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Doesn't add up ...

123457

Replies to: Doesn't add up ...

  • otc2010otc2010 Registered User Posts: 201 Junior Member
    On the topic of English, I wanted to add that taking a cc level English class would also get you an exemption from taking the English Placement test and, I believe, college credit at CP. To me, that sounds like it's better to take cc english and not AP English at your hs. I wonder if this is encouraged (I could be missing something, but I didn't see this on the UCs desired coursework.) in order to solve some sort of bottleneck problem in freshman english at their school.

    From CP's EPT web site...
    # Equivalent college-level work. High school students who have earned a grade of C or better in a transferable, college-level composition course equivalent to English 134 or 133 should have a college transcript forwarded to the Evaluations Office at Cal Poly to document this exemption.

    Off-topic...I really valued taking freshman comp at my U, back in the day. It really changed the way I wrote and interpreted things. It was key to my seeing things from different perspectives, which often a problem with teens. I don't see that happening with kids who take cc english - it was like a modified hs course. I don't notice much change in he writing/analyzing ability and was thinking that the difference may be being at a U where you're living with a variety of individuals and experiencing different perspectives. I guess I don't want to get so focused on getting my daughter in (in four years) that she misses the growth experience...what's been your experience with taking english at cc.
  • csfmapcsfmap Registered User Posts: 423 Member
    Especially for those reading this thread in the future: know that Cal Poly has flexibility. My son was accepted and he did take way more than the minimun a-gs, but he didn't take them in the way the chart linked above shows. The chart under "Cal Poly Semesters Desired" shows English desired 10, my son took 8; foreign language desired 8, took 4; social sciences desired 4, took 8; math desired 10, took 14; lab science 8 and 8; visual arts desired 4, took 12; other electives 2, took 0. He took all his classes in high school except for two math classes taken in junior high. He took a full load all 4 years, he took lots of AP classes and he had APs in all catagories except foreign language. Cal Poly allows for individual variations, but they want students who challenge themselves and prove themselves by taking a rigourous curriculm. All selective colleges and universities look at rigor.
  • otc2010otc2010 Registered User Posts: 201 Junior Member
    ^@twodownonetogo...We rowed a similar boat here and I wouldn't trade that strategy because those clubs/sports taught my son how to accept criticism, accept rejection, and, most importantly, how to lead. Plus, the friends he made while doing that are what made his hs experience. I plan to encourage my daughter on that same well-rounded path because I do think being a multi-dimensional person is important (I know there are many in hs who aren't ready to do that in hs, but go on to do that in college.)
  • 2Leashes2Leashes Registered User Posts: 1,632 Senior Member
    I used to hear the term "well-rounded" more often. But lately it seems that having a "passion" for one thing and sticking to it is something many schools are looking for--at least some of the private colleges. I think they're just trying to emphasize that a student doesn't spread him or herself out among too many extra-curriculars, particularly ones who are "padding" their resume. Of course, I imagine a student who is able to handle several "passion-driven" activities in addition to a rigorous class load will have an advantage.

    My own daughter has a passion for vocal music, however she's also president of the National Honors Society and a member of Key Club. It's through those two clubs that she's able to get involved in community service projects. But, on her applications she emphasized how much her singing means to her and how being part of the choir and jazz ensemble have enriched her life at school.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    twodownonetogo wrote:

    All good info, thanks, but unfortunately, never communicated to us by our daughter's h.s. counselor. In fact, we were told that adcoms preferred "well-rounded" candidates, so in addition to taking the required core curriculum AP/Hornors courses (which she did) she was encouraged to pursue ASB, Yearbook, etc. as electives (she was Editor of the Yearbook) as well as varsity sports. Bad info apparently, at least as far as Cal Poly is concerned.
  • twodownonetogotwodownonetogo Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    @2Leashes, understood and agreed. Passion and focus are important qualities, definitely good indicators of future success. Which makes it all the more puzzling why the school would place heavy emphasis on merely taking an additional core curriculum course or two at a cc (some of these can be taken online as ccounselor notes - lol - like traffic school!). Hard to see how that demonstrates passion - or rigor for that matter - but who knows. Also the state universities do not permit essays. Oh well, good luck to all, onward and upward....
  • Mariner116Mariner116 Registered User Posts: 219 Junior Member
    @towdown, I think it is hard to say whether Cal Poly puts too much or just the right emphasis on the "rigor" selection elements. My original post on this topic was to help resolve the admission confusion over why someone with lower grades, test scores and ECs could get admitted over someone with higher results. The answer is that there are four selection criteria and the discussions were only dealing with three.

