HS Senior Year Schedule....your thoughts?

Discussion in 'Coast Guard Academy - USCGA' started by AEB1968, Jun 7, 2017.

  1. AEB1968

    AEB1968 Member

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    My daughter was called down to the guidance office yesterday and told that she had multiple conflicts in her Senior scheduling. Unfortunately our HS typically only offers one section of every AP course. Her requested schedule had her taking AP English, AP Calc BC, AP Economics, AP Physics, Wind Ensemble (Principal Horn in a nationally recognized ensemble), AP Art History (for fun), AP German and PE (required). Unfortunately there were so many conflicts and she couldn't work AP Physics into her schedule (nor could she fit AP Bio or AP Chem the only other AP sciences offfered next school year). The way our school works is that Honors level in those three lab sciences have to be taken prior to taking the AP version so she will graduate without an AP level science. The honors versions are actually very rigorous just for the record. This year she is in Honors Physics for reference. Anyway, she also had a conflict with the AP Art History class but that is less of a concern. Bottom line her new schedule looks like this:

    AP English, AP Calc BC, AP Economics, AP German, AP US Gov, Honors Anatomy & Physiology (in conjunction w/ a local university), Wind Ensemble, PE.

    Will it hurt her application not to be taking an AP level science in her senior year? Does this schedule meet the challenging level that the CGA is looking for? She's very concerned but she couldn't give up her musical instrument that she's been playing for 8 years in order to take an AP science course. She's committed so much time, practice and heart into this instrument. It's really a difficult situation.
     
  2. Cidgrad130

    Cidgrad130 Member

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    Not sure about your DD's district affiliated virtual school, but ours here in Florida (FLVS) offers several AP science courses online. Sometimes, taking the AP test can be a challenge because it will be at a different HS and may conflict with another AP test which she is already enrolled in, but there is always an alternate test date/location. You may look to see if this is an option.

    But for the record - seems like your DD is meeting the "take the most challenging course selection that is available" mantra already.

    Your family has most likely already explored every option with the guidance department, but I would question a few things. I am assuming that she is taking the AP Economics in order to meet a graduation requirement - is there any way she could take that class online (I think Economics transfers to the online experience better than most sciences) and take AP Physics in school? Also, would there be a way to take an alternate path towards getting the PE credit? Several options here in Florida for that - certified club sports/dance participation as well as online health science classes which have a physical component (usually involve a heart rate monitored exercise program along with technique video uploads). In any case - just the fact that she is making every effort to challenge herself speaks to her character - so best wishes for a great senior year.
     
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  3. AEB1968

    AEB1968 Member

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    Thanks Cidgrad130. I appreciate your responses and it's all excellent advice. We're in New Jersey and PE is required unless you have a medical issue, she's a 2 sport varsity athlete but it doesn't get her out of PE unfortunately. There are no alternate options at all for earning those credits, espcially since the health marking period falls under this category and is required of all NJ students. As for Economics that wasn't her issue with conflicts unfortunately. Her courses that conflicted with AP sciences were AP English, AP German and Wind Ensemble. She has committed so much time to music that I'm not sure it would look any better to drop it in Senior year, not to mention the time and energy she's worked towards to be 1st chair/principal in such a prestigous band. Economics is just a "for fun" elective in a new subject for her, it would have been dropped had there been any conflicts. There were also some conflicts with AP Bio and AP German but again she's studied German for 5 years and would hate to give up the opportunity to study it at the highest level in HS. It's such a tough situation to be in and NJ has very strict policies on courses as a state, as does our district.
     
  4. alaska66

    alaska66 USCGA Admissions Partner 5-Year Member

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    Calculus, Chemistry and Physics are required courses for all cadets 4/c year, and many cadets struggle greatly in those classes. That struggle can be compounded if the cadet has not had a high level of those courses in high school, and since retention of theories/concepts can drop quickly, it is advisable to have those courses leading right up to entrance to the Academy. Here's the link to the USCGA Course Catalog: http://www.cga.edu/registrar/ . You should review the required courses of your DD's future major. Foreign language is only a requirement for Government majors, and you can refer to page 59-60 regarding the option of testing out of some of that requirement. Other majors do not have a language requirement. My personal opinion would be to opt to focus on english, math and science. A familiarity with economics is also helpful to 4/c.
     
