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Old 10-03-2012, 10:46 PM   #31
Jeanne B
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So she made it through her entire freshman year of school without dropping out and willingly went back this year but suddenly wants to drop out? Something doesn't sound right. If the school wasn't a good fit, I can't believe she couldn't figure that out after an entire year.
I think some of it is that she was afraid to tell me because she thought I'd be disappointed in her, and I could tell she was struggling to tell me (yes, I'm paying a portion of her tuition). Do I wish she told me before classes started? Absolutely, but I think she hoped her sophomore year would be better and it's not, but I'm glad she's coming to me now rather than at the end of the semester.

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What did your daughter expect to happen in University? This isn't High School, most professors do not care if you come to class. That's just how it is, most college students are adults now, or will be soon therefore it's their own job to make sure they come to class. It's not the Professor's and it shouldn't be. Especially in a class with more than 30+ students, they can't hold everyone's hands, it's the students job to talk to the professor and engage. I understand there is a language barrier, but what is she going to do if she goes to a CC or another college where the situation is the exact same?
She probably didn't know what to expect, as leebee pointed out, highschools don't always do a great job of preparing kids for college and DD went to a very small highschool and now she's in classes that have more kids then her graduating highschool class. I haven't been in college in 25+ years and I want to a very small private college so this is a new experience for me as well and I just want to be supportive of my DD and do my best to help her make the decision that's best for her in the long run. And as I said in one of my previous posts, I'm probably not doing a great job of relaying her reasons for wanting to withdraw, I mentioned a couple of examples but it's really an overall feeling she has about the school.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:04 PM   #32
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I took a look at the department webpage and will take a guess at her advisor. If she stays and she is uncomfortable with him, she needs to change advisors immediately. A GOOD advisor can make a huge difference in outlook. If nothing else, a student needs to have an advisor that she's happy to go see, not dreading it, and not understanding what he says. I socially know the coordinator of the audiology clinic- she's very nice, although a little boisterous at first, but she is funny, invested in her students, and knows her stuff. Maybe your DD needs to check out other faculty members in the department and if she decides to stay, she should change her advisor immediately.

The SLP at the school where I teach did her master's work in your daughter's department. She says comm dis is an extremely competitive field, and it's difficult to get into programs. If your DD can pull it off this semester, even with a reduced load, my friend recommends she stay in school rather than withdraw now and try to transfer with substandard grades, if she is serious about staying in comm disorders. If she withdraws, will the University let her back in? (Not saying she wants back in UMaine, but if she can't get into comm disorders anywhere else, UMaine might not look so bad in a year). Would a leave of absence be preferable to withdrawing? I don't know how this works.

(PS- DD is in Hancock this year and much happier, but wants a single next year. I am advocating that, if she doesn't want the roommate experience any longer, she either become an RA or move back home!)
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:36 PM   #33
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Small world leebee, my daughter was in Somerset also and yes, it was a nightmare.

I think it's certain professors, not necessarily ALL the professors, and I think it's the ones that are key to her major. One problem that she's had all along is that there's a strong language barrier with her academic advisor (and he was also one of her professors last year which was a problem) and it sounds like he's new to the school so that's been a big part of her frustration.
Which class/classes is she struggling with?

I'm finishing up pre-reqs toward the graduate program in Communication Disorders and will begin the Master's program next year. I'm an older student and there is really not much a professor can say to shake me. However, I can see how a younger student, like your daughter, would feel overwhelmed and out of place in these classes. From my experience, upper level professors aren't interested in what students think is fair or in modifying their teaching style to suit the students' needs or wants. They expect students to conform to their teaching and have no hesitation in telling them that if they can't handle a specific subject, they shouldn't bother with graduate school. If you seek their help, they are willing to assist you during their office hours, but that's as far as they go.

OP, your daughter has a long way to go before graduate school. For the time being, she should focus on getting out of academic probation. There is no point in stressing about graduate school if she isn't meeting the basic requirements for her undergraduate degree. Address the immediate problems now and as her academic standing improves and she feels more in control, then those other things will fall into place. Taking a break right now or going to CC may be just what she needs to help her regain her confidence and decide if this is the field that she wants to continue to pursue.

