Spanish II

RunningMoose

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Jan 19, 2017
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I am a current high school Junior and I have only taken one year of foreign language so far. It was a level 2 Spanish class, and I am scheduled to take level 4 Spanish next year. I am able to make these jumps because I work a job where Spanish is the language everyone speaks. My question is whether the Academy will be alright with this, especially considering my Senior classes will not be included on my transcript.
 

fencersmother

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There are people who receive an appointment with only two years of foreign language. Is it the best plan? Probably not. And especially because you work in a job where Spanish is the language everyone speaks, you are not exactly demonstrated a desire to challenge yourself in this area.

Did you high school offer no other language? Why did you not have some foreign language as part of your academic track? Is it possible to complete this "Level 4 Spanish" at a community college or summer school this summer and advance to a higher level for the academic year 2017/18?
 

RunningMoose

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Level 4 is the highest level offered, excluding AP. My high school offers only German and Spanish, and due to my involvement in a STEM Program and other AP classes it did not fit it my schedule
 

Capri120

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I am a current high school Junior and I have only taken one year of foreign language so far. It was a level 2 Spanish class, and I am scheduled to take level 4 Spanish next year. I am able to make these jumps because I work a job where Spanish is the language everyone speaks. My question is whether the Academy will be alright with this, especially considering my Senior classes will not be included on my transcript.
OP, it is not always the quantity, but the quality of the education/classes that matter(s). Additionally, if you are that fluent in Spanish, you should easily validate 2 or more semesters of Spanish at USAFA. So, I don't think they will have a problem with only having taken Spanish 2 and 4. Additionally, even though your transcript does not necessarily reflect your senior classes, part of you application package requests your senior year class schedule.
 

Cerberi

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You are working in a place where Spanish is the primary language - that is challenging yourself. You should work that into your personal statement about working with people of various cultures.

I think USAFA will see that you are competent in a foreign language based on the fact you use it every day vs an academic setting. I had a classmate that never took a foreign language in high school because French and Polish were spoken in her home and since she was fluent in both along with English - why bother taking a class in French when she could take advance chemistry.

If you take a challenging course load and challenging is defined by what the school offers not what someone takes at a different school, USAFA will take all that into account (though they will rate one high school over another)

I know a young man currently a cadet whose foreign language experience was sign language. He does just fine.
 

fencersmother

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After re-reading my own reply, it seems I am not able to write in English with any proficiency. :oops:

OP, you will find opinions here vary, and it probably comes down to this: what is your entire package? Did you take the most challenging coursework, where truly, you were not able to schedule a foreign language (with the approval and consent of guidance counselor and parents)?

As a junior now, have you contacted your ALO? It might be best to discuss with him/her your situation, since s/he will know about your school, and presumably, something about where you work, and the opportunities open to you.
 

RunningMoose

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Thank you for your responses!
Capri I think I should be able to validate a few semesters in Spanish (although we speak more of a Spanglish, sorry if I was misleading!)
Cerebri, I feel the same way that your classmate did. Especially because my high school is small and offers limited classes, I elected to take advanced math and science classes rather than a language. I will definitely work that into my personal statement though.
Fencer I spoke with my ALO and he said that I will send my senior schedule that shows the second year of Spanish and that I shouldn't worry. Although I did find it interesting that they require TWO years of a foreign language regardless of the level.
 

Daretodream

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Sep 17, 2014
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My DS took Spanish and French through AP levels in high school. He did not choose to validate the courses instead choosing to learn Japanese while at the Academy. He validated other courses so he will leave with a minor in Japanese. He loves the subject and challenge. Most of his friends also chose a language they did not take in high school to focus on at the Academy. This should give you a little ideal into the mentality of some students.
 

Capri120

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I did find it interesting that they require TWO years of a foreign language regardless of the level.
As with many of the class/course requirements listed by USAFA, these are not hard and fast rules. Last year they also listed computer science as a "requirement". DD did not take a computer science class and she received an appointment. Her high school did not offer any computer science courses nor was it a requirement for completion of her AS and AA degree.

As mentioned by others, the Academy will look at your school's profile to determine what it does/does not offer and will be more interested in you taking the most challenging courses versus ones like "underwater basket weaving".

For DD, she had to go outside of her very small, rural school (23 graduated in her class) to take college courses (they were dual credit in that all of them counted towards her high school diploma as well) they were advanced math, science, and so forth. She also elected to take two semesters of college German since the only language offered at her high school was Spanish.

One other tidbit about her school's profile - in its 100+ year history, no student has ever gone on to an Ivy league college or a service academy (until she did). Only about 20% of her class continued on to a four year university (all local or smaller state ones), about another 20 - 25% went on to the nearby community college, about 15% to the local VoTech, a few claimed they were enlisting in one of the military services, the rest, well who knows, maybe working at McDonald's or their family farm.

What I am trying to say here is that although most people seem to imply that your school's profile is used to indicate whether they can "put out" the type of person who can make it through a service academy, it is not the end-all. You are the one who has to show you have the aptitude by what courses you take even if it means getting them outside of the normal school curricula, as well as all of the other pieces of the puzzle that contribute to the whole person - ECs, sports, volunteering, jobs, etc. etc. There is no ONE magic rule or formula.
 

999132

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Nov 30, 2016
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the rest, well who knows, maybe working at McDonald's or their family farm.
I think this is quite an inappropriate comparison. I have been blessed with knowing many talented and hard-working individuals that went on to work at their family farms and have led successful lives. These people simply had different strengths and interests than what others, such as your daughter, may have. America needs farmers just as much as they need future military leaders. For you to attack these people's decisions and insinuate that your daughter is somehow superior to them and their predecessors lacks respect.
 
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