How can academics affect you being kicked out in the first semester?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by ccfletch, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. ccfletch

    ccfletch 5-Year Member

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    Please share information on how to avoid being kicked out due to academics?
    How to stay off academic probation? Suggestions for meeting the academic probation board? How many chances do you get?
     
  2. CadCandMateus

    CadCandMateus Recent Grad 5-Year Member

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    Work hard, use EI (extra instruction), ask questions, plan ahead. (you usually get plenty of chances to improve)
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2010
  3. Texasrocks

    Texasrocks 5-Year Member

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    It is alot about effort. My son was less than stellar academically coming in below avg sat and HS gpa 3.18. But he has focused on his academics at the academy and used the writing lab, tutoring and frankly spends time working on his studies. The are extra credit activites too. He has his IC practices but aside from that there is little distractions and the resources are there. With Prague coming up we will see how he is offically but he said he is around a 3.5-3.6. Congratulations to the AFA staff for teaching him how to suceed in the classroom.:thumb:
     
  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp 10-Year Member

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    As mentioned, if you are truly trying, then it's almost impossible to be kicked out. At least not in the 1st semester. They've put a lot of time and money into getting you to the academy. They aren't going to kick you out after 1 semester if you are trying. That's not to say that some people haven't been kicked out. Most people remember "Mars Boy". He was kicked out after the 1st semester for academics. But from what my sources have said, he didn't try very hard.

    As mentioned, use EI, talk to your instructors, and also get with your group's Academic NCO. S/He is set up to specifically make sure you get the help you need. You should know who it is; "They are one of the people who's name you were required to memorize as a C4C". Good luck to you. mike.....
     
  5. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Want to hear my ten cents worth?

    I failed Math 133 (our third calc class, doolie year) in 1980. I was "ordered to attend" my Academic Board for Disenrollment in May 1980.

    I sat at the end of a long polished wooden table with 8 officers to my right and left, and one (full bird colonel, department head) at the end of the table. And I will NEVER forget one of those officers...he was a chemistry professor, Lt Col Meier, USAFA Class of 1959...a legend at the "zoo." And he ripped me a new one...heard how I thought I could do better, I could succeed, I would succeed....

    He asked: "What drug are you on Cadet? I want some, because that is a fine delusion you have going and I think it'd be fun to experience!"

    After being "abused" for about 20 minutes, I stood up and told the colonel: "Sir, I came here to serve and become an officer. If this abuse by senior officers to me, a cadet, is normal, then I do NOT want this. Good afternoon sir!" I saluted and walked out.

    And crossed the Terrazzo in tears; my dream was over, I was being disenrolled, after all the work I'd done to get here, the extra year in prep school, etc.

    I was chased down by a captain. He came to me, and said: "Cadet...compose yourself, return to the room, report in a military manner, and listen. Clear?"

    So I did...

    To cut to the chase...the Colonel looked at me at the end of the table...and said: "Cadet...given the choice of volunteering to give up your summer leave to attend summer school, or to attend another outstanding university where this board has no doubt you will be a Deans list member, which would you choose? You have 10 seconds to decide."

    The answer was immediate.

    Now...I told you ALL THAT for what reason?

    I was told later WHY they gave me that offer. Remember folks here speak of "EI" (extra instruction)? Well...in olden days we had 42 lessons in a semester. That's 42 class hours of instruction. I had 142 hours of EI in that one class!

    And that '59 grad, Col Meier? He turned out to be my biggest advocate! His words, described to me were something like: "HE put in 142 hours of EI, combined with our 42 hours of class...and still he got an F grade. Gentleman: we simply didn't reach this cadet. HE MADE THE EXTRA EFFORT! Surely that deserves another chance?"

    I think of him often.

    Think I'm a believer in EI? :thumb:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  6. raimius

    raimius 10-Year Member

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    After 1 semester, you will get another chance, unless you are obviously not trying and/or are in the "square root club." (i.e. your GPA is lower than the square root of your GPA) USAFA tends to give at least one strike, as long as they think you have a chance and show some effort.

