Trying to wrap my head options, etc., anticipating a discussion with my son re: his first semester grades
Background: Honor student in HS (almost all A's over 4 years), lots of AP classes, lots of AP credits. In an engineering program at a large state university 300 miles away -- out of state tuition.
He told us at Thanksgiving that he didn't think he'd get a 3.0 this semester because he had a really bad test grade in his calc class that was dragging him down. He finished finals and came home the weekend before Christmas. Said he thought he'd done okay on finals except for his Chemistry class, but at that point just wanted to forget about it. We haven't pushed for him to discuss grades, and he's preferred to not think/deal with it during the busy-ness of getting ready for Christmas, having family over, etc.. He checked his grades last night and was crestfallen: 2.13. Worst grade was a D+ in Chemistry. Said he'd expected more like 2.8 or 2.9.
So, we all slept on it and will re-engage today. He said last night he feels lost and powerless, has no idea what to do ... so obviously some guidance is in order. This is all new territory for us too, so it's the slightly-less-blind leading the blind.... Seems like as a first step he should call his advisor and find out what his requirements and/or options are (e.g., does he have to retake Chemistry?). He's in a first-year engineering program that requires a GPA of 3.0 to guarantee his choice of specialty, so obviously he needs drastic improvement next semester to get that. He knows that -- said last night, "I'm just going to have to get a 3.9 this semester...." Not sure that's realistic, given how things went this time.... He's on a partial scholarship from DH's employer that pays $ toward 8 semesters over a maximum of 5 years. So, wondering if it makes sense for him to withdraw from the spring semester and save the scholarship $ while he works and takes some CC classes to get his act together/refocus/build some confidence, vs. spending another semester of the scholarship on what will be a risky endeavor at best. He is on "probation" in his engineering living-learning community because his GPA is below 2.5, so he'll be required to participate in a program designed to help boost struggling students.
He is definitely bright enough/capable of doing the work, but it obviously wasn't happening last semester. We'll try to delve more into the "whys" today.... Thoughts, words of wisdom welcomed....