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Old 10-09-2012, 02:20 PM   #31
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Sometimes it takes weeks to get in to see their advisers so I would not hinge my decision on that not would I hinge on the refund date. A W is better than an F

My DS is a 5 year college senior right now because he did not strategically drop a few classes his Freshman year, before he figured out how to play the college game for real. He wants to go to grad school and GPA's really do matter, A LOT!

Let your DD decide the course she wants to take. I would stay out of it regarding what she should do in regards to leading her. I would lean heavily towards asking her what it is she wants to do and then letting her do it.

Sure, tell the adviser when she gets a chance'

Don't think that the school has not heard this guy is an idiot before, they probably have and either really don't care or he is protected and there is nothing they can do but they won't tell you that. They will nod in sympathy, let your DD fill out the forms etc when in reality nothing may be done.
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:21 PM   #32
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Since she is planning for science to be her future major, I would have her drop the class....she needs to learn this material, as it will be the basis for future classes. My dd did a BS in Bio and O-Chem is a huge weed out class for science majors and people considering going pre-med. Your dd will need to be prepared for this fact later on in her schooling career as well.

Currently my ds is taking bio and chem at the community college as a dual enrolled high school student (we homeschool). Everyone in his class is complaining about the teacher who is foreign born and apparently doesn't teach very well. Supposedly the first big exam did not go well for the majority of the class....there was even a delay on posting the results and after the fact the teacher added 5 pts to everone's score. My son got a 92 then 97 after the extra points; while he is doing well in this class he has already had a high school chem class and he knows how to push in and study hard until he learns the material, even if he has to do it all on his own (something good he's learned as a homeschooler!).

Also, your dd needs to know how much of the grade and final weighted grade is just the exam. In my ds' CC class a big part of the grade includes the lab portion as well. So make sure she is looking at the big picture on the grading as well.
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:42 PM   #33
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I'm an adjunct prof in a science deptartment at a community college (I don't teach chem, so no - I'm not the OP's teacher )
Some really good points have been made:
1. If she wants to go into nursing, she NEEDS chemistry - not just for the grade, but for the material. If she's not learning it well from this prof, she should drop it and try again later.
2. from the college's perspective, dropping it "quietly" vs. talking to everyone about it first makes absolutely no difference. Once she fills out the forms, the registrar will process it. End of story.
3. I would, though, encourage her to talk to someone in the science department. Not in a "this teacher is crappy" manner, but approach them saying "I'm dropping chemistry this semester. What can I do now, and next time I take it, to make sure I'm more successful?" My school offers a chemistry 001 class the second half of every semester. It's a non-credit class for students who dropped out of the intro chem class (there are always a LOT of them every semester.) The class goes over some of the basics, including the math skills, that are necessary to succeed. It also stresses a lot of the study skills that students often lack heading into college and introduces the kids to all of the resources available for help.
4. Whenever she takes chemistry, make sure she knows when the tutoring center hours are, when her profs office hours are, what online tutoring is available, etc., etc. I 99% guarantee you that those things are all available to her - for free - at her college. That doesn't mean she'll get a private tutor from the college, but that there are LOTS of resources available for help. She may need to use every single one of them.
5. Finally, I know you're her mom and that you want to help her. And advising and offering our opinions is what parents do. It's in our very DNA. But now's the time to step back and let her handle this. Listen, commiserate, ask questions, but let her figure out what she wants to do and how best to do it.

Good luck!
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:04 PM   #34
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GPAs also matter when they decide on magna cum laude or summa cum laude. That is something that DOES matter in the real world.

But also, I have heard by numerous professors that when they admit prospective students into programs, they'll typically look for ones with 3.5-3.99 GPAs opposed to 4.0s. So if she's a 4.0 student, a B here and there isn't going to be horrible, but an F would.

Withdraw from the class!!! In the world of academia when GPA matters a lot for many programs, a B here and there is ok but a C or lower is not. A W, assuming there's only 1 or 2 overall can be explained.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:14 PM   #35
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Of the 15+ years I've been in the workforce, college GPA, summa/magna cum laude, and grades at community college have meant diddly squat for anyone I've come into contact with. I work in education, BTW.

