Math and English Teachers

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by gbo3, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. gbo3

    gbo3 Member

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    My daughter is trying to finish up her re-application to USNA before she heads off for school in couple weeks. However there is some confusion about the required letters from her English and Math Teachers.
    She was left with the impression that she would need letters from her teachers at college not the teachers she had this past year in high school.

    Seems odd that USNA would want letters from a teacher that you have never had contact with and may only have limited contact with in a college environment. She also won't be taking any lit or English classes since she scored 5's on the AP test and will get credit instead.

    any ideas on this?
     
  2. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I just came from BGO training and this question was specifically addressed. If you are a full-time college student, USNA wants letters of rec from your college professors. Yes, they know that you may be in a huge lecture class. Yes, they know that your profs may not know you well. But they still want a college prof opining on your ability to do college level work.

    People may disagree, argue, etc. But this is what USNA wants. Also, USNA will not evaluate college students until after first semester grades are in. So, it's best to wait until late October or November before getting your letters of rec -- hopefully, by that time, your prof may know you a little and/or you may have had some grades on which for him/her to base an opinion.

    If you are still a h.s. student and doing some college work (such as at your community college), you can still provide your 11th grade teacher recs.

    As for not having an English teacher -- first, she should be taking an English course. While it may not be required at her college with an AP of 5, I'm sure there are English electives she could take. If she doesn't have this, contact your Regional Director at CGO and ask what to do.
     
  3. JWSchultz

    JWSchultz Member

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    Im in a similar situation as gbo3's daughter where I am re-applying and I have a similar question.

    Should the counselors rec also be done at the the college or should I use my counselor/advisor from the college?
     
  4. gbo3

    gbo3 Member

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    usna1985

    thanks for setting us straight. we just hadn't heard this before.

    As for her English, college counselors suggested she take her credits and move on. She's taking a very aggressive course load. Calc, Chem, Physics, and a couple required engineering classes along with her NROTC classes.
    With an ACT score of 34 on the english, the AP scores it seem like starting over for her.

    her first year engineering class load is fairly structured, they really recommending moving onto other classes in the 1st year core if possible.

    thanks again
     
  5. devildog55

    devildog55 Member

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    I would be very surprised if she doesn't get admitted this time.
     
  6. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    The counselor is supposed to verify your activities record. While some counselors may also include a rec, they aren't required to do so. I would use your college counselor, as he/she is in the best position to verify your college activities.

    Also, USNA recognizes that activities in the first year of college may be fewer in number and leadership opportunity than as a h.s. senior. They account for that.

    The main things for college students are:

    (1) Taking a course load similar to a plebe's and doing well in it. This means Calc, Chem, Physics (if possible), English, History. That's not set in stone -- but is a good start. USNA recognizes that, at some colleges, you may not be able to take all of those courses (for example, Chem may be blocked to all but pre-med types). As the OP's child is doing, try to substitute Engineering, Physics, even Biology. Hard core, lab-based science, math and engineering. Stay away from Statistics as your math option -- USNA doesn't consider it an equivalent for Calc or other math courses. You can add it onto other courses, but won't get much credit for it from USNA (as compared to college Calc).

    (2) Staying physically active/fit. Again, you don't have to play varsity sports in college -- USNA understands this may not be possible. But try to find some sort of intramural or community sports league so that you stay involved and stay fit.

    Leadership and activities just aren't as critical for college students, assuming this wasn't a weak area during h.s. Thus, join the clubs or participate in activities you enjoy at college but really focus on the academics first semester (and second).
     
  7. mombee

    mombee Banned

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    I am glad that they are finally solidifying this in re the teachers. In the past, they have been ambivalent.

    As far as activities, for reapplications it makes perfect sense to use the college since the CGO will already have the previous year's high school input. Did they make a recommendation for college students applying to USNA for the first time? It would seem to me that the high school activities would be more beneficial; as you state, college is most often less than high school, and of a much shorter duration.

    Anecdotal input: Of the five or so college reapplications that I have seen, the only one who was not successful was the one who listened to his college adviser who convinced him that English/Calculus/History/Chemistry was too difficult a load for a first semester college student. He is a junior there now probably with the same adviser.

    And lastly, just to reiterate: Every reapplication should have picked the brains of both their BGO and the CGO to the maximum extent possible, and included in their plans specific corrections for any weaknesses noted. With that said, the vast majority are academic.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2009
  8. gbo3

    gbo3 Member

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    mombee

    thanks for you input. I think she's pretty clear on what she needs now.

    So is her past application and recommendations taken into consideration as a re-applicant? There would seem to be some good resources there.

    as for her college adviser, she was made aware of here goal this year and allowed her to take far in excess of the recommended freshman class load. Mirroring what her class load would be at USNA and then some.

    Anyway, she is pointed straight and is ready for college. But bound and determined to be at USNA next year at this time.
     
