Teacher Rec's Complication

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by bbourq5, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. bbourq5

    bbourq5 Member

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    So this year I had the same math teacher from September until about halfway through May. For personal reasons, my teacher had to take a leave of absence for the rest of the year. Our class was assigned another math teacher for the remainder of the year, but I had to leave two weeks after meeting her for NASS, SLS, and Boy's State. The only problem is that my transcript will have the new teacher listed as my junior math teacher. My first teacher knows me very well and likes me so I think he would write me a good recommendation. Am I still allowed to do this even though he's not the teacher listed on my transcript? And if so, who should I notify of this rare situation.
     
  2. Dolphins2012

    Dolphins2012 Parent

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    I would not sweat this at all. Simply submit your first teacher's email address. If there is a section for comments, you may briefly note (e.g., "Mr. Bruce Wayne was my Calculus teacher, Sept., 2011-March, 2011"). If you're losing sleep over it, email your regional director at the CGO to let them know.
     
  3. bbourq5

    bbourq5 Member

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    Thanks!

    Thank you for your insight, I was probably just over-stressing about it. I'll email my BGO just to make sure everything works out.
     
  4. Dolphins2012

    Dolphins2012 Parent

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    To be clear: "CGO" is Candidate Guidance Office, i.e. the admissions office - not a typo. For any issues with your application, contact your Regional Director (listed in your CIS page) at the CGO. My recommendation is to only rely on your BGO for things related to his/her interview of you (you can ask for advice, but I wouldn't rely on them for official information or action related to your application). Everything else, go straight to the source. For your concern with the teacher rec issue, if you want to reach out to someone, reach out to your Regional Director via phone or email.
     
  5. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    Dolphins2012, this is a bad generalization/advice and somewhat insulting to all the BGOs who do provide OFFICIAL INFORMATION to candidates and do things other than "interviews."

    bbourq5,
    In this specific instance, I would check with your BGO first and see if they had a similar situation; if they have not had this issue before (or if your BGO doesn't respond back within a reasonable time), then contact Admissions.

    I'm 99% sure that Admissions will say to have the original math teacher (the one who took absence of leave) to fill out your recommendation, unless there are other circumstances which would prohibit that (this would then need to be dealt directly with Admissions and you should keep your BGO informed). Normally, Admissions doesn't look at your transcript and check to ensure that the teachers match those who filled out recommendations (many transcripts from HS don't list teachers), so I really wouldn't be concerned about that. Bottom line is they want an English/Math teacher who can accurately comment on you.
     
  6. Dolphins2012

    Dolphins2012 Parent

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    Jadler:*
    Allow me to clarify my previous statements:
    1.* Some BGOs communicate better than others, some are more knowledgeable than others, and everyone should take into account that all are volunteers and are typically living in their respective geographical location (not working on the Yard in the CGO) and usually have other full-time jobs/commitments.
    2.* My understanding is (and correct me if I'm wrong) that BGOs have limited access to the status and contents of a candidate's application.* My DS' take was that CGO has full access, and in his case, apparently pulled it up instantly whenever he spoke to them on the phone.
    3.* My DS' experience - which did not seem atypical - was that RDs would usually respond to him within 24 hours and address his concern within the next 24 (sometimes within minutes a correction or update was made after a phone call or email).
    4.* Personnel in the CGO were typically more current on the ever-changing nuances in the application process and CIS - no slight against the BGOs, who often admit here when they don't know something (and rightfully so) and certainly aren't in the same position as those in the CGO.
    5.* I did say that BGOs should be approached for "advice" and believe it was implicit that they are an official part of the process, most explicitly by virtue of the role as interviewers.* They are a valuable resource and perform an important function in the process.* I apologize if I was unclear.* When I said "official information or action related to your application," I meant, particular and confirmable, e.g., if your best SAT score isn't showing up on your CIS page and it's been four months since you submitted it, or you accidentally entered your math teacher's email in the field for for your English teacher's, or if you want to confirm USNA's receipt of your transcript, then IMHO, one ought to contact your RD to ensure things are set straight and on track (imagine the phone call in February, "But I called my BGO after New Year's, and he said he emailed you guys at the CGO and would get back to me, so how can you say it's too late?").* If you want to know how to approach a disciplinary or criminal incident in your application, or have a question about taking your CFA locally, have a question about Academy life, competition in your MOC's district, etc., by all means, contact your BGO.* I did not intend to ruffle anyone's feathers by implying that BGOs are not "officially" affiliated with the USNA, which all in the process know that they are.*
    *
    You are officially officials lest anyone misinterpret me and become insulted by my earlier language.* I think we'd all agree that at the end of the day though, e.g., that BGO's are not in the chain of command or gatekeeper's for the CGO, they are supplementary extensions of the CGO/USNA.* If a candidate needs to absolutely positively make sure something is correct or needs to hear it from the horse's mouth, they ought to contact their RD, and to do so is not bypassing the BGO nor should they be concerned about insulting the BGO.*
    *
     
