Help !! Change of Major Necessitates Setback ???

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by Treemantwo, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. Treemantwo

    Treemantwo Member

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    My son is a 4th Classman ( 2014) and began with his major being "ship's operation and technology" (shopper) or Deck.....with some engine courses. Two weeks after choosing this major he decides he would prefer "engine" and upon return from Thanksgiving leave he notifies the registrar's office. The difficulty of the work was NOT the reason for his wanting to switch as his 1st trimester GPA was a 3.5 and he continues to get excellent grades as a deckie. He has been told that he'll know his fate the 3rd trimester. He is stressing out badly at the thought of being "setback" and the possibility of having to leave King's Point for ANY length of time to attend a civilian college. He can't help, but feel like he failed should that be his only option. There was a mention of summer school at MMA and that would be great because he loves the waterfront and wants to volunteer there during INDOC.....but......he hasn't received any assurance that summer school will be offered to him. It is my hope that someone reading this can offer some advice that I might pass on to him. Any direction with this matter would be greatly appreciated as my son's stress is my stress!
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
  2. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Not sure why it would take until 3rd trimester to "know your fate". They should likely be either to tell him he can switch without a setback now or not.

    Usually a switch in majors from deck to engine or vice versa does require a set back simply because you do not have the opportunity to make up the classes. My guess is that since this occurred during the middle of the second trimester those in the engineering path had already started taking some of their major requirements and it was too late for your son to get into those classes. Also remember a lot of the classes are only offered once a year.

    If that is the case then summer school will likely not be an option as the courses offered for that are usually chemistry/calculus etc, not major core requirements.

    And definitely don't worry, nobody will ever accuse someone of wanting to switch to engine for an "easier" time (and this is coming from a deckie).

    As to advice: he needs to be talking with his academic advisors, including likely the dean, and possibly the engineering dept heads to see what the path ahead looks like. Can he stay for the third trimester to take some courses which would then allow him to possibly catch up in the future? etc etc
     
  3. KP2013Momm

    KP2013Momm Member

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    Many students in "normal colleges" have to do a 5th year because of a change in their major. If "set back" is the only way that this can happen at KP then remebering this may help sooth the words. I would advise talking to advisors and all who know how the system at KP works. I believe that because of the progression of classes and when they are offered is why it is almost impossible to switch from one major to another.
    I am sure others know more than I and can add their insight and wisdom.
     
  4. Treemantwo

    Treemantwo Member

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    Thanks to all those who have replied. My son has no problem taking 5 years to graduate from Kings Point, but he wants to do so while there ALL 5 years. He does not want a break in the continuity by having to go back to civilian life in the form of a "setback" for any length of time. He would, though, prefer to complete his 3rd trimester, continue to tutor, volunteer at INDOC 2011 and the waterfront AND then repeat whatever is needed of his 4th class year in the fall of 2011. Not knowing the inner workings of the Academy may not make this an easy task, but I just believe it can work. Maybe he needs to come up with a viable plan and present it.
     
  5. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

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    Just curious Treemantwo, what do think clicked with going engine now? Did he have a pretty good idea before he went To KP he wanted deck? Did the class they take on the majors create a major shift in thinking? The reason I ask is it this I think this is a very interesting topic. And I applaud your son for correcting his course (intended) if he has realized he is better suited on another tack. My DS has always been extremely mechanical. He fixed a bathroom cabinet when he was three, took his own training wheels off his bike at four and has been the family " assembly required " go to person since he has been 10. And I am talking about all of the technical projects that pop up. If there is a schematic involved we all hand it to him. Anyway he wants to go deck :eek: I think he will be really good at that and will enjoy the course work but he seems almost too sure of it for me. I can imagine him in the exact same,,situation,,(pun would have been too easy) a year from now. I would very much like to hear more how you son's situation turns out and what was his thought process along the way.

    Go KP Beat Bears Swimming and diving this weekend!
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011
  6. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    I think the BIG hang-up is going to be when the classes are offered that he needs to make up. Since it's the middle of second trimester I would imagine he needs to make up classes that are only offered in the second trimester. (Unfortunately it's not like State U where they offer BIO 100 fall/spring/summer) There may be a workable plan, but I would plan on not being at the Academy for a couple of trimesters, that way if things do work out you are happy, but if they don't you are already prepared.

    Also just to prepare, if they do set him back they will likely expect him to pursue courses at another institution.
     
  7. Treemantwo

    Treemantwo Member

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    Hello Lynpar: I'll post a reply to your question(s) when I speak with my son. Just want to give an accurate response. This can only help others who may be faced with the same situation and make them realize the importance of choosing the correct major the 1st time around.
     

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