    You have PLENTY of resources to help you academically. EI, tutors, the writing center, classmates, and more. If you are struggling, you need to use them BEFORE you dig too deep a hole.

    One thing some freshmen don't realize is you can get EI from most any instructor. So, if you simply cannot understand your instructor, find one who can teach the way you understand! They will probably be happy to help you.
     
  7. ccfletch

    ccfletch 5-Year Member

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    Avoiding being kicked out responses.

    Thanks everyone for your responses. I am glad to hear that if I try, I won't be sent home in the first semester.


     
  8. raimius

    raimius 10-Year Member

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    Of course, nothing is guaranteed, but a 1.8 is unlikely to get you after 1 semester.

    As has been mentioned, use those resources!
     
  9. ZoomingFalcon

    ZoomingFalcon Cadet 5-Year Member

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    Some of the classes are just...weird. Like the new freshman military history class, which was even explained to us as a "survey" class. We're the experiment. If something doesn't work well, they change it for the Spring semester. Which stinks sometimes because the objectives and material they give is is BOGUS!

    But for things like Physics, Chem, Calc, Engineering, etc. you can definitely go and get EI. Especially for those classes, you may just be missing some kind of "central" concept that ties it all together.

    For any 2015ers reading this, CompSci is NOT your friend (my apologies to any CompSci majors here).
     
  10. Dis-enrolled dad

    Dis-enrolled dad New Member

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  11. Dis-enrolled dad

    Dis-enrolled dad New Member

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    I've been following the message board for months as my son navigated his Doolie spring semester. In the end, he met a hard ARC and was disenrolled for failing a core course (calc) twice. He wants to re-apply and re-enroll and he wants to do so with a commitment and motivation I wish he'd shown for the past four months. I could go on and a ton of questions but I'm just looking for a thread to settle into first. Any help -- especially from current/past ALO's (like Flieger 83) -- would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
     
  12. raimius

    raimius 10-Year Member

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    That's a tough one. Frankly, I don't think his odds of readmission are very good. Never say never though. That said, start with the code used on his separation papers. (Someone else will know more on that).

    His chances of commissioning are likely still ok, if he wants to pursue ROTC or OTS via a civilian school. I know a few people who could not handle the academy, but still commissioned and are doing very well.
     
  13. In-the-Know

    In-the-Know Member

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    The odds are very very low for next year and still very low the following year. But here's how to improve them. 1. Go to a 4-year college and take the course over and earn an A. 2. Take other technical courses that he will take at USAFA like physics, comp sci, etc. and earn As. 3. Get stellar recommendations from his professors in those courses. 4. Take at least 12 credit hours (min of 4 courses) of real academic courses per semester. 5. Enroll in AFROTC and earn the respect of his instructors. 6. Get recommendations from his AFROTC instructors. 7. Reapply as a Former Cadet. In his explanation he must convince why his application just should not be dismissed out of the starting blocks. (USAFA has all the data on what happened. He has an uphill battle.) 8 Convince his congressperson or senators he is worth nominating. 9. If his application is dismissed this year, apply again next year having achieved all the things discussed above. Frankly, this will be a two year journey. It if very doubtful that he will even be considered for return without proof he can do it. That will take two years. Nothing worthwhile comes easy.
     
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  14. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 5-Year Member

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    “RE” codes are on the separation document, the DD-214.
    Google “Air Force or military DD-214 reenlistment codes.”

    Excellent advice above on a two-year strategy and tactical plan.
     
  15. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    I'll "chime in" here...with a short and too the point answer: read and then re-read what "In-the-Know" said...

    This person truly IS "in the know" and is speaking to you from a position of absolute knowledge of the system.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  16. Dis-enrolled dad

    Dis-enrolled dad New Member

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    Thanks everyone. Apprciate all the advice. A year ago when he was in BCT and had so much burning desire to excel I would never have -- in a million years -- thought we'd be here. My advice to aspiring cadets is don't count on high school calculus (even really hard "honors" calc...or any college-level work for that matter), to give you a reason to not work really, really hard at USAFA. For my son, it wasn't an issue with intellect but how (as many have pointed out) to prioritize his time and "share" his effort across a full-load of academics. He learned too late that it's not wrong to ask for help. He got A's as well -- I guess that's pretty standard -- but one class was his downfall. Now I sit here early in the morning and wish there was more I could have done. The whole thing is just devastating.
     
