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Help With Academic Dismissal Decision

RedTeaPotRedTeaPot 18 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
edited June 6 in College Life
Hi, I know there's many other threads on this but I was wondering if I could get some specific advice. I was academically dismissed from my university and allowed to appeal. The dismissal was upheld. Now I set up an appointment with the dean of my college and (if possible) just want to further elaborate on some things that might not have been elaborated on enough in the appeal.

Part of the reason I want to elaborate is that I realized what I did wrong the past semester (I completely flunked) and can attribute the main causes to be:

Poor time management
Lack of motivation
Slacking due to the previous semester
Socializing during the wrong times

In the middle of the semester (about April), I met with my academic advisor and was told to go to the academic help center and also attend counseling. After meeting with them I did my best to fix my grade on the one class I could still manage to pass. To tackle the time management issue I made an ideal time grid and tried to follow it, resulting in me studying for proper amounts of time (for the one class). I wasn't motivated to do any of the courses because I chose them based on thinking I'd achieve something specific (like I'll learn something specific which will help me with my major in a certain way) and when it didn't I started to procrastinate. It was just a mess because I couldn't repair a lot of the missing assignments. In order to tackle this problem, I really did research on my major and talked to my friend who is doing something similar and made a MUCH MUCH better schedule. I also made an action plan for future semesters and showed both to my advisor. Around this point, she did say she would be between academic suspension (I get to continue at the university the following semester) or I would be reinstated and get to continue September of this year.

Even if I feel like I tackled the problems, my decision of dismissal was still upheld. I could be wrong, but I feel that what might have caused this to happen is I didn't elaborate FULLY on the specific things I'd do to make sure my problems don't happen again. I kind of gave a long explanation of what caused my issues and for the most part IMPLICITLY stated the specific things I'd do. Like for example I said I'd continue pursuing counseling this summer + subsequent semesters, I'll continue applying the lessons I learned with time management, etc, but didn't really elaborate in the way like, "I'll attend counseling once a week in the summer and once a month when I get back to university, more if needed." I also didn't elaborate on how I will do my assignments as soon as possible, I just said I won't wait for the "perfect" time to do it (an OCD tendency that I have that I explained to my academic advisor). I just assumed that since I already did it and showed that to my academic advisor that my message would be conveyed anyway, partially because I received help with this appeal from somewhere (a community organization) and was told it would be a great appeal.

At this point I can show two things beyond explaining in more detail that yes I am choosing therapy and yes I will remake that time grid, make notes, for time management. I am taking two summer classes at a different university and I'm already really motivated to do well in them, and my first therapy session is in two weeks (this is the earliest time they've got otherwise I'd have to go to a private provider). I can submit my grades for the summer classes and show a letter from my therapist after I've been seeing them for a bit. Even though these things don't officially count in their decision I hope they can evaluate it because I really do love this university. I've more than slacked off these two semesters but I really think that I tackled the issues and will continue to do so. I've made some great friends at this university, and the courses that I will take next semester if reinstated interest me a lot and will help with my career goal.

Again, I could be completely wrong and the dean might not even entertain my explanation but I was suggested to further contact him for further steps.

If there's any advice you could give me in this process I would appreciate it! Thanks a lot!
edited June 6
16 replies
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Replies to: Help With Academic Dismissal Decision

  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I think appeals mostly work when you had a good excuse. Family or personal health issues, working too many hours to try to pay for school, etc. Your chance was the semester after you got on academic probation, and you didn’t perform. Maybe you can do a year at a community college, prove yourself, and transfer back in.

    So you can talk to the dean. But you need to start making a plan if they say no.
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  • RedTeaPotRedTeaPot 18 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited June 6
    @intparent Thank you for replying. I already am mentally preparing for two possible results from this (or more). One is I would have to go to a nearby college that is public. As for the reasons why I ended up like this, after going to behavioral health and talking to my advisor, I was told that I have OCD tendencies. I talked to him about mental health issues as well but this was during the first semester which I addressed for the most part, I can elaborate further but this is about my second semester. Yes, I beyond flunked the two semesters but I managed to address the causes of that and will continue going to therapy to address that.
    edited June 6
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 5506 replies1 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    My feeling is that you would be best off trying to find out what you need to do in order to be reinstated at some point in the future. This might be a longer process than just some work for you to do over the summer.

