Major Change Advice

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Jcc123, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    Question for all you knowledgable folks out there - maybe Clarkson could weigh in?
    My son, a contracted MSII, is considering a major change from Microbiology with a Human Health concentration (adm 3) to Anthropology (ADM 1). When he chose his major as a senior in HS, he was strongly considering medical school. He is no longer planning on that, the major is very difficult and intense, and really doesn't reflect his interests any longer. The major change will not impact his graduation/commission date.

    According to 145-1, contracted scholarship cadets are permitted to change ADM
    1 time only. It then goes on to say that Nursing, Engineering and 4 year national scholarship winners lose their scholarship if changing ADM.

    My son was awarded a 4-yr scholarship on campus, not through the national award process.

    His cadre think his major change much be approved by Brigade due to the ADM change, and have told him his chances of approval are low. I am positive I remember reading that Brigade approval was only required for class of '16 and beyond, but I could be imagining it.

    Can anyone point to the reg that clearly states the requirements for class of '15 (last year's MS1s), or help us interpret the 145-1 that we located online? He would really like to be able to take a copy of the reg to his cadre to discuss this further, if I am remembering correctly.

    Thanks for the help!
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    What? You're going to argue with the cadre and prove them wrong by citing the reg? I expect they're correct and in any case they'll confirm it one way or the other (perhaps by Brigade saying, "why are you sending this, we don't need to approve that").

    Low chances are not 0 chances, so it seems to me that your DS has nothing to lose by trying. It might very well depend on how critical that major is to them (perhaps they have plans for him in (anti)biological warfare?). Perhaps Clarkson or Marist can also shed light on the aspect of what happens if you try and fail?

    Are there any other majors DS might be interested in that are ADM3 or ADM2 which might improve his chances? (Certainly ADM3 would - that shouldn't be a problem).

    I have a nephew who majored in Anthropology. He's landed a fair paying job in the Butcher Dept at the local market (huess he's still working with bones though). I have to say I sympathize with your plight and I really don't mean any of this callously. There is absolutely no real good to staying in a major that you no longer find interesting or desirable. If it were my DS, from far away and without a wallet at risk, I would consider forgoing the scholarship to get to a major where he was happy and hoping he could still make it to the Advanced Course as a college programmer. But I would also be having conversations with him about what he was going to do with that degree.

    Hope all works out as desired.
     
  3. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    Kinnem - nope, no arguing with the cadre here. My son was speaking specifically with one individual who is brand new to the battalion, and wasn't clear on the regulation himself. He asked my son to look it up and come back to discuss.

    I am not sure that "forgoing" the scholarship is even possible at this point a full year after contracting, and it certainly isn't from a financial perspective. NROTC may be different, but I'd be surprised if that's allowed in AROTC.

    I believe my son's intention is to commission and serve on active duty, in which case an anthro degree is perfectly acceptable, and probably even more applicable than a microbiology degree. Thanks for the suggestion of choosing another major within ADM 3, though - he is looking into that and sees some that are possible candidates.

    Anyone else have a recollection of the reg changing specifically for class of `16 with regards to changing majors?
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012
  4. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Your son should not be overly confident about the scholarship, even if it has been a year. The PMS and Cadet Command has the option to revoke scholarship for various reasons, changing majors to a lower ADM is one of those options. There have been cadets that have lost their scholarships because they switched majors in their junior year, of course these cadets made the change without ROTC approval.

    If your son asks about a major change to a lower ADM it could be very possible they would say it would result in the loss of the scholarship, no matter how long he has been with the program.

    Your son is going about this in the right way, talk to the PMS and find out his options before making any change. Of course if he switches to a major in the same ADM it will most likely not be an issue.
     
  5. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    If he is in danger of losing the scholarship, he will obviously not change his major. I searched back in this forum, and located the paragraph below from a post last spring. Dunninla stated the following:


    "There is a NEW POLICY from CADET COMMAND. AROTC going forward requires either Brigade or Cadet Command approval (don't know which since the policy enforcement is new), starting with Year Group 2016, for a scholarship Awardee to change from a higher numbered ADM category to a lower numbered ADM category. This new policy was explained to me by a PMS in June of 2011, to be enforced starting in August, 2012 for new MS1 Scholarship Awardees."

    My question is still in regards to the reg. I have searched and cannot locate, and was wondering if someone can point to it? Is it the prior version of 145-1?
     
  6. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Not really sure you will find any such reg. at least not online.

    Changing majors have always required approval, they just were not very strict about it until recently. My older son changed from a ADM4 to a ADM1 at the end of is freshman year 2008/2009, they just smiled and said no problem as long as he could still graduate in 4 years. Things have gotten more strict these days. The only way he will know is to contact his PMS and find out what they say, if the balk at it then bring up regulations and see where it goes from there. The worse they can do is say no.
     
  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    You're right on forgoing the scholarship. Don't know why that didn't cross my mind. Duhhhh. I was more worried about what he might do with a major when he gets out but the major probably really doesn't matter at that point. It's the leadership skills they'll be after.
     
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Time to burn - I need a life!

    I did a little searching and found this in Appendix B of 145-1 here: http://www.rotc.armstrong.edu/Documents/Scholarship Regulations/CC Reg 145-1.pdf

    Don't know if this helps you sort it out or not. I didn't see any reference to class year anywhere. I did see the statement that a scholarship cadet will lose their scholarship due to a change in major earlier in section B4. Although it's poorly worded I have to believe that is either for a major change without permission or for a second major change (as you pointed out only 1 is allowed). I think this is the case because they then go on to describe the proper procedures for a change in major.