Good luck to her!
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:23 AM   #34
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If she is on any type of financial aid, make sure she talks to someone in financial aid before withdrawing. If she withdraws, she may find herself owing money back to the school or having to start paying on her loans immediately, and it may affect her ability to qualify for fin aid in the future.

As a professor, I know that many students struggle with transitioning to college. I try to help my students as much as I can, but ultimately it is up to them. I often tell my students that I don't care if they come to class, I am not going to hunt them down if they aren't there. Its their job to care about their grades, not mine. I am not there to coddle them.

There are good and bad profs at every school. Honestly, at some point she is going to have to deal with crummy profs who don't care about their students. Its just life.

If she really hates it and is struggling, withdrawing may be her best option. But she probably also needs to look at what her expectations are regarding college and make sure she is being realistic about it.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:57 AM   #35
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This is a tough one. A communication disorders major usually ends in an slpa position without grad school, and slpa jobs are much more limited than slp jobs. I think either a w or a low grade would look bad, but people have recovered from both and gotten into grad school. My first grade on my undergraduate transcript is an "F" in English grammar--that's one that I felt needed an explanation in my cover letter, lol. Like your daughter, I struggled in my first year of college, but I took time off to go into the army and raise a family before a second go at college.

I think there could be arguments for either dropping now or holding out---but if she finishes the term, she would need to do well. That's mostly A's to keep going in CDS, so maybe withdrawing would be best unless your daughter thinks she's up to finishing and excelling. Maybe during her time of figuring out what to do, she could get a job as a teacher's aide in a special education setting. That would put her ahead of many classmates if she goes back and starts doing clinic hours, because she would have some experience with kids on various spectrums. I went through the CDS program as an older student, and the thing I heard supervisors say about some of my younger cohort was they had a hard time with behavior management due to a lack of experience with -any- kids, much less kids who are not typically developing. Is your daughter planning on working in a school? If not, she could look into work at a nursing facility. If she did that, she would get some experience working with the elderly and hopefully get a little mentorship (okay that's a made up word) from the slp who works there.

Hugs to you and your daughter.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:47 AM   #36
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There is a lot of great advice here. Since you are going with her, you may want to add on if they have peer tutoring service to help her finish these classes with a grade that is acceptable. You can than make a plan for her to follow up in the following semester (or maybe after one off) at the new college/university.

Also, have her go through her teachers and use the rate my professor web site. See what other students have said about the teacher. You may find out they have an abrasive way of teaching and your daughter may be caught off guard and they could also just be a really bad professor.

Most of all during the interview, both you and the advisor should let her know that the feelings she is having and struggling with grades is normal for some students. It takes them a while to adjust and some really do need to find a better fit.

If she can get the tutor and keep her grades up I think she will bring up her chances of succeeding greatly and hopefully her confidence also. Sorry thiis is happening. I hope it all works out!
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:36 AM   #37
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Thank you again for all the advice you've been offerering.

leebee, there are several of DD's classmates who are having difficulty with this advisor and apparently they were all talking about going to someone at the university to see if there was any way they could switch advisors but they didn't know who to go to. She mentioned this to me a couple weeks ago and I'd actually considered calling the university myself because I've been concerned, knowing that she's struggling and that the difference between a good and bad advisor could make a big difference in a students life, and I know having him as a professor and advisor has been a real problem for her since last year. Granted, this is just part of the problem but I think it's probably been a big part of it.
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:51 AM   #38
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Maybe it would be best to drop the hard classes and keep the easy classes for now and finish out the semester.

That's a tough situation to go through as a parent. Good luck with it all.
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:01 AM   #39
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My DD shocked me tonight by announcing that she's not happy at the local university here and wants to withdraw. She's a sophomore and really likes her major but long story short, she's not happy with the college, professors, their teaching methods, etc.

I understand why she wants to withdraw and I feel I need to support her decision but what I'm not sure of is if it's best for her to finish out this semester or withdraw tomorrow (which I believe is the deadline to get 50% of the tuition back).

She told me she is definitely still very interested in her major (communicative disorders) and wants to pursue it again at a later date but she's struggling academically (she's on academic probation) and it seems to have to do a lot with her unhappiness at the university. She was always an A/B student in highschool taking AP classes so she knows, and I know, that she's capable of doing much better.

