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Academic dismissal

trueman1991trueman1991 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
I am a grad student at ASU and I am currently facing Academic dismissal for falling below GPA of 3 at 2.94. I have been given the opportunity to appeal the decision. I would like your suggestions to the appeal letter I have written.

I am writing an appeal, for a review of my impending academic dismissal from the master’s in electrical engineering program from the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering department at the Ira Fulton School of Engineering. I thank you for this opportunity to explain the circumstances surrounding my poor scholastic performance in the program. Overcoming the initial reaction of disappointment and sense of defeat, I have come to realize that the misguided approach I took to dealing with the courses was one of the primary reasons for the decline in my grades.
Being a student of fairly good academic standing throughout my undergraduate program, upon entering probation after the first semester I took it up as a challenge to prove to myself academically the following semester and against the suggestions of my advisor, decided to take up two of the toughest courses (VLSI Design and Constructionist Approach to Microprocessor Design) with hectic lab schedules and weekly assignments along with a third moderately difficult course in FPGA and Hardware Acceleration. I believed that I was taking the “right” path towards the completion of my program as compared to the “easy” path.
However, as the semester progressed, and the content became more advanced, I concentrated my efforts towards only two subjects. In retrospect, I have realized that poor time management and incomplete understanding of the subject matter compounded with the fact that I never followed through in my questions with the professor in his office hours, lead to a decline in my grades.
Another major reason due to which my academics were neglected, was my obsession to secure a summer internship program. I spent significant time preparing for technical interviews, time which could have been spent better reviewing the topics taught in the class. While I was successful in securing an internship, my attention was diverted from the coursework.
If reinstated, I believe that the topics I have learned in EE498 and EEE525 will better help me excel in the subjects I have registered for the upcoming Fall semester. I also plan to take up a summer course in Digital Signal Process under Prof.Spanias with intention of broadening my scope of study as well as to boost my GPA before the commencement of the fall semester as I am marginally below the threshold GPA. I have already started preparing for the comprehensive examination which I intend to take up in Fall 2018. Towards the end of this semester, I have also come to appreciate the virtues of forming study groups to tackle challenging courses as the informal interaction between my peers on topics taught in lectures proved to be a very beneficial source of academic support.
I sincerely hope that this appeal shows that I am dedicated to becoming a successful student of good academic standing and I am determined to graduate from this prestigious university. Ultimately, this would give me a chance to regain my own self-confidence and realize my capabilities to outdo my main competition - myself. In view of the above, I appeal to you to permit me to continue my program here.
Thank you.

Replies to: Academic dismissal

  • ClassicRockerDadClassicRockerDad Registered User Posts: 6,351 Senior Member
    edited May 2018
    Honestly, this doesn't sound compelling. No disrespect intended but you made a lot of mistakes, went against your advisors advice, and even obsessed over an internship all when you had ample warning about the academic danger you were in. If I were reading this, I would not be inclined to give you a third chance. I'm sorry about that.

    In most places graduate EE classes are roughly 45% As, 45% Bs and 10% lower. The expectations are that you will Ace the classes in the subject matter most relevant to your goals, and get Bs in the peripheral classes. You have to really do poorly to get lower than a B.

    I would recommend that you go get a job, get some experience, and then perhaps apply to do a part-time Masters program paid for by your company where you would have synergy between work and school. A letter explaining how along with the technical maturity that comes from working, that synergy will help you overcome the difficulties you faced during your full-time graduate program.

    In terms of the current letter, you go into great detail outlining the reasons for your poor performance. You actually do a good job conveying that, but it's a double edged sword because it also shows extremely poor judgement from a) viewing overloading as a challenge rather then taking your advisors advice, b) taking the position that the approach you took was the "right" way and that your advisors approach was the "easy" way - you are implying that your judgement is better than your advisors, and the results don't bear that out, c) by viewing the lab courses's schedule as "hectic" - if it's too much trouble, they have given you a way out d) that you neglected one of your subjects on purpose by focusing on the other two subjects, e) that you managed your time poorly, f) that you never followed through with the professor, g) that you put getting a future internship as a higher priority than your current commitment to diligently learn the material for your courses, and h) that you continue to underestimate the difficulty of graduate electrical engineering coursework by assuming that a summer course in digital signal processing will boost your GPA, and assuming that you've learned enough in EE498 and EEE525 (were these As?).

    The totality of the result of the decisions you made, really carry the day.

    Again, I'm not intending to attack you, I'm just trying to be constructive in how someone will likely view your letter.

    Good luck to you.
  • trueman1991trueman1991 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    Thank you for your valuable feedback.
This discussion has been closed.