  7. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    Actually, according to the Admissions Organization BGOs are in the Chain of Command to CGO. I understand what you are saying about going directly to the authoritative source for information and I am not telling any candidate there won't be times to directly contact Admissions. However, I advise my candidates that they should only go direct if it is an application issue that a BGO would have absolutely no control over (i.e. updating information, supplements, etc.), medical issues (DODMERB), and NAAA/recruiting/DI sports. I believe everything else should be ran through BGOs. If the BGO doesn't know, then the BGO normally informs the candidate to call Admissions or the BGO will ask their Area Coordinator or talk to Admissions.

    If your BGO is not responsive or there is a time-sensitive issue, then that might be another reason to go to Admissions.

    True, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't give your BGO a chance to respond. As said above, if it becomes a theme, then that is a different situation.

    As mentioned above, these types of issues should be dealt directly with Admissions. However, the original question dealt with an application policy vs. what is described in the paragraph above.


    My point of my last two posts within this thread is to give your BGO a chance before you pick up the phone or email the Admissions Office (unless it deals with updating, supplementing, or the physical changing of some data field within the application or is time sensitive, medical, or DI sport). Not doing this keeps your BGO out of the loop, it bypasses him/her when he/she might have the information, and it keeps things at the lowest level so that Admissions isn't picking the phone up every 20 seconds (even though they are very much happy to).

    I also understand not all BGOs operate in the same fashion, but you won't know that if you haven't contacted him/her 1-2 times to get that feeling or for him/her to tell you.
     
  8. 1964BGO

    1964BGO Member

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    Dolphin... to reinforce Jadler, in order to better control the workload of the RD's and other USNA Admissions/CGO staff, Admissions has specifically directed BGO's to act as filters of inquiries, concerns, etc, of candidates and prospects and to handle those situations with which they have experience and knowledge. If the situation exceeds the BGO's bailiwick then the BGO is to pass it on to the AC or the RD.

    Going into PS with the current tude is going to result in a longer than usual plebe year. Just saying...
     
  9. akandrews

    akandrews Member

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    Advice needed: re: a different teacher rec complication

    DS has a similar situation but it has taken a very unfortunate turn. I would like some wisdom and advice.

    His first semester junior year math teacher was around for perhaps the first half of the first semester and then a series of substitutes took over due to maternity leave. He switched to an honors class for the second semester, which was quite large and he didn't think the teacher knew him much because of the size of the class and also he left school three weeks early to attend three SA summer seminars. Throughout all of high school, he maintained close contact with his freshman year math teacher, who is also the department head. He earned an academic achievement math award from her that first year. He would work with her often at the department's drop-in resource center, he worked with her to get special permission to take an out of district math class to advance faster, he worked with her to change from the regular to the honors class, she proctored his work over this past summer to finish the exams and assignments he missed due to the summer seminars, and she nominated him to a search committee to hire two new math teachers in the school the spring of junior year. He felt that she really knows him and could give the most informed recommendation versus the teachers who only had him a short time. Since he was working with her frequently during junior year, he asked his BGO ( based on general advice gleaned on reading this forum) if she would be acceptable for the math recommendation. He replied that yes she would be, and that she should explain it when she submitted the recommendation.

    Shortly after she submitted the recommendation, she got a reply from the admissions office ( not his actual Admissions Counselor but someone on the regional team) saying that it was not acceptable. The teacher communicated with DS, then DS wrote his BGO again. He explained what had happened and that since they were not accepting it he would ask the other teacher now and write to the counselor and request that the recommendation link be sent to the other teacher. The BGO said he would call admissions to speak to them about it.

    In reply to his emailed request to the Admissions Counselor to ask that the new email be sent out to the new teacher, he heard back from the team member instead. She said that she was sorry that he had gotten incorrect advice and that it would take FOUR TO SIX WEEKS to delete the current recommendation from CIS and he could add the other teacher's email when he saw that it was empty again. She did say she had spoken to his school and his BGO about this.

    He is very worried that this delay is going to really hurt his package/process. Frankly, I CANNOT believe that they will delay his application by six weeks. How can it really take that long to delete the first teacher from the CIS? Does this mean that DODMERB won't be requested for him until after the six weeks? He wanted to be early, and was already delayed because the school made an error on his transcript and they couldn't correct it until well after the school year began because the teacher was away and it required a "manual" adjustment.

