Daughter Going to Citadel....

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by Bubbac17, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. Bubbac17

    Bubbac17 Member

    Nov 14, 2017
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    Hello all,

    Before I go into my post, I want to thank all of you on the forum. This has been an exceptional source of information. I have been lurking for several months and have finally decided to engage as a participant. I know opinions vary here and a search for the site reveals a number of stories that are unsettling and many that are inspiring. So here goes. I want the good, the bad and the ugly.

    My daughter is dead set on going to The Citadel. She is a HS Senior, academically and medically accepted, and paid up to hold her spot for next fall. Last Thursday night, she received notice that she is a AROTC 4 year scholarship winner selected at the first Board for her top three schools (Citadel, ERAU and College of Charleston). As a proud dad, I can tell you she is an exceptional kid: 3 sport varsity all four years of high school (to include playing on the boys baseball team), lots of volunteer activities, works in the summer as a Kayak Guide and Beach Lifeguard and licensed as a private pilot at age 17. However, the child has to work very hard for her grades. She is an average student and requires lots of study time to do well.

    She is drawn to The Citadel because she grew up in Charleston every summer, loves the tradition, craves the challenge and wants to be a part of the Citadel more than anything she has ever done. At her high school, very, very few consider military schools, but every parent and teacher that has known her all of her life says this is the perfect fit for her and that she will succeed. I believe that she will too....BUT....I have the very real concerns of a DAD. I am no stranger to the military (prior service as Active Duty Army Aviator), so I have prepared as much as I can for the transition. Additionally, she has talked with countless current and former cadets. She has visited the school time and again and asked tough questions of the cadets conducting the tours. She even scheduled a lunch meeting with Nancy Mace in Charleston to get her perspective.

    My concern is her academics. Initially, during the numerous visits we had at the school, she was very happy to hear about the mandatory study periods. She understands that the study periods will be interrupted with cadet craziness, but I am not sure she ...or I ...know just how much the knob and cadet "activities" will compete with her time for studying. She has also talked to the Track and Field coach and plans on throwing the javelin for the track team. But, she desperately needs the study time to get good grades. As an AROTC contract cadet, she knows that the OML is heavily weighted to grades and PT scores and that those need to be highest priorities, followed by good AROTC performance. The Citadel mandates the study time. BUT, I am fully aware that these are kids learning to lead other kids in a leadership laboratory and that mistakes will happen. I have advised her that I think her best ally will be her academic officer and that she should find ways to get to the library to avoid the craziness. I have told her to be "shined up" like a good cadet, but only to the point of passable, then spend the available time on grades and studying. I have emphasized that she needs to set her priorities every day in her mind that she is there for an education first.

    As for her continued preparation, she is doing her pre-knob overnight the end of this month and she plans to attend CSI. One last note, this summer she took Math 104 (accelerated course during Summer II) as a transient student at The Citadel (between her junior and senior year) and she got an A while working full time.

    I am interested in hearing from other Citadel folks. Those that graduated, those that didn't. Those that struggled and those that did well. Males and females with thoughts on female cadets in general. What I want is for you all to tell us, KNOWING WHAT YOU KNOW NOW, what do you wish you had known as you prepared for this journey. Tips, tricks, suggestions, warnings...we want it all. She has made up her mind. She is going to join the SCCC come hell or high water (which is a very real threat in Charleston). How do we best get her the study time she needs without making her a target?

    Our biggest concern is not knowing what we do not know...

    Thank you for your input!

    charlestonmom5 and Lawman32RPD like this.
  2. Lawman32RPD

    Lawman32RPD 5-Year Member

    Jan 29, 2011
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    Great question, and welcome aboard. I wish that I could be of some help but our daughter went to TAMU. Sounds like you are giving her great advice. If one shines at the Corps stuff and has academic issues, well, bad things happen. I'm sure you've told her to not take it personally and that there will be good days and really crappy days, and most likely, more crappy days than good days - especially at the beginning. It's a roller coaster ride (an analogy I shameless stole from a parent who spoke to new cadet parents our daughter's first day in 2011) and as a parent, you are in a following car. I wish her, and your family, the very best.
    AROTC-dad likes this.
  3. conrack

    conrack Member

    Aug 23, 2016
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    First the Evening Study Period (ESP) is pretty much sacrosanct and no military duties or "cadet craziness" are allowed during that period. The flip side is that as an athlete she will miss classes due to traveling for athletic events and practices may overlap some of the evening study time. Overall though the academic environment is outstanding and there are fewer distractions than at civilian colleges, I certainly needed that kind of structured environment because I was a lazy student in high school with poor study skills. Additionally there are company academic officers to monitor cadets grades, an academic center offers how to study courses and tutoring. They must be doing something right because the 4 year graduation is more than twice the national average and females actually have a higher GPA and lower dropout rate than males. A lot depends on the individuals motivation to succeed and make time for study; they need to understand they are a student first, a cadet second and an athlete third.
    Lawman32RPD and AROTC-dad like this.
  4. glen

    glen 5-Year Member

    Feb 27, 2010
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    Lawman32RPD likes this.
  5. DaGrubs

    DaGrubs Member

    Sep 15, 2016
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    This is great information for me as a parent of a DS with somewhat poor study skills who will be attending the Citadel Fall 2018. It is nice to know that there are academic officers monitoring grades and a center that helps with studying and tutoring.
    Lawman32RPD likes this.
  6. Cluelessparent

    Cluelessparent Member

    Aug 11, 2014
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    And I suppose she plans on Commissioning... yea. ROTC Scholarship. Somewhere above I saw a priority list. Well Corp and ROTC are two different entities totally. If time and study is a factor realize Corp rank etc is great but the bottom line is, it comes down to the OML....so if she has a choice make sure ROTC activities come before Corp IMHO.... and after contracting there will be some weekend ROTC activities that will take time.

    The study help is there for those motivated to get it. She will do GREAT! On a side note,knob year, my sons Academic officer was AWOL. Not that he would have tried to find him anyway...
    Lawman32RPD likes this.