Incompetent school advisor

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by rule62, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. rule62

    rule62 New Member

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    Our military academy changed service academy advisors and I have nowhere to turn. She failed to understand the deadline for Senator and Congressman Packets and had to overnight them to get them there 2 days late and filled out incorrectly. She then said that it was my son’s fault that it was turned in with an incorrect current address. My son put down our home address thinking that if he put down his school address they might think he was requesting an interview from the wrong state senator. He is boarded at a military school…where she is the councilor…how could she not see that this was a mistake that she needed to correct.

    She has called me on two occasions saying that she cannot access his application even though she was given access to all documents and passwords months ago.
    She contacted the USNA and told him that his application had erroneous information and needed to be corrected at which point the USNA contacted us saying that our son’s application is no longer considered complete until corrective action has been taken.
    “Your School Official has not officially signed off on your Candidate Activities Record. See Below comments that need to be addressed before School Official can electronically sign or validate the information regarding your Activities Record.”
    I called another school and they said that we no longer have access to his application and that the Blue and Gold Officer has to help with the corrective action. The other service academy advisor said that she would never advise the Naval Academy that the applicant filled out the application incorrectly. She said that the blue and gold officer could have corrected this without getting the USNA involved.
    I have contacted our blue and gold officer and he is confused by the actions of this advisor. What do you guys think??
    There must be some of you out there that can tell me how much my son may have been harmed…or maybe not at all.

    I just don’t know.
     
  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    My response can not, and is not intended to help you. I wish I could, but I cant. My response is intended for FUTURE applicants who lurk these forums. (Most of my responses are intended not only for the current poster but for future applicants).

    Having qualified my intent, let me say that whether it was my son when he was applying to the academy, or any applicants I have directly or indirectly assisted in the application process, I tell them that THEY need to remain proactive, and it is THEIR responsibility for the application process. I have them go to their MOC's websites, fill out the applications, and submit it to the MOC's office. I have them go to the school's admin office and get any transcripts, school profiles, and any other documents required. If the school says they won't give the applicant the transcripts and such, and that the school must send it, then I have the applicant schedule a time that they can go back to the school admin/counselor; WITH BIG ENVELOPE IN HAND; and have the admin/counselor show all needed paperwork, put it in the envelope, seal it, and mail it right then and there. I have them meet at the scheduled time, with all the required envelopes. e.g. to the academy, to the MOC, etc...

    Our school simply gave my son, and since then 3 other applicants, original stamped transcripts and required paperwork so THEY, the APPLICANT, could put it all together in the envelope with any other information such as letters of recommendations, etc... and mail it off. I also tell the applicants to make a copy of EVERYTHING being sent to the academy. My son was a Military Brat, and had his medical records at the base hospital. They obviously wouldn't give him/me the medical records, and said they'd mail them to the academy. No problem; I requested a photo-copy of ALL medical records and a copy of his immunization records. They'll give copies.

    Bottom line; it is 100% the responsibility of the applicant to provide all information to the academy and to the nominators if applicable. It isn't the school, their admin, or a counselor's responsibility. Most all of them will work with the applicant, but the applicant has to be totally involved with the process. If you say: "So and so will be sending ......."; then you're doing it wrong. Be there and be able to say: "So and so SENT ....., I was there when they SENT it". And again, get copies of EVERYTHING. Then, you have a copy you can "Re-send" if needed.

    Again, this isn't helpful to the original poster. And I'm not saying you did anything wrong in your circumstance. Hind sight is useless most of the time. This is just advice for Future Applicants. Do NOT RELY on anyone else to do your application. It is YOUR APPLICATION. You must take ownership of it. Every bit of the process. And if an authority, such as the school, wants to retain ultimate authority over their involvement, no problem. Be organized. Know exactly everything that is required. Schedule a time when the school can coordinate all of their involvement. Hold them to a scheduled time to meet when they've got all their parts available. Then, with envelopes in hand, mail off the package together. If the counselor/admin/etc... gives you a runaround or doesn't make the scheduled meeting with you and isn't ready, then schedule a meeting with the principal and work it from that angle. Remember, it's YOUR NAME on the application, not the school's. It's your name being considered for a nomination. Take charge of the process. Best of luck. Mike....
     
  3. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    rule, you have until March 1 to complete the Academy application so don't panic. Your son's is not the first application to be screwed up for one reason or another. The admissions folks are on your side. They want to see all the completed applications they can.They will help you get it completed properly. Usually it will show as incomplete until it is submitted properly. Have your son work with the appropriate person on all incompleted items. If they say they have completed it, have him call the CGO and find out what is going on.

    The BGO could not have solved the problem. The only way errors can be corrected is for the appropriate school official to work with the CGO. She responded properly.