    I believe each major can weight the four selection criteria differently so there is not really a single "school based approach". Each major can weight the factors based on what they think is best for them. So, one major might put a lot of emphasis on rigor, another much less. The important point is that all four selection criteria matter to some degree for each major.
  • twodownonetogotwodownonetogo Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    @Mariner116, so let's get this straight... different departments assign different weights to the different admission factors, and they can change the weight a program will assign to any admission factor in any given year? Whew, that's a heck of a "standard." Sounds more like a moving target.
  • 2Leashes2Leashes Registered User Posts: 1,632 Senior Member
    The only course my daughter took online was a h.s. requirement: Health. She didn't even report it on her application. Nor did she put down PE. However, she did take Visual Arts (choir/jazz) all 4 years and noted that. She also didn't report the Applied Arts class (computer science) because it wasn't part of the a-g requirements; just for the h.s.

    I don't think an additional core class taken online or at the local cc is what they consider something a student is passionate about. I would say it's more like music or sports or volunteering (above and beyond). Or a hobby that keeps him or her exceptionally interested and driven. An extra-curricular could also be part of the a-g requirements, such as part of her music in my daughter's case.

    Of course, this could be more important for the UCs and private schools.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    twodownonetogo wrote:

    @2Leashes, understood and agreed. Passion and focus are important qualities, definitely good indicators of future success. Which makes it all the more puzzling why the school would place heavy emphasis on merely taking an additional core curriculum course or two at a cc (some of these can be taken online as ccounselor notes - lol - like traffic school!). Hard to see how that demonstrates passion - or rigor for that matter - but who knows. Also the state universities do not permit essays. Oh well, good luck to all, onward and upward....
  • Mariner116Mariner116 Registered User Posts: 219 Junior Member
    @twodown, yep, I think your statement covers my understanding. There are about 60 majors at CP, each can set its own weights for the four criteria (within certain parameters), and I suspect they can change them each year. I think it makes sense to have different selection weights by major. The factors that will indicate someone will be a successful student of biomedical engineering may be different than the success factors for journalism. Hence, the two majors can set different weights on each of the criteria.
  • toscanitoscani Registered User Posts: 47 Junior Member
    Cal Poly not only looks at grades earned but also the classes completed as well as in - progress.... I think senior year courses means a lot in the evaluation of one applicant over another and remember this is different for each major..
  • twodownonetogotwodownonetogo Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    @Mariner116: So the most meaningful information a HS counselor or prospective applicant needs for assessing the chances of being admitted is what weight each individual department assigns to the 4 factors. Has the university ever made that data available?
  • Mariner116Mariner116 Registered User Posts: 219 Junior Member
    @twodown: I have never seen anything about the weights by dept. I think that is one reason things look so inconsistent, but really aren't. My guess is that EDs at CalPoly are not that important and most students pick a similar response. Grades and tests are important but as we have seen in these discussions, there are a lot of great students with similar test scores and grades. I think there is more spread in results for the a-g classes taken, and that this category has become a "tie breaker" for many admission decisions, or has helped students with a low GPA or test score get back into admission contention. Thus, the advice for students would be to take 46 core classes in high school.
  • twodownonetogotwodownonetogo Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    @Mariner116: Assuming you are correct, it still doesn't add up in our D's case. Rechecked the transcripts - 1340/1600 SAT; 3.7 UW GPA, all desired coursework except the 5th yr English, all AP/Honors in core curriculum. The pool of applicants for pol sci would have to have been off the charts for her to not even get waitlisted. Her friend, same h.s., same curriculum, was admitted as CE major, with a 3.3 GPA/1850 SAT. Very curious.
  • calpolytobecalpolytobe Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Mariner116- I think you believe you have all the answers but i believe you are incorrect. I was told directly by an admissions counselor at cal poly that the selection criteria for ALL majors is exactly in this rank:
    1. GPA
    2. Test Scores
    3. Rigor of classes taken
    4. EC

    He said that 1 and 2 have the most wait and 4 is a very small percentage
  • Mariner116Mariner116 Registered User Posts: 219 Junior Member
    calpolytobe, I think your ranking is correct. My point is if students in a major are close on #1 and #2 (and many are from looking at CC posts), and #4 does not count much, and there is a wide spread on #3 (and I suspect there is), then #3 ends up being very important. If some applicants get 0 points (take 30 semesters) and others get a lot of points on #3 (take 46 semesters), that may be the "tie-breaker" factor that decides which students with similar scores for #1 and #2 end up with the most total points...and get offers.

    I'm guessing on this to some extent because almost no one is posting their a-g semester score.
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