Validation at USNA

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by JJBsDad, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. JJBsDad

    JJBsDad Member

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    I've read on this site about plebes "validating" classes during their first summer at USNA. Would someone please explain to me this process and the benefits/advantages to a plebe? Thanks in advance for your comments.
     
  2. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    that is an interesting question. Assuming that GPA is still an important part of the midshipman's ranking, why would a MID want to jump to more difficult classes in a subject (Calculus, Physics, Chemistry, etc.) where their likely grade will be lower than if they had taken the normal class?
     
  3. engineer

    engineer Member

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    Plebes will take a battery of tests during plebe summer for most plebe year subjects they feel like they could validate. Some higher level courses require an interview and a test at a later date. Here is a link to the official validation policy:

    http://www.usna.edu/acdean/candidateinfo/USNACourseValidationPolicy.htm

    By validating a course, a plebe could take one less course during one or both semesters or move ahead in a class sequence and free up time for possible graduate work or openings for other desired electives as an upperclassman. There are probably other things that can be done with a few free hours a week, too.
     
  4. AikiBudo

    AikiBudo Member

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    It's useful to validate as many classes as possible for all the reasons engineer mentioned - possible free time, double major or minor and more class flexibility later. If you have mastered a subject well enough to validate the course you shouldn't have a problem with the material in the next course up. MIDS can also test out of some mandatory classes such as swimming which frees up another hour or two a semester. DS and a number of his classmates validated courses to help fit in a language minor (Chinese or Arabic) which seems to be becoming more popular. I've also heard several of them mention taking a summer course during their leave block for the same reason - more course flexibility in later years.
     
  5. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    ^ Ahh, OK, that makes sense then. For some reason I had thought that advancing in a course sequence did NOT reduce the # of semester Units a MIDN must take.

    Sure, if it means course CREDIT is given, meaning a MIDN can take 3/4 fewer units for each validation, that's great. Then the MIDN can voluntarily still take a full load, simply with more advanced courses... option to the MIDN.
     
  6. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    I assume then that the college freshman who applies and is Appointed to USNA may validate potentially 4-5 courses of work they did at the civilian college, thus freeing up hours, or making room for more advance courses or electives... yes?
     
  7. engineer

    engineer Member

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    Mids who fulfill their USNA course requirements early can also begin work on a graduate degree while still attending the academy.
     
  8. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    If nothing else, validating opens up possibilities. If you're an academic rockstar, it could help you do VGEP (voluntary graduate education program: starting 2nd semester 1/C year, you start work on a Master's degree at a nearby school). If you want to minor in a language, validating a couple of semesters makes it a lot easier (or, for group III types, can help eliminate the language requirement).

    Also, though the minimum number of credits per semester is 15, no major actually has all 15 credit semesters. Getting ahead plebe year would mean that later on the 19/20+ credit semesters suddenly become much more manageable 15-17 credit semesters.

    Since I need to take my shoes off to count past ten, I only validated a semester of English. But doing that allowed me to get (slightly) ahead with some other required courses.

    The cons are that you might get ahead of yourself. I know a lot of people who validated out of Calc I and sometimes Calc II as well and ended up getting swamped in Calc III or Diff Eqs.
     
  9. JJBsDad

    JJBsDad Member

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    Do NAPsters also validate courses once they reach USNA?
     
  10. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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