  9. mombee

    mombee Banned

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    Since usna1985 just got back from refresher training, maybe she can add to this. I have been assured, on numerous occasions, that there is only one direction that the package of a reapplicant can go and that is up. Anything new adds to the original package. Of course this probably does not include underage drinking, DUIs, adverse professor recommendations, 'D' s and 'F's, etc.
     
  10. gbo3

    gbo3 Member

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    Thats good to hear. She was so close this year, ending up "wait listed". But she is confident with hard work she'll get her appointment next year.
     
  11. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Yes and no. If a re-applying college student doesn't take plebe courses, it won't help b/c it doesn't show anything new. Getting As and Bs in psychology, statistics, zoology, sociology, religion, etc. is great but not helpful in re-applying to USNA.

    If a college student takes plebe courses and doesn't do well (Cs and below), it will hurt b/c it suggests the student can't handle college-level academics. One C isn't a killer but consistent Cs will be a red flag on the theory that, if you can only manager Cs without the other pressures of USNA, how will you handle classes with everything else.

    If a reapplying student takes plebe courses and gets As and Bs, stays fit, and has no problems such as described above, it will only help.:smile:
     
  12. mombee

    mombee Banned

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    In my statement, this is a given. I was speaking more of extracurriculars, community service, sports, clubs, etc. I don't think one can stress enough the importance of taking Plebe courses.
     
  13. Hopeful MDN

    Hopeful MDN Member

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    I also had a question about my math and english teacher recommendations...

    My math department supervisor would be more than happy to write be a recommendation, but I am not sure if it is allowed because he isn't a teacher. But he is the head of the whole math department at my high school, so would it be okay? Sometimes he is a substitute teacher, but for the most part he is the boss of the whole math faculty at my school and has a major from Villanova in mathematics. Is it okay to use him as a recommendation? Please help me!
     
  14. USNA1982BGO

    USNA1982BGO Retired Staff Member

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    In my experience anyone who is in the position as a Math Dept. supervisor must be a certified teacher. Just because they aren't in a "teaching" position does not discount them as a teacher.
    What is important is that the person who is writing your recommendation knows you as a student, such as your character, work ethics, leadership skills, etc. Some recs that I have seen from teachers who you would think are reputable are no more than canned versions of your resume. You need someone who is going to paint that true picture of you to the board.
    I've had one candidate whose Eng teacher flat out refused to write the rec base upon their personal anti-war/military opinions. This is NOT someone who you would want to write your essay. In this case the candidate notified me, the BGO. I then passed it by my ACO, who then got in touch with the academy. Long story short, the candidate's AP History teacher was permitted to write the eval since a great deal of writing had taken place in that class.
    Advice to you: contact your BGO and let them know what is going on and explain your circumstances. They can then figure out what the correct avenue for you to take regarding the rec.
     
  15. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    Unfortunately that's polar opposite from what some MOC's want. A senators liaison told me the other day that "why would they take a recommendation from a college professor that might have known you for a few months?", they want a teacher that knew you for the year. Different strokes for different folks and common sense doesn't always prevail.
     
  16. Soylent

    Soylent Candidate

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    That's probably the most frustrating part I found with the admissions process. Applying to one service academy is like applying to four different schools.
     
  17. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Understand. However, I can only relate what USNA specifically stated they wanted and why. Whether or not we agree, whether or not it makes sense to us, it's still what they want. MOCs may well want something different for different reasons -- a reapplying college student should check with each of his/her MOCs to be sure you're providing what they want.

    Remember you CAN always submit extra recs to USNA. If you believe your 12th grade teacher can add something not covered by your 11th grade teachers the prior year or your college prof, you can always submit it. However, it should add something extra, not merely be duplicative.
     
  18. USNA1982BGO

    USNA1982BGO Retired Staff Member

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    By George, I think you've got it!
    The application process to any service academy is a lesson in perseverance, persistence, time management, organization, attention to detail, knowing your facts...hmm sounds like a military officer.
    Like USNA1985 stated, what USNA wants is what they want. Period. At BGO training we were instructed to inform post high school applicants that all college student recs must come from college professors. Is that difficult? Maybe. But what it will do is encourage you to get to know your prof; build that professional relationship.
    What your Senator or Congressperson might want is what they want. Period. These are apples and oranges.
    My suggestion to any and all of my candidates is to create an Excel spreadsheet that breaks down what your Senators, Congressperson and Academy are looking for; you will be in awe at what needs to be completed, but in Excel format you can keep track of everything and check it off as you complete each step (remember to include deadlines).
    Now multiply this by each service academy and civilian college that you are applying to and honestly, what you are partaking in is the equivalent of another course titled APCollegeApplications. This is why we encourage you to apply early.
    Best Regards to everyone!
     
  19. adoloris

    adoloris Member

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    My son's BGO told him to go ahead and let his high school teachers do his evaluations so that his application could get finished but that he would have to have his college professors send in their recommendation/evaluation at or near the end of his fall semester. I believe that the reasoning behind this is that we have a senator who gives his nominations in the early fall and prefers to have the application complete.
    Just thought you'd want to know
     

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