STP VMI/planning ahead

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by bjkuds, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. bjkuds

    bjkuds Parent

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    the Summer program..is this a reasonable assessment? or plan for our son? Engineering major. Currently has a 98% in HS AP Calc, so math is his strong suit. Has done the same in science. English/writing is his weakest subject. Is the math going to be that much harder in college that he should consider taking that by itself or should he focus on English Comp for the STP? I'm guessing that his writing skills will be part of his grades in ALL his classes so that may be the best choice. I just remember losing points on papers in history class because errors in grammar. I'm guessing that getting the hardest class out of the way is the right answer, especially when writing is probably the one thing that will affect his grades in most of his classes. Also one more to add in the mix. DS is telling me that even if he tests out of Calc I that he wants to take it again in college. He isn't sure if he will have absorbed enough in HS to give him the foundation for college level, and 2..if it did..it only helps his Rat year or possibly Rook year be a little easier and will boost his GPA. Will they allow that at VMI or possibly Norwich? Thanks
     
  2. TurkishRunner

    TurkishRunner Member

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    If he's already good at math, he should do English comp. English is the only class I got a C in as an engineering major just because I too have a weakness in English/writing. Math will be a breeze for him here. It's really not that hard (since he's taken calc in high school anyway) and the teachers are great. Not to mention there is so much outside help to take advantage of (PASS/peer tutoring, mill academic center, teachers, etc). If he did WR-101 over the summer it would give him a lot of time to write his papers and get an A (which is almost impossible to get during the school year). there is outside help for writing. The writing center here is great and can really help develop your writing. but as a rat, I personally did not have much time to take advantage of the writing center. Hope that helps!
     
  3. bjkuds

    bjkuds Parent

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    It does help a lot....Thank you:smile:
     
  4. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    I was a science major at Norwich. Don't remember doing a lot of writing until my 3rd and 4th years. If English is really a problem, I would take it during the summer after his rook year (if that is possible). The reason I say this is that your DS will get frustrated about a lot of things during his first year, either at Norwich or VMI. Getting a low grade in his first semester will be very discouraging I would expect, and it may pursuade him to leave. Plus, if he has a scholarship, it is always good to have good grades or you might risk losing it. The freshman year is critical for GPA -- if you have a low GPA your first year, you'll spend the remaining years making it up.
     
  5. bjkuds

    bjkuds Parent

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    English/writing

    Patentesq,
    That is a good thought..except I might look into doing a reverse if he chooses to go north rather than south and see if he can get his English requirement out of the way beforehand. I may look into summer school for him since his scholarship there is dependent on a 2.75 GPA. We also have a Pa state college close that I would bet the credits would transfer from which would be considerably cheaper to do. Just taking 1 class load off him the first year may be the difference between surviving Rook or Rat year. Thanks
     
  6. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    Your strategy is actually much better than the one that I had suggested! :thumb: Candidly, I hadn't even thought about the possibility of taking a summer class before matriculation.

    I took a foreign-language class in the summer before I started at Norwich, and Norwich accepted the transfer credit without complication. I would expect that VMI would do the same. My suggestion is that you contact the registrar's office (NOT the admissions office) to make sure that a course at a local college can transfer and what grade it needs to be (I think it is a "C" or better). More important, confirm that this will satisfy the English graduation requirement for engineering.

    Word of caution: I recall one prospective rook who was in college at the time he applied to Norwich who did poorly in his spring semester in the year of his anticipated matriculation. I was helping him gain admission, and he had been conditionally accepted at Norwich. Unfortunately, Norwich ultimately decided to revoke the offer of admission based on the applicant's poor spring semester grades. I am fairly certain that Norwich doesn't ask for summer grades, though. So if your DS happens to do poorly in that English class, you can decide whether it is wise to submit the grade or not (which likely won't even be available until after he has matriculated already).

    I think your DS will do fine. He has amazing stats, and he obviously has some very smart guidance from his parents!
     
