminded her about what was needed. And yes, I know it is busy time of year, but we gave her everything in early August and there are only about 40 seniors in my DDs class.

    I will get on that email post haste. Her ALO prefers to do his interview after all that stuff is in, and things are just in limbo. Honestly, there is no excuse to miss a deadline for any student. It is the counselor's job and I personally believe that more than a month leeway is adequate. But alas, we only have so much control.
     
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  6. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Might be time to put on your "Parent in Charge" cap and make an appointment to SEE the GC or the GC's boss, not to be confrontational but to remind him/her: I PAY you for this service and my child's future is riding on your doing your job correctly and in a timely manner.

    Fencersmother doesn't stand for "oh, I was so busy". Nonsense. That's what they're paid to be: busy in the fall. It's like a tax accountant saying they can't do ANYTHING else because it's January through April, but somehow finds time to go on a February cruise and take a week off at Easter.
     
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  7. KTMDad

    KTMDad Member

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    Our DS had a challenge with a teacher last year who sat on the review. DS gave it to the teacher the first day of school (middle August) and he had a good relationship with the teacher. The teacher just refused to do the review and even made comments to other students that our DS was bugging him. My wife finally sent an email to the teacher explaining the importance of the review and importance of the timing. He quickly apologized and did it immediately, and said he really didn't understand the importance of the SA deadlines.
     
  8. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    "Sent an email" yeah, put it in writing. And if I were the parent, I might be a little bit more than freaked out that a teacher was complaining about my child to anyone, let alone to other students.
     
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  9. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    For you future applicants; no help now. Most schools are open in the summer for a lot of administrative stuff. My son, as well as my applicants, I have them go to the school during the summer as soon as applications open for the academy. I have them bring a large envelope already addressed to the academy with postage. I have them ask the admin and/ or counselor if they are there.... Please give me a copy of my official transcript, my senior schedule, a copy of your school profile, etc. and we put it in the envelope. I ask for a return address lable and put it on the envelope. Then I put it in their outgoing mail.

    Then again, I always recommend this and getting your application completed before the summer vacation is over. This is your application and your future. You must be proactive. Every high school is open during the summer months and will do administrative things like this. If you wait until school starts, you will run into some complications and delays because of how busy they get.

    Again, no help for the current poster, but for the lurkers reading and going to apply next year, this is my recommendation. And honestly, there absolutely no excuses for not having your application 100% completed before the summer is over. It's totally doable, no matter where you live or your school. You simply have to be proactive and have the initiative.

    I know plenty of applicants who got their ducks lined up BEFORE the end of junior year school. Their teachers were lined up expecting to do the letters, admin was expecting to get transcripts and schedules. It definitely can be done. Most kids I work with have all the school stuff and things outside their control done before the end of July and are 100% complete with their application, including CFA and medical by the first of August. Best of luck.
     
  10. afmom2020

    afmom2020 Member

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    To add to what CC said, that's even more important in the North East where school aren't open until after Labor Day. My DD's guidance counselor left in April on maternity leave and the replacement didn't know the students/needed time. My DD made lots and lots of trips in the summer and still didn't get done until mid September. It drove me nuts since everything else was done.
     
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  11. FalconsRock

    FalconsRock Parent

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    CC, that is very good advice that everyone should heed.

    We were proactive and had everything ready and approached the guidance counselor (GC) before the end of the school year. At that time we did not know that the docs had to be submitted via the portal. My DDs portal did not open until Jul 10 and the GC was gone until early August. We weren't able to get the letter supplied by USAFA to the GC until school started. We are still waiting, but are confident that we will get it done.o_O
     
  12. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    My main point wasn't to provide a step by step procedure. But individuals who decide during summer vacation after junior year;........ "Hmmmmm, I think I'll apply to the military academies"....... aren't usually the individuals who come to this forum and decide to apply. The people who are on this forum, even the lurkers, are usually individuals who have been here a little while. I.e. at least since the beginning of their junior year; they probably applied for summer seminar; they've had an interest in the academies for a while. This is one of the reason this forum has such a high rate of appointees. "THEY ARE MORE PREPARED".

    As such, you can't take all the great info you learned here and simply think everything is going to go fine on it's own. I provide my "Juniors" in high school a check list of everything they need to prepare for. I understand that each year some things in the process change. e.g. moved online, cutoff dates, etc. But I make sure that my candidates are all lined up. They've been speaking with their counselors, teachers, and admin. They find out when the best time in the summer is to get all their information to the academy. They have the teachers lined up with their recommendations. They've applied to summer seminar. They've familiarized themselves with their nomination options and procedures. They're ready to take the CFA and are ready for a medical physical. And remember something VERY IMPORTANT!!!! No one individual is irreplaceable. If the person you need assistance from isn't available, THEY HAVE A BOSS!!! And that boss is authorized to do EVERYTHING that their employee is capable of doing. So, if a teacher, counselor, etc. isn't cooperating or not available, go to THEIR BOSS. Maybe it's a department head or maybe even a principal. But you can get people to help you. Again, this is your future. Take control of it.