Chemistry is a lot of math, a lot of formulas, and a lot of vocabulary. My guess is that community college General Chemistry isn't much more advanced than AP Chem, or even Honors Chem at the high school level. Did the OP's daughter have any chemistry classes in high school?

The OP mentioned that the daughter's self-esteem is taking a beating - good! If everything taught in her college was easy, then she's in the wrong place. She needs to learn how to teach herself, on top of what is going on in class. It's a good skill to have.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:14 PM   #36
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Absolutely withdraw. Heck, given those circumstances (if DD is telling the truth.. not saying she isn't but it's worth discussing with her!), I'd drop even if I had to pay for the class!
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:08 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DopeyDame View Post
3. I would, though, encourage her to talk to someone in the science department. Not in a "this teacher is crappy" manner, but approach them saying "I'm dropping chemistry this semester. What can I do now, and next time I take it, to make sure I'm more successful?" My school offers a chemistry 001 class the second half of every semester. It's a non-credit class for students who dropped out of the intro chem class (there are always a LOT of them every semester.) The class goes over some of the basics, including the math skills, that are necessary to succeed. It also stresses a lot of the study skills that students often lack heading into college and introduces the kids to all of the resources available for help.
4. Whenever she takes chemistry, make sure she knows when the tutoring center hours are, when her profs office hours are, what online tutoring is available, etc., etc. I 99% guarantee you that those things are all available to her - for free - at her college. That doesn't mean she'll get a private tutor from the college, but that there are LOTS of resources available for help. She may need to use every single one of them.

Good luck!
I completely agree with both of these points. But also just know that for some people chemistry feels like a foreign language, and will require WAY more work than you anticipate. Chem tutors are great and the khan academy has some great videos that help too.

One thing I'm wondering OP is where the test ?s are coming from. If he isn't giving complete lectures isn't there a book you can study from. I know at least two of my chem classes have been based 90% off of self study versus off of lecture/power point.
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:51 PM   #38
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Withdrawing is nearly the same thing as taking an F. You can still retake the course and petition to get the bad grade off her transcript. All classes here have to be passed with a C or better, D's don't transfer.

Now you have to weigh her options based on any financial aid. I get the Pell Grant which means I must have 12 units each semester to get the full amount. If I withdraw from a class, I have to repay that amount back (or it's withheld from next disbursement). I failed a history course over the summer because the teacher is just awful in prepare the material for online work. I knew I couldn't take a W on it because of the grant, so I plan on enrolling in it next summer and hopefully spend more time on it to get a better grade. I was able to take the hit on my GPA to continue to get the Grant though, and this semester should bring it back above a 3.0
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:19 PM   #39
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DROP DROP DROP.

I'm currently a senior in college and there have been a few classes with teachers that are absolutely bat**** crazy. This sounds like one of them. It is not worth losing your sanity, or grades. Dropping those few classes were the best decision I ever made!

One or two W's look much much much better then flat out failing. Tell her to get out while she can and take it again with a sensible teacher!
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:04 PM   #40
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Thanks for all the great advice. She has utilized some of the methods suggested here like borrowing other Chemistry books (Idiot's Guide, etc.). There's no way I can say with absolute certainty that she has given it all she can, but I know she's given it a good try. I know she'll learn some life lessons, but I'm not glad her self esteem is suffering. But maybe that's the Mom in me .

She does have a Pell Grant which is why I was hoping she could discuss this with an adviser first, but we'll see if this is an option before the withdraw date.

I am planning on backing off a bit. Its hard to let go .
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:05 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DopeyDame View Post
I'm an adjunct prof in a science deptartment at a community college (I don't teach chem, so no - I'm not the OP's teacher )
Some really good points have been made:
1. If she wants to go into nursing, she NEEDS chemistry - not just for the grade, but for the material. If she's not learning it well from this prof, she should drop it and try again later.
2. from the college's perspective, dropping it "quietly" vs. talking to everyone about it first makes absolutely no difference. Once she fills out the forms, the registrar will process it. End of story.
3. I would, though, encourage her to talk to someone in the science department. Not in a "this teacher is crappy" manner, but approach them saying "I'm dropping chemistry this semester. What can I do now, and next time I take it, to make sure I'm more successful?" My school offers a chemistry 001 class the second half of every semester. It's a non-credit class for students who dropped out of the intro chem class (there are always a LOT of them every semester.) The class goes over some of the basics, including the math skills, that are necessary to succeed. It also stresses a lot of the study skills that students often lack heading into college and introduces the kids to all of the resources available for help.
4. Whenever she takes chemistry, make sure she knows when the tutoring center hours are, when her profs office hours are, what online tutoring is available, etc., etc. I 99% guarantee you that those things are all available to her - for free - at her college. That doesn't mean she'll get a private tutor from the college, but that there are LOTS of resources available for help. She may need to use every single one of them.
5. Finally, I know you're her mom and that you want to help her. And advising and offering our opinions is what parents do. It's in our very DNA. But now's the time to step back and let her handle this. Listen, commiserate, ask questions, but let her figure out what she wants to do and how best to do it.