Her intent is to withdraw and take the time she needs to figure out what college she wants to transfer to (most likely out of state) but is it even considered a transfer if she doesn't transfer immediately? Obviously I want to make sure she doesn't do something that costs her the credits she's earned to date during her freshman year. And I'm also concerned that her being on academic probation could affect her acceptance at another college.

We're planning to go to the University tomorrow to find out what the procedure is for withdrawing but I'd be interested in some feedback from those who have had a child do the same, or from those who have been through this themselves as a student.
Number one having a dd that struggled I will tell you that her withdrawal will probably cost her some credits, there is just no way around that. Now you might get lucky, however after having my dd hop around 3 colleges now, you lose stuff. It happens. That is the least of your concerns.

It is good to withdrawal if she is failing. No need to be expelled from the school (if that is their next procedure).

As far as dreams of "out of state" and getting into another college, that will depend on the college and her current GPA.

If her GPA does not meet the "transfer" requirement, she is going to have to go to community college and fix that.

Currently my dd is in a college that erases your GPA past. They did take most of her credits. I did not delve into the reasoning there because frankly I will see if she is able to stick this out.

It is not the "end of the world". I do consider someone's "mental health" more important. Your dd is struggling with many things and it is good that she wants to get herself together!
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:07 AM   #40
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Thank you again for all the advice you've been offerering.

leebee, there are several of DD's classmates who are having difficulty with this advisor and apparently they were all talking about going to someone at the university to see if there was any way they could switch advisors but they didn't know who to go to. She mentioned this to me a couple weeks ago and I'd actually considered calling the university myself because I've been concerned, knowing that she's struggling and that the difference between a good and bad advisor could make a big difference in a students life, and I know having him as a professor and advisor has been a real problem for her since last year. Granted, this is just part of the problem but I think it's probably been a big part of it.
My own DD is trying to change advisors, so I just shot her a fast email to see how she went about it, but I think you should go to her department office and ask them how to do this. Another suggestion would be to talk to whomever your DD thinks she might like as an advisor, ask if they are willing to take on a new advisee, and then ask how to proceed. Trust me, her current advisor isn't going to care if she changes advisors or not.

There is LOTS of peer tutoring available on campus if she is struggling with her classes, especially if it's some of the gen ed courses. There are also several academic support systems available to her, I think, depending on the class.

I've been thinking about your DD and wondering what you'll suggest/she'll decide. If she thinks she can keep up her grades at all, I would recommend dropping to 12 credits, changing her advisor, and really working at college. It IS up to her to make of it what she will; most professors are NOT going to hold her hand and spoon-feed like they did in high school, just as getting good grades now involves more than taking notes, listening to lectures, and going to class. College classes involve self-teaching and self-motivation- not because the profs are stupid, mean, or hate their students, but because that's what college is- HIGHER education.

Also... I wouldn't rely too strongly on ratemyprofessor.com This is unmoderated, and as with most things, the majority of the posters are either highly aggravated because they didn't do the work necessary for a decent grade, or they are in love with the prof because they did the required work and got great grades. I was reading some of the reviews last night- and mind you that these are people I know personally- and many of the most negative reviews couldn't be further from the mark, when they talk about arrogance, not caring, not knowing the subject, etc. You will occasionally get a prof who is burned out and over it, but for the most part college professors are thoroughly knowledgeable in their fields, WANT their students to learn, and have set high standards for students to meet; it's the student's responsibility to be self-motivating, dedicated, and hard-working, whether they like the course and professor or not! It's often the student's lack of dedication and willingness to work hard for a grade that is most reflected on ratemyprofessor.com. Of course, nobody ever said that college profs are all good, skilled teachers; most are not taught how to teach at all, anywhere along the way. They are at the top of their fields professionally and intellectually, but most are best-skilled at research; that's what a University mainly hires them to do- scholarly research- which means research and publication to bring in their own salaries and financial support to run their programs and the University. It's a big misunderstanding that University faculty are hired to teach/educate undergraduates.

OH, my dd just emailed and said she just went to talk to the guy she wants for her new advisor and he said to fill out the form that she got from the department admin assistant (that's probably the person you really want to talk to, if you want to learn how to get things done!).