  17. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 5-Year Member

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    So sorry this has happened to him, and I know it impacts the entire family. It’s often posted here that “someone gets the C, D and F grades” no matter how stellar their incoming stats were. I appreciate you wrote to share the situation. It will be eye-opening for many.

    You mentioned a priceless nugget - asking for help. As a former USNA staff officer, I sat through many an academic performance board. So many mids could not believe bad grades were happening to them, and for whatever reason, pride, embarrassment, disbelief, they did not take advantage of EI, office hours, tutoring sessions, talk to their academic advisor or chain of command. Something all SA parents can take away from your story - letting their DS/DD know it’s ok to admit they are struggling and go get help, the minute they feel out of their depth.

    At those academic review boards I sat in on - “the long green table” - a common question was “what is your plan?” Merely assuring the board they could do better and vowing they would try harder, did not impress the board. Having concrete steps - take a study efficiency course, drop ECAs, quit varsity team, go to a tutor, take summer school, switch majors - was the key. It was definitely “show us action.” In your DS’s case, the advice given by In The Know is invaluable. Delivering proven performance will give him a shot a year down the road, and will demonstrate perseverance, commitment, growth and maturity. If he applies this year, Admissions will have nothing much new to evaluate.

    There will be a period of mourning. This setback and how your DS picks himself up and moves through it, may well be something he looks back on as the making of him.

    There is nothing you can do except love him and support his choices going forward.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
  18. Dis-enrolled dad

    Dis-enrolled dad New Member

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    MJ, Steve, and In-the-Know,
    Very much appreciate the honest input. Totally recognize it's a long road but we're gonna give it a go. There is so much to unpack here and I hope that no dad has to go through what I've been through over the past few months. Problem for us now is timing -- trying to make a fall semester beddown is tough; most 4-year schools required those apps to be sent in way back in the spring. Here's a question: how does the board look at community college for one semester? Should he just take a "gap semester" so as not to spoil his academic cred and shoot for the spring at a degree-granting school? Thanks, D-Dad.
     
  19. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    I can't speak for my "colleagues" at USAFA/RR...but from my ALO experience and briefings I've received over the years...

    College courses; either at a CC or on the "Big" campus, are college courses. Show the rigor, show the full load...don't take a "short/simple" schedule, put in the full course load. Basically mirror what he'd be doing at USAFA; the goal here is to show USAFA/RRS folks that there was a hiccup in the past, that's gone, no more hiccups, and here's one seriously talented academic that truly wants to serve and is willing to do whatever it takes.

    It's a tough, long, uphill battle...he's got a lot to prove. That being said...I'll bet its been done before. The folks in RRS aren't demons...they've VERY selective, as they should and need to be, but they're also looking for young men and women that will be a benefit to the USAF, they respect effort and determination. As "In-the-Know" said: "Frankly, this will be a two year journey. It if very doubtful that he will even be considered for return without proof he can do it. That will take two years. Nothing worthwhile comes easy." I love that...its something I try to teach my cadets every day in class; NOTHING worthwhile comes easy.

    But it can be done!

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
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  20. Dis-enrolled dad

    Dis-enrolled dad New Member

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    Thanks Steve. Two years...he can do that! There was a cadet in his squadron who resigned after Doolie year to go on a two-year religious mission. They'd meet up and be buddies again; they were good friends all the way through BCT. Did some checking this evening -- found a local 4-year university (bachelor's thru doctorate-granting) that is accepting transfers for the fall '18 session. He's going down tomorrow to talk to the admissions team. I don't know why I feel so positive but for some reason I do. Hope can be a strategy and I have lot's of it...feels a helluva lot better than being in the dumps. Words tomorrow. D-Dad
     
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