Real purpose of STEM

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Spoiled Sweet Clover, May 3, 2012.

  1. Spoiled Sweet Clover

    Spoiled Sweet Clover New Member

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    This program should explain what it is really intended for. It is a minority/under-served/under-represented recruitment program. It flys under the radar screen by NOT stating this--and you get kids who are not within this demographic who cannot understand why they did not get into the STEM program--perhaps driving these potential young leaders AWAY from the USNA because they are sent messaging that because they cannot get into this program--what would be the liklihood of GETTING IN to the USNA! Your program may be turning kids off rather than on. If it was about merit--why would there be a drop-down box to capture race/ethnicity. Perhaps the approach to the academy application process as well as STEM would be ELIMINATE any requirement for documentation of race/ethnicity--and let these young leaders rise to the top to lead after graduation from the academies.
     
  2. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    I agree. Mid said sibling should not apply for STEM. Didn't make it and thought she wasn't qualified for USNA.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  3. MMMom

    MMMom Member

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    As you will be told over and over again... admittance into STEM or NASS has little to NO bearing on a future appointment. But if your kids are deterred that easily, I'm guessing this entire process might not be their best route for potential college education... we are only a little ways into it, and it became immediately clear to me this is a marathon through some giant mountains in bad weather, not a sprint down a racetrack on a perfect sunny day.
     
  4. bgrant94

    bgrant94 Member

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    Jeez what a hater. It's funny how people like to point out that the admissions process for the academies are biased towards minorities, but completely skip over the fact that they are extremely biased towards non minority kids who tend to be more well off. NOT SAYING THAT ALL NON-MINORITIES ARE RICH, all people have struggles, but think about this "In 2010, 27.4 percent of blacks and 26.6 percent of Hispanics were poor, compared to 9.9 percent of non-Hispanic whites and 12.1 percent of Asians."~http://www.npc.umich.edu/poverty/#4

    I think this poster put it into perspective on the subject of minority admissions a few weeks ago.
    Ever notice how the really good schools are generally made up of mostly whites and asians and how the really bad schools are made up of mostly blacks and hispanics? They tell us that my high school used to be a top notch all white, but once they started integrating (it's the south so that in itself took a long time) and blacks started moving in they all left and the school went to crap. We have come a long way as a nation, but to think that 50 years is enough to completely close the cultural gap regarding education that was encouraged to fester and bloom for centuries is unfair and unrealistic.

    NOT BLAMING PEOPLE FOR BEING SUCCESSFUL AND BEING ABLE TO GIVE THEIR KIDS GREAT OPPORTUNITIES!! Not calling racism or spewing reverse racism either, I love all people!! And I don't hate people who are better off than me, I respect the work that created that wealth and want to learn how to get where they are and beyond. But if you are allowed to say that those minority children earned a spot over your kid were undeserving and couldn't possibly be good enough to be that successful without so called "reverse discrimination" (a funny thought since the academies and most great colleges are made up of 60-70% non-minority and non-underrepresented groups), then I am allowed to call foul on any opportunity provided to your kid to get ahead that was a result of your financial situation, geographical location, and/or legacy status.

    Of course, it isn't fair to discriminate or look down on successful non-minority kids because of circumstances beyond they're control, especially since there is no way of knowing how hard they worked for it or how much dedication or sacrifices they and their families made to get there. So it's just as bad to do the same to minority kids. You don't want anyone to say you got where you are because you're White or Asian, so why the hell would Blacks or Hispanics want to be made to think that their success is based on their skin color?

    Sorry, but this subject really makes my blood boil. I didn't get where I am because of my skin color, I got there because I worked my a** off like the rest of the great kids on this site.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  5. MMMom

    MMMom Member

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    Love your rant, bgrant94! We all have our own challenges in life, it's what we do with those challenges that makes us great, or not.
     
  6. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Folks,

    First, let's keep this on-topic. I know people on both sides of the "affirmative action" debate are passionate, but we're never going to resolve that issue on this forum. There have been many discussions of the role "minority" status plays in USNA admissions decisions. We'll never achieve nirvana on this point either, but the conversation is fine provided everyone keeps it civil.

    As for STEM and NASS, they are recruiting tools. Many of us BGOs keep saying this and yet no one seems to listen. STEM is largely funded by private industry and is designed to encourage kids who show an interest and/or aptitude in the STEM courses to continue that interest. And, USNA also hopes that those individuals, who might not otherwise be aware of the opportunities USNA offers, will become aware and return to their schools and communities and talk up USNA.