    If the Congressman accepted the two day late application, you are fine. I don't think an incorrect address with a logical explanation is a deal breaker. If they don't accept it and you cannot talk them into changing their mind, you are SOL.
     
  4. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    Good advice, Mike. I simply cannot figure out why a school counselor would be the one mailing applications for noms, etc. But I am unfamiliar with the ways of the military schools. The applicant needs to be doing all of that, IMHO.
     
  5. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    My take on the OP's post is that only the address and the late submittal was at issue on the nomination. The incorrect submittals were on the application to USNA. Since all of this at USNA is done electronically, the candidate sitting around with a large SASE isn't going to do anyone a whole lot of good.
     
  6. agolson

    agolson Eagle43

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    I understand you dilemma completely. With classes, school rules and ec it is impossible for some students to do the necessary follow up that is something needed. I believe that is when parents have to get involved. When my son was going thru the process I went and sat in the guidance office until I got what was needed. I not only did it once I did it several times. I can tell you that in some larger public high schools kids do get lost in the shuffle. I observed guidance staff blowing kids off. What else can they do when the senior class is 700 + and 6 guidance staff for the entire school. This may not do you any good but believe me I do understand.
     
  7. d.mcknight

    d.mcknight Member

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    I think that the only time parents should ever be involved is as a last resort, when time is running out, and the counselor won't see the candidate. Classes and ec's are not an excuse in my opinion.
    I won't let my parents or grandparents do any of the stuff for me. I met with my counselor before summer and made it perfectly clear that I had deadlines. I followed up with e-mails to her school address. I missed an entire Calculus class once so I could meet with her and make sure everything was done. And I come from a large school as well. We have 5 counselors for 2600+ students.

    Kind of a side note, your child's/your counselor should know the value of a service academy, because many are able to add that into the amount of scholarships awarded. For example, at my school there was a local scholarship meeting and they told us last year our school awarded a few million dollars. You know where a large chunk of that came from? Three 2010 grads from my school are currently at academies.
     
  8. CandidateElias15

    CandidateElias15 USNA '15 Appointee

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    I agree. I notified both my math, english, and bio (she sent me a MOC letter of rec) teachers and counselor before I left school junior year to go to NASS/SLS/USAFSS (which were the last three weeks of school for me).
    I kept up with my counselor, because I know her, and she wont do them until the week before theyre due. So? I just told her to "have them done within a couple weeks" and she said the class portrait "takes only a couple minutes."
    I emailed her back in literally a couple weeks, and she hadnt done them. Good thing by then, it was only July :biggrin:
    I have no idea what you could do about the MOC, but I heard from my congressional nominator's secretary that you could call USNA admissions, and tell them you missed the deadline, and they could contact that MOC if they really want that MOC to look at you for a nomination. But other than that, I have no idea.
    Whatever you do decide to do though, good luck, and I hope to see you come I-Day.
     
  9. blackhawkmom

    blackhawkmom Member

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    i may not know a lot about all this but--i have experienced a similar situation. As the previous posts suggested --YOU have to be a step ahead of your counselors. DS had a situation very much like yours. don't panic -step back regroup and be proactive. You have the needed requirements you know the counselor --now---call the counselor and explain the time line if they do not help and seem not to care email the counselor as well as the school principal or whom ever is in charge explain the situation and tell them if they can not help you have no problem going to someone higher up. DS was in public school we copied counselor -principal and told them we had no problem going to school supe. We received signed and confirmed notification in 5 mins that all materials had been signed and sent to USNA. Amazing when you insinuate you will go wherever you need to to get documents on time. As a previous post implied ---they look good when they add that 150.000 to their end of year totals. It's YOUR son and HE needs to be aggressive and fight for what he wants.
    You are still ok but ---let them know they will complete his forms or you will go over their heads. Looks really bad on a counselor who messes up on a SA application. Ds app wasn't completed early--didn't get appointment til April ---you will be ok!!! BEST OF LUCK!
     
  10. rule62

    rule62 New Member

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    Thanks for your input. My son has tried to comply with the requirements and timeline for attending the USNA. He is responsible and diligent in his efforts. He is the third highest rank in his school as a Major on staff, Captain of Crew and Rifle, a Black Belt and instructor of Tae Kwon Do. 3.87 GPA and ACT of 26 to 28. He is taking AP and honors classes and is the Honor Court Judge. He works a charities and volunteers at a boy’s home nearby and is a mentor to kids with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.
    We put him at this military school at his request and it is over $25,000 per year. All along we have asked for information and asked what more can we do? I want to be clear and state that this councilor has been very guarded and insists that I am not allowed to fill out or see the packet to the Senators. I am not allowed to see the letters of recommendation. She has repeatedly told me that she is the only one that can do these things and yet she fails at these tasks. I have contacted the Blue and Gold officer and he is becoming pro active. I am scheduling a meeting with the Commandant and will plead my case to have this woman removed from dealing with my son. Can you give me any suggestions?
     
