"Setbacks" ???

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by 2013Parent, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. 2013Parent

    2013Parent Member

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    Hi everyone, sorry but I just keep hearing terms that are not clear to me.

    Tell me more about "Setbacks";

    What does the term mean? ( I think I know, but just want to be sure)

    What has changed from last year?( I have seen references to there will be less setbacks)

    What is the process and where does a candidate/midshipmen get identified as eligible or not eligible for consideration?

    Is there a parcticular year where being setback is more possible or probable than another?

    Is this something the other Academy's do?

    Thanks
     
  2. KPMarineopsdad

    KPMarineopsdad Member

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    A "setback" means that the student is sent home for a period of time and then returns to the academy to resume his or her studies. There are at least three ways a student can receive a setback. The first and by far the most common is an academic setback. This typically happens when a plebe or mid fails two or more classes in one trimester. Failures usually land the student before an academic review board where their fate is determined. If a plebe fails one of the more common classes (calculus, chemistry or physics) they usually make it up at summer school. However two or more classes are more than can be accomodated in four weeks. In the past many of these students would be set back. They would take classes at a local college and return the following year to make up what they failed. The new superintendent has said that he feels that there have been far too many academic setbacks allowed in the past and he intends to bring more control to the process. He believes that students who fail two classes in one tri should be disenrolled. This is what has led to the speculation that there would be fewer setbacks and more disenrollments this year. Time will tell. A mid can also be set back for medical reasons (injury or illness that made it impossible to attend class.)
    On rare occasions mids have been set back as punishment for disciplinary infractions. I would be surprised to see much of this in the future. As you might have guessed, academic setbacks were most likely to occur during plebe year. Many of the students have difficulty adjusting to the pace of KP academics and balancing study with the duties and misery of plebe life.
    Setbacks become less common as the mids progress because the have learned to manage their time better and because they simply have a little more time to manage. Wow, that was longer than I planned I hope it helped.
     
  3. wolfe834

    wolfe834 Member

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    Setbacks occur when Mids are separated from the school due to academics or injury. The Academy takes these issues on a one on one basis. The Mid would be separated for the remainder of the current year and allowed to join the next years rotation. Sometimes they have to go back through Indoc, however, some are given "Super Plebe" status and don't have to do the same drills as the Plebes have to do...basically, the BS factor is reduced.

    In the past, if you didn't complete your sea year project, you were just about assured to be given another year at sea to do your project. This past year, I know several students which were separated due to this. They have also been taking a harder line on underage drinking and lewd behavior. There have been more separations this year than in the past.

    Anytime you have a new command, in any profession, there are growing pains. The Academy has seen them this year.

    Bottom line, make sure to keep the nose clean, stay under the radar, and work hard and "Setbacks" will never be an issue.

    Hope this helped.
    :tank:
     
  4. 2013Parent

    2013Parent Member

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    Wolfe/Dad ....Thanks VERY much for the reponses. I understand this a lot better now. Everything you both said sounds more than reasonable.

    What I take awasy from the information is this;Bottom line is that the Academy defines, modifies and implements granting setbacks as they see fit, on a case by case basis. All in the best interest of the Academy. Works for me!
     
  5. KPMarineopsdad

    KPMarineopsdad Member

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    It is also possible to "lag" a failed class. That is, take it as an extra class (in addition to your regular courses) sometime in the future. A quick look at the course load on a trimester by trimester basis will help you to understand how difficult it can be to do this. The course load is already more challenging than most colleges (17-19 credits are not uncommon) so, adding an additional class can be very challenging. Especially if it is a class you have already failed once before. Still sometimes a mid may feel the need to throw a 2 credit course "under the bus" in order to save himself in a more challenging class.
     
  6. kappa pi sigma

    kappa pi sigma New Member

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    I'll give my input as a current midshipman.

    Setback: Same thing as failing a year in grade school. Instead of being class of 2010, the setback will be 2011.

    Most setbacks result from academic, medical, and disciplinary failures. Academically, you can fail One class during a given trimester. You can fail Two classes (in different trimesters) in one year. That one class will be lagged the next trimester, and it would be wise not to fail the lag. If you fail two classes in a given trimester, you're pretty much done. You can also take a voluntary setback. This is done mostly for those who choose a major (deck or engine) and decide that they want to pursue the other major. Technically, you can get setback once for each category.

    "Super Plebes" This title is granted to those Midshipman who experience Recognition. If you are a plebe, make it to recognition and then get setback, you'll come back with 4/c privileges. From there you will attend plebe classes and function as a member of the 3/c until the new plebe class is recognized. If you get setback plebe year before recognition, you will have to repeat Indoc.

    During my three years, the Superintendent was VADM Stewart. He was fairly lenient and gave many students a second chance. Being out at sea for the last 8 months, I've heard that things have changed with this new Superintendent. He's less willing to give second chances for academic and disciplinary setbacks.

    Classes most failed are Physics 1 2, Calculus 1, and Chemistry. Brush up on these three subjects before arriving and you'll be one step ahead.
     
  7. kpmom2011

    kpmom2011 Member

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    I was attending a recent alumni meeting and heard a speech from the Dean of Academics as well as the Sup. They both said that basically set backs would be limited to "emergency" situations, and would not be given for academics, except on a case-by-case basis, which basically means that there will be more dis-enrollments.

    Bottom line again, keep your grades up, focus, do the work, stay out of trouble, no underage drinking, and you won't have to worry.

    I cannot impress on new parents enough the need to tell your candidates to enter KP with a good attitude. Remember they are no longer the "top" of the class, as they were in High School. Almost every one of the Mids at KP were top 5% or better in high school. What a lot of plebes find out too late is that what worked in High School to keep grades up, won't work at KP.
     

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