    NASS is intended to promote USNA to regions of the country and schools that historically have not sent many kids to USNA. It's not only intended to recruit attendees but, as with STEM, the hope is that kids will return to their homes and "talk up" USNA. I can virtually guarantee you that a kid applying from North Dakota who is marginally qualified will get the nod over an exceptional kid from northern VA.

    Neither program (especially STEM) is a vetting program for USNA. That is not why they exist and, in choosing attendees, USNA is not necessarily looking for people who will succeed at USNA. Yes, some kids from the Annapolis area get selected, but that's not to whom the program is targeted.

    We can all debate or even question whether STEM and USNA should be used as recruiting tools but the fact remains they are. As a result, "more highly qualified" candidates for both programs will be turned down in favor of candidates who promote geographic diversity. Note that geographic diversity CAN intersect with racial/ethnic diversity (in the case of certain under-represented inner cities, for example) but does not alway do so (see my example re ND above).

    It is unquestionably discouraging for highly qualified candidates who are interested in USNA to be turned down for STEM or NASS. The only thing that can be said is that such a decision is unrelated to their likelihood of being accepted to USNA. If they are too discouraged to apply to USNA, it is a tragic flaw of the current system; however, I would hope that if USNA is their dream, they would perservere. Disappointment is a reality of adult life; and those who ultimately succeed learn to push through it.
     
  7. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    STEM is a joke at USNA. As per many MIDS. If my kids were "deterred" by any aplication process they wouldn't have graduated from or attending their current schools.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  8. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    I don't think the OP is disagreeing that that STEM is a recruiting tool.

    I think the OP's point is that STEM is a URM recruiting tool.

    And that fact is not disclosed.
     
  9. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I don't say it isn't true; it may well be. But I would like to see objective evidence of that.
     
  10. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    Objective from the STEM Program? MIDS Know the Gouge. I still think it is a great program. Just let me know that my child can not qualify. She wanted it bad while her sister was a firstie.
     
  11. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    Well, my son attended STEM and he's a white male. However, he also had a 34 ACT as an 8th grader when he applied and was from an underrepresented area of Wisconsin. So it's not "just" minorities they're targeting.
     
  12. Bear-

    Bear- Member

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    If your son got a 34 on his ACT, he definetly deserved to get in.

    But its also pretty hard to deny that it is used as an under represented minority recruiting tool.

    http://www.usna.edu/Admissions/stem.html: look at the picture of the people who attended in 2008, and you will see it is very likely that it is used as an under represented minority tool.
     
  13. Smith56

    Smith56 Member

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    Didnt get accepted to STEM this summer. I believe I had the potential: 4.0+ weighted classes, Varsity runner, Bassoon, Model Congress, Professional Knife Thrower. Didn't make it, but, it hasn't deterred me for NASS or for the USNA when I do graduate in 2018. I am only 16 and some of these posts are upsetting to me. My sister is waiting on the USNA 2016; she was wait listed...We are still hopeful, and she will continue to pursue becoming an Officier either thru the NROTC or thru reapplication. Some of these posts seem to be negative.
     
  14. MMMom

    MMMom Member

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    Smith56... good attitude, no reason to get discouraged, just keep working hard and doing your best! Professional knife thrower??? I have never heard of such a thing... very cool and how on earth did you get into knife throwing?
     
  15. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    ...wait what?
     
  16. bgrant94

    bgrant94 Member

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    Right back at cha.
    http://staging2.dcmilitary.com/images/trident070909_photos/8096_512.jpg