    And yes, you do need to try very hard for the classes that you are taking over the summer at a different school. You need to attend every class, always pay attention, and stay way ahead in all of your work. If there is anything that you don't understand, then look for extra help right away.
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  • RedTeaPotRedTeaPot 18 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @DadTwoGirls Could you elaborate on what you might think what I have to do might be? My university has 3 official outcomes for dismissal appeals, which are reinstatement, suspension, or dismissal. I will put in the work this summer and if they tell me to do some extra things I'll do them as well.
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 5506 replies1 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I will admit that I don't have any experience with academic dismissal, and I have relatively little experience with bad semesters. I am just feeling that you might want to be flexible, and understand that they might not let you return right away. Life is not a race, and if they would let you return after some time off, possibly with some conditions, that is not a bad outcome.
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  • RedTeaPotRedTeaPot 18 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @DadTwoGirls Understood. Thank you.
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  • bopperbopper 14067 replies100 threadsForum Champion CWRU Forum Champion
    Your thought process about college is somewhat incompatible with college reality.

    1) You magically thought things would change this semester despite you doing things the same. You probably did poorly last semester. And you did poorly this semester. Did you change anything in between semesters? Why did you think things would go better this semester?

    2) You may not love every course you take and it may not be directly applicable to your major. But the courses you take give you a breadth of education.

    "I wasn't motivated to do any of the courses because I chose them based on thinking I'd achieve something specific (like I'll learn something specific which will help me with my major in a certain way) and when it didn't I started to procrastinate."

    3) There is no perfect time to do homework. You just have to do it You may need to get evaluated for OCD and treated for it.


    A successful appeal must do several things:
    1. show that you understand what went wrong
    2. show that you take responsibility for the academic failures
    3. show that you have a plan for future academic success
    4. in a broad sense, show that you are being honest with yourself and the committee

    Here are some examples:

    http://collegeapps.about.com/od/Academic-Dismissals/a/Sample-Appeal-Letter-For-An-Academic-Dismissal.htm


    Some of this is general, and some specific to your situation.

    1) search this topic on CC and you will see many other posts on academic appeals
    2) Make sure your letter states what the issue was that caused you to have academic difficulties
    3) Did you talk to your professors/dean of students about the issue?
    4) Did you make use of the many resources your school has? if not, why not?
    5) Find out what those resources are...e.g. counseling center, talking to professors, talking to your adviser, withdrawing from class, talking to dean, maybe taking incompletes. Include specifics from your college. Here are more ideas https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-life/1920853-college-is-a-step-up-from-hs-16-tips-on-doing-well-in-college.html
    6) State how you would specifically use those in the future
    7) How are you addressing what caused the issue?
    8) Think about if you should continue at college, or take a break.
    9) How is your college funded? Will that continue?


    In general, keep in mind what the college wants...they want students who can succeed. They need to know that you understand what the issue was, know now the resources that you can use, how the problems is resolved so you will not have academic issues in the future


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  • RedTeaPotRedTeaPot 18 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @bopper

    "1) You magically thought things would change this semester despite you doing things the same. You probably did poorly last semester. And you did poorly this semester. Did you change anything in between semesters? Why did you think things would go better this semester?"

    No I didn't do things the same. Without going into specifics there was an underlying issue that occurred the first semester that I addressed but it wasn't until the second semester that I found out I may have OCD, and was recommend therapy for it to solve problems. Don't get me wrong there were things that I did wrong, I should have fixed anything sooner than later but I can only control what I do at this point on. I think I addressed the issues for the most part the latter part of the second semester by meeting with my advisor, etc.

    "2) You may not love every course you take and it may not be directly applicable to your major. But the courses you take give you a breadth of education."

    You're right. It's really hard to explain but I guess there was something mentally that made it hard to do work. Plus I chose classes that were totally irrelevant already and so I wasn't motivated. I think motivation plays a big part in succeeding but I'm not making an excuse for failing for that reason either.

    "3) There is no perfect time to do homework. You just have to do it You may need to get evaluated for OCD and treated for it."