    Has anyone ever been able to submit an official reference by mailing it in, rather than on the CIS? Would they take offense if he requested to be able to do something by fax or mail?

    Thanks in advance for your advice.
     
  10. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    First, I would check constantly, it actually could be faster. I would also get your freshmen teacher to talk to the teacher who is going to submit the "correct" recommendation and go over what it entails, assuming the original teacher remembers what the form asked for. Thus, once the form is cleared, the new teacher can copy and paste his/her remarks and know what buttons to select, to expedite submission of the form.

    I don't know if there is really much more you can do. While it is highly encouraged to complete the application early, it isn't as if they stop qualifying candidates after a certain date (well not until the spring, at least).

    Also, once about half the application is submitted, you get scheduled with DODMERB....so even though 1-2 documents may not be in, that shouldn't preclude you from submitting the others.

    I doubt USNA would do a fax/mail in this case.
     
  11. akandrews

    akandrews Member

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    Thank you very much for your reply. Good idea to have the teachers confer. I am dismayed that there is the idea that the BGO is the person to confer with first, yet it ended up this way.

    All the pieces are in except his BGO interview, well and now this recommendation - how long should it take to get in DODMERB, once you reach the critical mass on the application? He keeps checking DODMERB site, and putting in his SSN and birthday, but no luck yet.
     
  12. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    If you have everything in except the one teacher recommendation (you can verify if Admissions has all documents on CIS -- it can't just say "Awaiting Submission from John Doe" or something similar like that -- if it is submitted, it will just display a date, I think), then call Admissions tomorrow and inquire about the DODMERB scheduling. Though, for your purposes, the DODMERB doesn't hold up an Admissions Board review, so don't fret on the scheduling/completing ASAP, you have plenty of time.
     
  13. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I agree with jadler. Although it's good to be proactive and get things done early (in part so there is time to address hurdles/mixups like this) ultimately most folks are going to be on pins and needles until well after Jan 31 when MOC nomination slates are due. You have time to address all this.
     
  14. akandrews

    akandrews Member

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    Good to know that the DODMERB doesn't delay the Admissions review. All items are in with dates submitted, except the interview. The Admissions team person did say that the "wrong" recommendation would remain in his file and be viewable but that it is not sufficient. I just hope that they realize he thought that it was approved by his BGO, that he didn't just decide to try to circumvent the process.
     
  15. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    To be honest, I think it will have very little impact. Given that your BGO emailed/contacted Admissions and was trying to prove the case for the freshmen teacher, it would be obvious there was a communication error vs. you completely did not follow the instructions. I'm sure this happens more frequently than you or I think, especially with those that have a wrench thrown in them.
     
  16. bbourq5

    bbourq5 Member

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    All is well

    Thank you again to everyone who gave me advice. To give you all a follow up on my situation, I ultimately emailed my BGO and he contacted the CGO because he had never seen a case like mine before. In the end it all worked out and I was able to use the math teacher that I had for the majority of junior year. I got an LOA two weeks ago.
     
  17. dlee96

    dlee96 Member

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    Dang, all that really paid off! Mind sharing your stats? (are you recruited)
     
  18. bbourq5

    bbourq5 Member

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    GPA: 4.3 Weighted, 3.95 Unweighted
    SAT: CR: 630 M: 700
    ACT: M: 34 E: 34
    Sports: Football 3 years varsity + Captain, Lacrosse 2 years varsity
    Student Council: Corresponding Secretary and Student Body President
    Clubs: Leadership Initiative President
    Community Service: Hospital Volunteer 60+ hours, Volunteer for local VFW Post
    Summer programs: NASS, SLS, Boys State
    Work: 16 hours per week as a Lacrosse Clinic Instructor
    Awards: DECA international competition 2 years in a row, New Jersey Chemistry Olympics 2nd place
    AP Tests: APUSH: 5 AP Chem: 4 AP Stats: 5 AP Econ: 5

    Not a recruited athlete

    I think what really enhanced my application were the teacher's recs and BGO interview. I developed great relationships with my teachers and with my BGO, and I think that while my stats are good, it was their input that put me into LOA range.

    Hope this helps, if you need any more info let me know. Good Luck!!
     
  19. akandrews

    akandrews Member

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    Things are looking up!

    Well jadler03, I am very happy to report that your advice was spot on - DS checked the CIS today and the old rec was deleted already!!!

    Not four to six weeks, but one day!

    Faith in humanity is coming back!

    And congrats on your LOA bbourq5 !
     
  20. bbourq5

    bbourq5 Member

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    Thanks you akandrews!! good luck to your DS!!
     

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