  7. larry2013

    larry2013 Member

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    I would encourage your son to speak with VMI before ruling out STP and taking the English.
    My son is also a mechanical engineering major, 4 yr NROTC scholarship.
    English was his weakness(he never likes me stating it that way). He attended STP and took English. I believe attending STP is MOST helpful in many ways - gave me son time to become familiar with VMI, great way to meet some classmates(traditionally about 50% of incoming class attend).
    My son also didnt want to accept being placed out of CALC or CHEM. His advisor approved him schedule and I do believe it was a huge advantage during the RAT experience.
    Since we are Virginia residents, I know there was NO schoalrship help for STP, but do believe that on the application for STP if the cadet is out of state, there is opportunity for some scholarship.
    Good luck, larrys mom
     
  8. bjkuds

    bjkuds Parent

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    Thanks for the complement....I'm learning by default...he is my 2nd child..My first is 25 years old and I told her its a wonder she is doing well because she was "my practice child"..I learned a lot the first round, so her younger brother has it much easier than she did.

    He ended up with a 91% in AP English at the end of this semester.....His only B consistently...problem is he dedicates 75% of his study time or more to that subject..squeaky wheel gets the oil. He really fights for the B and he gets high A's in everything else... If he didn't study so much I wouldn't think anything of it, but I know the effort put forth. He has a mind for Science and Math..he thinks in black and white so to speak, and needs to work on his critical thinking/reading skills, and that lack shows in his written work sometimes. Maybe that's why he is so opinionated too.:shake: I really don't know how to help him develop that except to read and read some more. (or maybe switch back and forth between Fox News and CNN.:wink:) I think he will be fine with his GPA especially if he has just 1 class over the summer...if not, then I don't think he has chosen the right schools or the right career path. I think he would be much better off to take the class ahead of time, because I have a feeling everything is about to become very difficult this fall, and I just want to help lighten the load. Thanks for the tip about the registrar's office. I would not have known that. Once the "man child" makes his school decision then I will know which direction to go...the suspense of it all:smile:
     
  9. larry2013

    larry2013 Member

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    Reread your first post, our experience is that YES writing is part of grade at VMI in History (mech eng have to take first 2 semesters of history). My son's writing ability did affect his grade in those 2 history classes and the 2 english classes. Taking his weakest subject at STP was decidedly the correct choice.
    My son is currently 3rd class, so is very happy that those classes are behind him.
    The writing center is EXCELLENT and a terrific resource for all kinds of writing.
    VMI has a great Mech engineering department, this academic year is first time that cadets will be the opportunity to do a summer abroad program - Dept head has arranged and will be teaching class, so language was not required - the cadets are going to Berlin Germany and will take Dyamincs and Global Engineering (as well as some kind of cultural credits) - my son is thrilled with the chance to get credits in major out of the way during the summer - will help with 2nd class year - look at the overview of mechanical engineering - these cadets carry very heavy load each semester to complete the program in 4 years.
     
  10. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    One other question for the registrar at VMI and Norwich is this: "If my DS (probably want to use the word "son" :shake:) takes the AP English examination in May 2011, can he use the score to waive English?" If the answer is "yes" (as I expect), then ask this question: "What score does my DS need?" (usually depends on the school).

    My son told me today that they handed out the AP test applications to the senior class a few days ago. I don't know when the deadline is, but they happen in May after final exams.
     
  11. bjkuds

    bjkuds Parent

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    AP Testing

    He actually took the AP test last year and got a 3. I got word of the deposit needed on the AP test 2 days ago for this year.....although he may be able to "opt out" by grade if he gets a 4 or 5 this year..he had doubts as to the wisdom of doing such. He admitted that much of the "3" points that he earned on the previous AP test was guessing correctly. He totally lacks confidence in that realm, so I think either the STP will definitely be in order at VMI or a summer class at our local college and transfer the credits to Norwich. Bucknell and PennState Hazelton are not that far for us so I'm sure 1 of the 3 if not all would transfer.
     
  12. CAVCDR

    CAVCDR Member

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    STP

    STP is about alot more than just improving his grades, it allows the future rats to develop some freindships and remove some of the stress that will be abundant once the semester begins. My son attended and made many friends, learned the campus, the cadre help provide guidance and made the Rat experience alot more tolerable. Many times he told me he was glad he had STP friends to lean on. Next semester he is rooming with three of the guys he met at STP. Oh yeah, he knocked BIO out too, but the big part of STP was the facted he was not having to learn everything at one time once the school year started
     
  13. bjkuds

    bjkuds Parent

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    I think it will be a good deal for him in every way. Thanks
     
  14. zackwheat

    zackwheat Member

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    Our son told us that he might have dropped out of VMI during Hell Week had it not been for the friends he made at STP. He was undaunted by the physical part the process, but he said he only survived the loneliness by knowing that his buddies were going through it with him.
     

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