OP, let us know how the day goes and what your dd decides...
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:58 AM   #41
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I know I posted in the middle of the night, eyes half closed. I still would recommend reading up and using rate my professor as a guide. I totally understand that many students put up comments more in the negative. That is just the nature of reviews. Same as tripadvisor.

It is not the do all to tell all, but as a small little guide it will not hurt her to look at it.

My daughter uses it faithfully and rates her professors honestly and truthfully on all topics. I am sure she is not alone.

Again, I was posting tired and it was not my attention for you to use it as the only tool in your toolbox. Just an idea to maybe give you some understanding re: how her day is playing out.

I really am hoping all works out for you today. I said it before and I really do mean it - there is really great advice on the thread to help you with your list for the meeting.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:00 AM   #42
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Maybe during her time of figuring out what to do, she could get a job as a teacher's aide in a special education setting. That would put her ahead of many classmates if she goes back and starts doing clinic hours, because she would have some experience with kids on various spectrums. I went through the CDS program as an older student, and the thing I heard supervisors say about some of my younger cohort was they had a hard time with behavior management due to a lack of experience with -any- kids, much less kids who are not typically developing. Is your daughter planning on working in a school? If not, she could look into work at a nursing facility. If she did that, she would get some experience working with the elderly and hopefully get a little mentorship (okay that's a made up word) from the slp who works there.
This is excellent advice! I would definitely encourage the OP's daughter to do this. Even if she decides to take a break, observing an SLP in various settings is an excellent way to get an inside view into what they do everyday. Also, if she decides to pursue COMD, she will have to complete 25 hours of observation and this would be a good way to get a head start on that requirement.

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I do consider someone's "mental health" more important. Your dd is struggling with many things and it is good that she wants to get herself together!
This is really important, too.

OP, you're doing the right thing by listening to your daughter and helping her through this. It's difficult right now, but everything will work out in the end.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:45 AM   #43
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This sounds very much like what happened with my son's girlfriend.
She was a pretty good student in High School and then went to a fairly large State University, was miserable, and bombed.

All the excuse making aside (because a student's grades really are not the fault of an advisor or the professors), she just wasn't in a mental place right then to succeed at that school. It happens. They are young and goofy and they make mistakes and flounder a bit sometimes. It isn't the end of the world to fail at something.

Her parents brought her home and put her in Community College part-time and had her start retaking the D and F classes because they weren't going to transfer anyway and she needed to get the GPA back into shape. They also required her to get a part-time job.

She eventually graduated with an Associates degree with over a 3.5gpa and was able to get accepted into many Universities for a second try. The second time around is going much better.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:10 AM   #44
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You've received a great deal of good advice already, but I'm going to go in a different direction:

If she does withdraw from school, I suggest that the two of you agree upon "an exit plan strategy". What do you expect her to do when she comes home? I would guess it includes getting a job, earning/saving for her eventual return to college, and -- after some time to recouperate a bit -- looking into other schools. You don't want her to come home and sit around, being unhappy that all her friends are away, and feeling bad about not knowing what she wants to do. By being proactive and discussing what you expect her to do, you'll avoid this problem.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:01 AM   #45
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You've received a great deal of good advice already, but I'm going to go in a different direction:

If she does withdraw from school, I suggest that the two of you agree upon "an exit plan strategy". What do you expect her to do when she comes home? I would guess it includes getting a job, earning/saving for her eventual return to college, and -- after some time to recouperate a bit -- looking into other schools. You don't want her to come home and sit around, being unhappy that all her friends are away, and feeling bad about not knowing what she wants to do. By being proactive and discussing what you expect her to do, you'll avoid this problem.
This is very true.

We have a set expectations for our dd. She was having some serious issues and had to get a handle on them. I can say that it took her an entire semester plus summer to get back into the game.

She is working part time and going to school part time this semester. She is taking night classes to ease herself back to normal.

In addition I have "cleaning requirements" and "communication expectations". Which are really nothing more than common courtesy. However she wanted to come and go as she pleased and treat her room and the house like a flophouse. Not happening here. There has to be a level of respect both ways.

If she is still under your health insurance you need to look at that issue with regards to school requirement. Also make sure you look at your student loan issues if you have any.

Good Luck! If she is still under your insurance make doctor appts. Get her a physical, see a counselor, and any other loose ends she needs to do.
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