Good luck!


Thanks! Lots of great perspective in this.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:15 PM   #42
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Thanks for all the great advice. She has utilized some of the methods suggested here like borrowing other Chemistry books (Idiot's Guide, etc.). There's no way I can say with absolute certainty that she has given it all she can, but I know she's given it a good try. I know she'll learn some life lessons, but I'm not glad her self esteem is suffering. But maybe that's the Mom in me .

She does have a Pell Grant which is why I was hoping she could discuss this with an adviser first, but we'll see if this is an option before the withdraw date.

I am planning on backing off a bit. Its hard to let go .
If she is on a pell grant, she NEEDS to speak with an advisor and with financial aid before she drops. It is very, very important that she does this. Depending on when she drops the class and what her overall hours and GPA are, she may be better off staying in the class and getting a low grade than withdrawing from a financial aid perspective. If she drops the class too soon, she may have to pay back some of her pell grant money or lose some of her aid for next year.

I teach at a community college, and I can believe that she has a bad professor. It happens. But she needs to be fully aware of the financial impact of dropping the class versus failing and retaking before she makes any decisions. She really, really needs to speak with her advisor.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:33 PM   #43
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If her scholarship is dependent upon the grade, drop it. COlleges do ahve a way of figuring dropped classes into the cumulative GPA-at least they did when I was in school.
As a previous poster said though, " Welcome to college". She'll probably have at least one more teacher like this one. Some teachers say they won't curve but after midterm, they grade those who remain in the class a lot easier. She'll be able to ask others in her class whether or not particular teacher does this. Then if she has to retake with the same person at east she'll know what to expect.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:24 PM   #44
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I would drop the class. GPA's are important.

There is a website where you can check out instructors before registering for classes. You can find out what other people think of the teachers you are considering and you can rate teachers you have taken so other students can make informed choices. It's called "Rate my Professor."

I think it's a pretty good and helpful site. If a teacher has received a dozen negative reviews, then you have a pretty good idea to stay away from his classes! I wouldn't let one or two negatives deter me if most reviews are positive, but let's face it, some teachers really suck, and the ones who are really bad usually have really bad scores!
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:57 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by skater View Post
Thanks for all the great advice. She has utilized some of the methods suggested here like borrowing other Chemistry books (Idiot's Guide, etc.). There's no way I can say with absolute certainty that she has given it all she can, but I know she's given it a good try. I know she'll learn some life lessons, but I'm not glad her self esteem is suffering. But maybe that's the Mom in me .

She does have a Pell Grant which is why I was hoping she could discuss this with an adviser first, but we'll see if this is an option before the withdraw date.

I am planning on backing off a bit. Its hard to let go .
I had a Pell Grant as well. If I remember correctly, the GPA wasn't that high. I believe it was a 2.5 or something like that but you also had to do a minimum number of credits. So, if dropping this class would drop her below the minimum number of credits that is obviously not a good thing.

I agree with a PP that O Chem is a weed out class for those in the Science majors. Is this an O-Chem or General Chem class? For Nursing majors around here, they had to take Chemistry for the Health Sciences (I was a Nursing major for a year), I barely had to open my book and got an A. When I transferred into Pre-Med, I had to take O-Chem (three times). There's a world of difference between those two classes. I would have her hold off on the Chem until she knows what she wants to get into. Although, transferring in to Nursing, some require the Chem as a pre-requisite to be accepted. I think she needs to take a step back and try to figure out what she wants to do.

Good luck.
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