    I understand that, and I'm in the process of that now.
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  • bopperbopper 14067 replies100 threadsForum Champion CWRU Forum Champion
    Here is a post that I saw on this topic from someone who is on a committee that review these letters:

    My committee would consider you a strong case for reinstatement if you can provide:
    a) documentation from your health care provider of a diagnosis
    b) confirmation from your health care provider that you have been compliant with treatment and your situation has improved so that you are better equipped to handle the stress of college life if/when you return
    c) details of how you plan to continue your treatment plan after you return to school
    d) details of other campus resources you will use and adjustments you will make after you return to enhance your success
    e) some statement of how you know your treatment has improved your situation (e.g. if you have been working during your time away and found it easier to handle the stress and demands as your treatment progressed)
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  • RedTeaPotRedTeaPot 18 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited June 6
    @bopper Could you send me the link to where you found that? I've really been thinking about all of those things and submitting them. As I said above perhaps I wasn't being specific enough about precise actions I'd take, assuming that they would understand given my limited explanation. After the next month I will have important things to show.

    Just an update: I spoke with the dean and my status was changed to suspension for a semester. meaning I would continue at my university in the Spring of 2020. His concern was what things I would do to prevent the same situation from occurring. Even after explaining a bit of background and the things I planned to do to ensure future success (summarized them because phone calls are a bit short) his decision still was unchanged. I'm thankful for another chance of course and he probably has decades of experience + can tell what decision is right. Still think there might be something missing or there is something I want them to consider such as the documentation from doctor + summer transcript + other things but whether that will happen is not up to me.
    edited June 6
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  • stradmomstradmom 5030 replies50 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    whether that will happen is not up to me.

    Let me gently suggest that this is where your reasoning is flawed. What you choose to do with this enforced timeout is entirely up to you. Stop talking the talk and start walking the walk, and I'm confident the situation will improve.
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  • RedTeaPotRedTeaPot 18 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @stradmom What I meant from that was, I can control my actions but not the consequences of my actions. I can do what I need to do and still be denied reinstatement. Like I feel that I'm prepared for reinstatement for a lot of reasons but still was given a suspension. Yes, there should be a consequence for the two semesters but what that is should depend on each case.

    Also gonna read that thread now
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  • naviancenaviance 592 replies8 threadsRegistered User Member
    Sometimes academic suspensions are on the condition that you do not take classes anywhere else during the time away. Also make sure you get approval for these classes at an outside college before taking the classes or you might not be allowed to transfer the credit. Talk to your university registrar and dean of students or email them asap
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  • LindagafLindagaf 9229 replies495 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    “...If they tell me to do some extra things, I’ll do them.” That is your problem. Do them anyway.

    You seem to be ignoring what everyone, including your college, is telling you. Change your habits because you NEED to, in order to succeed in life, not only IF someone tells you to.
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 8927 replies333 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 15
    I wasn't motivated to do any of the courses because I chose them based on thinking I'd achieve something specific (like I'll learn something specific which will help me with my major in a certain way) and when it didn't I started to procrastinate. It was just a mess because I couldn't repair a lot of the missing assignments.
    I think there's a difference between having a condition like OCD and intentionally slacking off on a course because you're not learning exactly what you'd imagined you would. You can't pass if you don't turn in assignments. You're asking this school to continue to spend financial aid money on you, but in exchange you're supposed to do the work and keep your grades above a certain level. If you're not going to bother to do the work their money is better spent elsewhere.



    I am taking two summer classes at a different university and I'm already really motivated to do well in them
    I think this is key. Now that you're motivated you expect to do well. I hope that the lessons you're learning include that you have to put some effort into tackling your responsibilities. Your motivation should be to keep your grants and your place in college, and to keep your job when you enter the workforce.



    I was academically dismissed from my university and allowed to appeal. The dismissal was upheld....I really do love this university. I've more than slacked off these two semesters but I really think that I tackled the issues and will continue to do so. I've made some great friends at this university, and the courses that I will take next semester if reinstated interest me a lot and will help with my career goal.
    It appears that you're considering your talk with the dean as an additional appeal and that it will somehow overturn your dismissal. I don't believe this is the way the process works. You may be able to reapply for next spring if you complete a full semester elsewhere, but I don't think you can appeal the decision made by the appeal board. It's a good idea to get clarification on what you need to do to get a chance at being reinstated -- and find out if your aid would be reinstated as well -- but I wouldn't expect it to happen this fall.
    edited June 15
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