  11. blackhawkmom

    blackhawkmom Member

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    I understand trust me i do--as far as the letters we never asked to see them -we felt it wasn't correct protocol. Teachers did send us copies and included letters to DS of well wishes and support . It was a new experience for DS school so i will give her the inexperience pass ( now anyway) but at a military school they should know better. I feel they have no excuse. As far as the counselor --no info was forwarded but ---really i may be wrong- all they need to do is confirm what you have told them about on his resume at least that was all ours had to do. It is basically a form from my understanding. We sent contact info for community groups -scout leaders etc so she could confirm his resume. She didn't feel comfortable so i told her we would find someone who was and had the time to check his resume out. I'm telling u they will do it even if u or your DS must daily sit and wait. He needs to stick his head into the office daily. This is HIS dream and HIS future dont let THEM miss deadlines. You can do this but HE needs to badger them --depending on the school and the class size it is the time of year all seniors are panicking ---so be persistent ---if you need someone to whine to pm me---again best of luck!
     
  12. rule62

    rule62 New Member

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    LOL....I don't mean to whine....I just don't have any place else to turn where people know something about the process. It turns out that the councilor was wrong. The USNA got involved and the application was filled out correctly by my son. What kind of councilor makes mistakes like this? She is supposed to know how to do this and her ineptitude has caused confusion and discourse in the process. She is not an advocate for our son.
     
  13. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Am I correct in assuming that your son's high school has no history of sending its graduates to any of the service academies? I'm guessing - not.

    It is always helpful when a school as a reputation (and experience) in sending students to the service academies. Plus, it helps subsequent applicants to gain appointments since the academy keeps track of those high schools which produce successful midshipmen.

    Not that any of this is of any consolation to you at this point.

    My sons were very fortunate in this regard. They attended a fairly large public high school which, nearly every year, sends a couple (or more) students to one of the service academies. The counselor is very well versed in the process and understands the importance of proper and timely submissions.
     
  14. rule62

    rule62 New Member

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    Quite to the contrary!!
    This is a well established military prep school with a long line of young men being admitted to the service academies. It is an Honor School which means that they get three nominations to the academies. It is a new councilor that has taken over and knows NOTHING about service academies.
     
  15. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    It seems unfathomable that a school such as this would have a counselor who was not well aware of service academy procedures and requirements. You'd think it would almost be a prerequisite for the position.

    A military prep school?

    You should ask for a tuition refund, for crissakes! That's inexcusable, in my opinion.
     
  16. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    You should ask for a refund if they are marketing this claim. Every high school honors ROTC unit in the USA can nominate three to each academy. Every other high school and college ROTC unit in the USA can nominate three to its host service's academy. Three to four hundred hundred or so will be nominated to each service academy this way. From these, only 20 can be offered appointments. Truly, a needle in a haystack. It is good that you are focusing on your MOC nominations.
     
  17. rule62

    rule62 New Member

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    Now this is why I came here. I did not know this. You would think that this councilor would be aware of things like this. I am driving 4 hours tomorrow to have her removed from my sons case. We are through with her.
     
  18. rkrosnar

    rkrosnar Member

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    Incompentent school advisor

    Christcorp has hit the nail on the head. It is the responsibility of the applicant.

    RGK
     
  19. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    That is nice but not all schools will do this.

    My kids' high school has a policy that no Official Transcripts are ever given to the student. EVER. The Guidance office requests that the students bring in all their supporting material - including LOR's etc. and they are mailed out directly from there.
    This is to prevent tampering.

    Often it takes a triad of cooperation between the student, guidance office and parent.
    Sometimes parental invervention is necessary and this appears to be one of those times - I hope it all works out for you!
     
  20. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I agree with you. And if you go back and read that post, you will see that I mentioned that not all schools will allow the student to have the official transcripts. And for those applicants I work with, I have told them to "TAKE A BIG DOCUMENT ENVELOPE" with them to the school, when they've scheduled a meeting with the admin/counselor. Then, when all things are ready; e.g. transcript, school profile, class ranking, etc..., hand the admin/counselor the envelope and ask them to put all the information in the envelope. You, the applicant, have already put labels and addresses on the envelope. Then, just have the counselor/admin run the envelope through the postage meter, and placed in the outgoing Mail Bin. "Of course, make sure they give you a copy of all documents before sealing the envelope." And YES, they can give you copies.

    While the application process can indeed be a PITA sometimes; I am the optimist. I tell the applicants that the academy is looking for the best "WELL ROUNDED INDIVIDUALS" to become military cadets and officers. That this application process is their "FIRST TEST" in how to deal with adverse circumstances. best of luck. mike...
     

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