    Of course (as we already know and described in same appendix section) the PMS can approve a change within the same academic discipline (eg. biology to physics)
     
  9. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Ok so what happens if he doesn't like "army for life" path or there is a decent sized RIF and he is out of a job. So he dropped out of pre-med as a freshman? That's perfectly is a perfectly fine and a common course of action seeing as he would have another 10 years of hell on the horizon.

    There is no need to major in something you don't care or have any passion for. However I do urge him to consider a more applicable major to "real-life" within ADM 3 that he enjoys in case the needs arises. Anthropology usually doesn't fit the bill, just ask my cousin...
     
  10. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Is your cousin a butcher too? Like my nephew? :biggrin:

    Actually he could make something out of it, but not with a BA. He would need to get a Masters and start working on a doctorate, but you're absolutely right that its something to think about. There's nothing like a steady income after the military life is over. In the meantime, here's an interesting article regarding anthropologists in the military: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2008/09/controversial-a/ I didn't read all of it but it looks pretty interesting. Human Terrain and all that. Maybe Jcc123's DS can sell that.

    And back to microbiology, the military appears to need these folks but want someone with a Master's Degree. Might be a career path there without changing the major while still not following the medical school path (I'm not a microbiologist nor do I even play one on TV).
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2012
  11. Packer

    Packer Member

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    I have a cousin with an anthropology degree as well. I think he works in a grocery store.
     
  12. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    I think he works as a waiter part time at night and a video game store clerk during the day haha.

    Both degrees have potential, unfortunately that potential for anthro doesn't appear until the PhD level and for micro probably the masters level. That is more money and time without the gains you would expect from higher education. Cool article though
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Back on topic
    Am I the only one that thought this response was ridiculous?

    A cadet goes to the leadership to find clarification, and the leadership says I am not sure, come back to me when you find the answer out.

    What on earth?

    Isn't that why they are there? Guide, assist, mentor, train, etc? Wouldn't this come under their job, and not the cadets? I would assume they have easier connections to verify the answer, i.e HQ than the college cadet.

    Whether or not anthro is a good major or not is minor in the scheme of things since this is a ROTC site. The fact that an individual at the battalion was not clear and left it up to the cadet to find out, is frightening to me.

    Jcc123, is looking for an answer like any of us would for our kid. Unfortunately, we could send them down the wrong path. The battalion IMPO is responsible for finding the answer.

    Jcc123's DS is responsible to make sure that they find an answer since it his future, and accept the fact if they say this is a 1st, you can roll the dice to educate himself before rolling the dice.

    Off topic. in the NoVA anthro is an up and coming major for a way to get into forensic sciences field. I know a couple of kids that are doing forensic science/anthropology dual majors with a criminal justice minor. They intend to get a Masters, and hope to work for the FBI their forensic units.
     
  14. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I've got no problem with them sending a cadet off to do some homework on their own. Ultimately they have to come back and cadre can confirm then. I consider it part of the training.

    It's certainly an approach I used while working. I would never answer a (at least complex) question if the team member hadn't yet done their homework; although I would point them to where to look (and I frequently already knew the answer). If they still couldn't figure out the answer then I would either answer, or we would sit down and do the research together, so that at least the next time they had some idea on how to do the research. Part of the job is to grow the team, which is how I took this assignment to jcc123's DS, although it could very well have been laziness on the officer's part.

    Some of us investigated about as much as we can. Jcc123 can rely on it or not as he sees fit. I think all we did was quote what regs we found and pointed him to the place in the regs for further research. I think if his DS reads this section, whether right or wrong, he's done his homework and can re-approach cadre. In any case he needs permission to change his major as we all know. Changing it without permission is fatal to his scholarship. Cadre is still obligated to get it right, otherwise - no harm no foul for jcc123's DS.

    All seems clear to me, except for the side discussion regarding major alternatives which is certainly something worth thinking about and is all just a matter of opinion.
     
  15. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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  16. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    Kinnem, I am absolutely in agreement with you that he should be responsible for researching the issue and presenting his case to the cadre. That is what he's trying to do, and I offered to ask here since everyone is typically very helpful.
     
  17. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Hope it was helpful. Hard to tell at this point! Please keep us posted as we can all learn from this. :biggrin:
     
  18. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    To clarify one point, Aglahad - he didn't "drop out of premed as a freshman" - he is a junior with 80 semester hours and a 4.0. It isn't about his lack of ability to do the work or suddenly finding out that premed is difficult, but about his desire to major in something that actually interests him and that he feels will be more applicable to his Army service.

    I will update as he should find something out in the next few days. There is now apparently some discussion among the cadre as to whether his current major is ADM 2 or 3 - there appears to be significant overlap. He has to register for Spring semester in a week or so though, so he needs to get a decision fairly quickly.

    Thanks again for all the responses.
     
  19. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    For what it's worth, my DS did receive permission to change his major and ADM. Just following up in case any other cadet finds himself in the same situation.
     
  20. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Thanks for the update... but was permission granted by the PMS or did it have to go to brigade/region level? That was at least part of the question we all had.
     

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