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  5. AEB1968

    AEB1968 Member

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    Thank you alaska66. We've definitely spent a lot of time pouring over the catalog for USCGA and I think what she needs to figure out right now is her path within the Academy (currently it's Marine & Environmental Science) and how important languages are to her. She's studying German and Russian currently and has a desire to learn additional, critical languages. Perhaps if that's her path she should consider some other options either a Government major or another path all together. She's a strong STEM student with high SAT/ACT test scores and excellent ECs including athletics, leadership, girls state etc so her overall application is strong but this might open a conversation about what she wants her future to look like and what she's willing to sacrifice academically to get there. Excellent information and always welcome. Thanks again.
     
  6. alaska66

    alaska66 USCGA Admissions Partner 5-Year Member

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    If she is seeking to take a language class, then the Government major is what she should consider. MES does not have a language class in its curriculum, and electives are very limited. The language that is offered at CGA is Spanish. It is possible to request to take another language at nearby Conn. College, however that request requires quite a bit of paperwork, and is often denied. Only a handful of cadets each semester receive approval. Unlike civilian colleges, CGA's degree programs are extremely stringent and allow for little, if any, deviation. The goal, of course, is to produce ensigns at the end of the 200 week program.
     
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  7. AEB1968

    AEB1968 Member

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    @alaska66 Thanks again and duly noted. I will pass this information along to her and allow her to really consider all the facts. I think she felt it was easier to take foreign language at Conn College, particularly if it was a critical language, but seems that is not case and it would be wise for her to do some soul searching. Appreciate the honesty and excellent feedback.
     
  8. Idlewild

    Idlewild Member

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    Can't speak for how Admissions looks at the courses, but my daughter received an EA appointment without having taken an AP English or AP economics class- took Honors English which she enjoyed and did well. She did take AP Physics 2 (as an independent study- no other kids signed up), AP Psychology, Honors Calculus, and AP Art her senior year. She dropped Latin as a language at that level is very time consuming and as a 3 sport athlete all 4 years did not need a PE credit. AP Physics her junior was such a surprise as she was originally thinking about a more creative path for college major then Physics hooked her and became a passion of hers along with drawing and painting.
    NJ doesn't offer a summer PE course fulfillment option!? We have lived in several states and all of them did- that's silly!
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2017
  9. Idlewild

    Idlewild Member

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    Ps the AP art is extremely time consuming and if she is not pursuing an art based major- that might be the first class I would consider dropping to make her schedule work. Finding another elective in art might be a better choice.
     
  10. bopper

    bopper Member

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    Can she swap AP English for an AP Science? for a STEM major that is what i would do.
     
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  11. davejean90

    davejean90 Member

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    Take it from someone who has graded AP exams for ETS, AP is a scam. Take a few AP courses to show that you are challenging yourself, but there is a point of diminishing returns. Adding the 3rd, 4th, and 5th AP course is not going to get you any more points with admissions. It may make more sense to ensure you get your varsity letter, become the president of a club, work in student government, train for the CFA, or take a ACT/SAT improvement course. I can guarantee that your admissions score will increase with higher SAT/ACT scores and more pull-ups on the CFA, so put your focus there. If you have maxed all of those criteria, then my advice to you would be - RELAX A BIT and enjoy yourself.
     
  12. USMAROTCFamily

    USMAROTCFamily 5-Year Member

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    Make sure you are looking at her schedule as it relates to admission to her top civilian schools, too, and not just what looks best for the academies.
     
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  13. AEB1968

    AEB1968 Member

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    Thanks so much for the great advice everyone. Very appreciated !