    So, while the OP of this thread will simply have to become a pain in the "you know where" and get on their counselor or go to the principal and do whatever; hopefully the future applicants reading this won't get put into that position. If you think about it; the academy wouldn't set up any type of "Deadlines" if they didn't think it was possible to meet that timeline. And while parents definitely need to support their kids in whatever endeavors they pursue for their future, the bottom line is...... IT'S THEIR FUTURE. They need to take control of this process. That's what the academy and military want. Motivated individuals. Individuals who can take on responsibilities. If an applicant can't do that for the application process, then maybe they need to reconsider applying to a military academy.

    Again; this is of no real help to the OP. And it's quite possible that the OP didn't have a lot of this information early enough to be more efficient with their time getting their school to do their part. But as I said previously, I am writing this mainly to the other readers and lurkers who will be applying next summer. You've got almost a YEAR. If you get stuck behind the wheel, and your application isn't 100% completed by August, then that's your own fault. If you're reading this now, and will be applying in the future, you have absolutely no excuses. You've been warned. And as you can see from this thread, there are many outside influences that can affect your application. The question is: "Do you just say, Oh well..... just take my chances". Or do you take the initiative and take control over your application and your future. Best of luck.
     
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  13. Mom_CHgn

    Mom_CHgn Member

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    Our DD turned her form into the counseling office about 2 months ago. The week after they got it they went on a two week end of summer vacation. They reopened 2 weeks before school started. She went in to check on the progress... Nothing...So the next week she called and went in....Nothing. School started and she checked in several times the first week and then daily the next. The final straw for her to finally give her opinion and go over their heads, came when she went in on a Friday morning. Totally sick to her stomach (she was hella nerves, we were leaving to drive 4 hours to her ALO interview), she asked again for the umpteenth time when the form(s) ETC would be. The councillor pulled out the form from under her open Breakfast and then replied, "It says I have a few weeks still to complete it...Ill get to it when I'm not busy!" Well DD kindly...OK probably not so kindly at this point...Asked to please get the paper back, and she would ask the VP to fill it out for her, since she (councillor) was sooooooo busy. The VP had been so kind about filling out forms for her with no questions asked and with in a few hours. The councillor turned to her computer and with in minutes (like 5) the form was completed and needed info sent. WOW! Well DD is proud of herself and that is all that matters now.
     
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  14. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Excellent.
     
  15. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Is the dead line an actual deadline or self imposed dead line? Don't know how AFA admissions works, for USMA actual official application deadline to complete is the last day of February. So if the counselor comes back, according something the deadline is this date, which is different from what you are telling me, what will the reply be?

    Of course, in most cases completing the application by the last possible minute doesn't help the cause.
     
  16. Mom_CHgn

    Mom_CHgn Member

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    She says the deadline on the form she gave the councillors, was the same deadline she has to have her file complete. She on the other hand has given herself a much closer deadline so that she knows everything is complete.
     
  17. FalconsRock

    FalconsRock Parent

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    LG, it is the USAFA deadline, and in this case it is November 10. My DD gave her GC the deadline of Sep 15 just in case we ran into problems like this.

    Update: DD sent another email to the counselor yesterday and all the portal entries were completed by the end of the day. We are still waiting on LORs for the MOC, but were told they would be completed by close of business today. It is so rewarding to see all those black checks marking completed items. On to DoDMERB physical on Friday. Thank you all for your sage advice. :jump1:
     
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  18. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Go spuds. (If you remember spuds, you're old). Lol
     
  19. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    The lesson for all is that YOU are responsible to stay on those who work for YOU. Do not be passive (leaders are NOT passive)! Get the job done.
     
  20. 2019_mom

    2019_mom New Member

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    I would also add, stay on top of your application on the USAFA site.

    For my DD, her application page had a disclaimer at the top saying that they were a little behind and kept showing her ACT scores as not being there. This was despite the fact that she had sent them in early (September). Finally, she sent them an email in December and it turned green right away (which we took to mean that they had them and had just misplaced them). However, because they didn't process them in time, she fell out of the "early decision" bucket. She didn't even know that until later when her ALO talked to admissions. It all worked out in the end since she was offered her appointment in January and she is currently a C4C but it was frustrating for her (and me!).

    Moral: If you don't see something greenlit when you know you have sent it and it is nearing the deadline, follow up!
     

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