    This is what the naval class of 2013 looked like. So obviously the fact that STEM was half minority in 2008 didn't deter these kids from seeking appointments in 2009 now did it? Like usna1985 said, STEM recruits from underepresented areas, many times those areas are made up of minorities. Most just don't know the opportunity exists. Oh sure, they advertise enlistment heavily. But to give an example, I didn't know about ROTC until less than 2 years ago and just found out about the academies last year. My points were:
    1. The argument that alot of the minority kids that get into the academies were given handouts because of their race is bogus. Even if they use minority status as a factor in admissions, then I'm sure it only adds a handful of points to the application as opposed to the buckets of points awarded to the non-minority kid with 50 EC, 4 yrs of fall, winter, and spring varsity sports, 4.0 gpa. It seems that the real breaking point is your whole person score in the interview. Ever think that maybe they see a little more in the character of one kid over another? Maybe the other one came off as arrogant, boring or stereotypical(i.e same old story), maybe they were nervous and didn't know how to express how they really felt. Nobody really knows. Nothing is a given, no one is entitled to anything. If you go in thinking that way, you will be in for a rude awaking.
    2. Everyone goes through failures and disappointments. It's how you handle them that shows your true colors. The most sucessful people in the world have been told "no" hundreds of times. Instead of brooding, griping, and moaning about it, they took notes, reflected on how to improve themselves, and put a new plan into action over and over and over agian until they were sucessful. Even then, they did not stop growing and learning. I suggest the poster take a page out of their books. Newsflash, no one is perfect. Everyone has room for improvement, wise people realize that. Dont sit around and be angry and spiteful towards kids who got a spot in something that doesn't even factor into the admissions process no less. Playing the blame game helps no one. There will be more great opportunities if you don't blind yourself to them.
    3. The post was framed so negatively. It not only discourages non-minority kids and makes it seem like no matter how good they are, some minority might steal their place, but it discourages minority kids and makes it seem like they can't win for anything. Looked down on if they do poorly and sneered at if they do well.

    No one is being uncivil. The poster wanted to rant about an opportunity that was stolen from her child, she and anyone of like mind should be reminded that the sword cuts both ways. They are free to handle that blade carelessly if they wish as this particular battle exists in the realm of fantasy and opinions...they are also, however, free to know the consequences of such carelessness for both themselves and the other parties.

    Bottom line. Congrats to anyone who got into STEM or an academy this year, I am sincerely happy for you. All that didn't, don't give up! If this is your dream, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and come back next year even better than you were before. If you are far more happy with your plan B, then file this in the category of a great experience. This process can change you for the better if you let it. The best of luck to everyone:thumb:
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  17. nuensis

    nuensis USNA 2016

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    Glad I'm not the only one who was baffled.




    Thing is, most of the people who go to NASS don't even get appointed. NASS doesn't reflect the application process. Highly doubt STEM does, either.

    Recruitment programs for the sake of recruitment are necessary sometimes; heck, I would've lost a great opportunity here if a guy two years ahead of me in high school hadn't gone to NASS and came back excitedly telling all of his friends about his adventures. And now because I have gone through NASS and the appointment process, USNA now has two applicants for 2017 and 2018 who would not have even tried if I had not gone to NASS and told them about my adventures. All of a sudden my no-name high school has started a streak of sending students to the Naval Academy.

    Also, there's a lot more that happens in Admissions than matching up SAT scores and lists of ECAs. A candidate that seems to be "better" than another candidate may not be. How do you measure leadership potential with test scores and grades? A 2400 SAT, straight A's in high school, and a varsity letter is the textbook "great Naval Officer," right?

    So was I appointed because I am Asian? Or was I appointed because my merits won out against a laundry list of candidates that had complete applications in October of last year? The world will never know.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  18. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    @nuensis - being Asian is not considered a targeted minority by USMA at least and I'd bet USNA as well, so would not have affected your odds of getting an appointment.
     
  19. Smith56

    Smith56 Member

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    My dad and I throw 15" blades...Didn't mean to say Professional. We met up with Professional Knife throwers some time ago....It is a discipline and requires precision, timing and concentration. Plus it helps me relax.
    On a different note, I am still interested in reading these posts, I just hope they remain helpful; I am going to take the good with the bad and decide for myself. Good Luck to everyone
     
  20. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Not handouts, but preference.

    That is a fact, not speculation not conjecture, but fact. Race is a preference factor at USNA.

    The admissions statistics, pried from the USNA under the FOIA by Bruce Fleming, shows these facts clearly.

    Ninety-one (91) percent of qualified African Americans and 82 percent of qualified Hispanics were offered seats in the Classes of 2012-2014, compared to 55 percent of qualified non-minorities.

    That's almost a 50% difference. You can explain away 5%, or even 10%, as statistical anomalies, or sampling errors, etc - but there is only one explanation of a 50% difference - race preference.

    If you are a qualified minority candidate, you have a 91% chance of being offered an USNA appointment.

    If you are a qualified non-minority candidate, it's slightly better than a coin flip (55%).

    Facts. Wrong or right, these are facts cannot be denied.

    (There are a few threads from the last few years here with all the supporting documentation/links if anyone so chooses to search).

    :cool:
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2012

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