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My 16 year old son, smart but unmotivated. Can he get into an engineering program in Florida?

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Replies to: My 16 year old son, smart but unmotivated. Can he get into an engineering program in Florida?

  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 6094 replies26 threads Senior Member
    How about a co-op based engineering program. I think they have classes like one semester then do a coop the next or something like that. This is one such example :

    https://www.kettering.edu/
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  • equationloverequationlover 902 replies65 threads Member
    edited February 2019
    I know you said Florida, but there’s a lot of good engineering schools throughout the country that don’t require tippy top stats and offer good merit aid.

    Ohio has a lot of good engineering schools for B or even C students.

    U of Cincinnati - 1st school to ever use Co-ops, top engineering program
    U of Dayton - top engineering program, has a reputation for very happy students, nice merit aid
    U of Akron - top engineering program, easy to get into, low cost

    Other places off of the top of my head:
    Valparaiso - top engineering program, undergraduate focus
    edited February 2019
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9139 replies91 threads Senior Member
    Clarkson U as well.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 6094 replies26 threads Senior Member
    Since she started then Iowa State University. North Carolina State. Michigan State.
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  • compmomcompmom 11303 replies80 threads Senior Member
    I hope you will evaluate him with his physician or a psychiatrist for ADHD.
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  • equationloverequationlover 902 replies65 threads Member
    ^^ Oh yes Iowa State U is a low cost for OOS, gives really nice merit, and is super easy to get into. They have a very large, well run and top ranked engineering program. They have the largest career fair for engineers in the country.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 24066 replies19 threads Senior Member
    There are plenty of schools in Florida he'd be accepted to, but maybe not UF if his gpa and scores aren't very high. Many good suggestions of Iowa State and other OOS schools, but he'd lose a lot of Florida money.
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  • 968Mom968Mom 63 replies23 threads Junior Member
    I want to thank everyone who answered; it was a great mix of answers. I was looking at Florida schools because they are affordable for us as in-state schools. We have 4 kids and he's the 3rd. I'm really interested in exploring co-ops and ADHD. I also signed him up for a tour of UF engineering and Santa Fe College in Gainesville.
    Since I wrote this, we started tracking his screen time in school and discovered that he's on his iphone a large majority of the day. We are collecting data at this point before we talk to him about it but honestly at this point, it's practically a miracle that he gets As and Bs because not only does he not study or do homework, he's apparently on his phone a sold 4-5 hours at school.
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  • momprof9904momprof9904 403 replies3 threads Member
    edited February 2019
    @968Mom My son was diagnosed with adhd late in his junior year in high school. Similar issues with gaming etc, and lacking focus and maturity. The meds and therapy have changed his life for the better. For college, he is staying instate, and doing well at a respected tech school offering a doable program in cs.

    It's not easy to differentiate between adhd and just goofing off. That's why a professional evaluation is critical. We arranged for testing after I read many posts here on CC.
    edited February 2019
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  • taverngirltaverngirl 1438 replies38 threads Senior Member
    @momprof9904 can you provide some details on what you did as far as therapy and exactly how the meds helped? My son was diagnosed end of sophomore year but has chosen not to medicate. We are supportive but it's hard when he's clearly not doing as well as he could be academically. He is very very smart but it doesn't show on the report card. I don't want to push him to take medication, but it may help to share others' stories with him. Feel free to PM me.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 6094 replies26 threads Senior Member
    Biofeedback works wonders for this BTW. Also he might be bored and not goofing off. Adhd kids tend to be very bright they just need direction and of course focus. Another catch term to look into is executive functioning. Many kids have issues with that, that overlaps Adhd.

    Interesting that his teachers are not catching him on the phone...

    Phone /gaming addiction is a thing also. He is most likely gaming on his phone. Ia would do a trial with the meds. For some people it makes them feel "normal". Talk to your doctor about it.
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  • sevmomsevmom 8605 replies59 threads Senior Member
    @taverngirl Maybe get a second opinion before going with medication, particularly since your son does not want to medicate? Many very smart boys don't do as well as they could in high school. I had one of them. Some researchers think ADHD is over diagnosed . Not saying that relates to your son but there is lots of info related to potential over diagnosis of boys if you google.
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  • wis75wis75 14330 replies64 threads Senior Member
    ADHD and giftedness have some common traits. Testing would sort things out. Not sure your district would test at this age. Worth checking sources for similarities and differences in traits. Google it (my sources were before PC's were useful).

    Gifted- and there is quite a range- students can have real problems in college if they were never really challenged (ie were bored a lot) and never acquired good study skills. I suspect being bored is more likely than an attention deficit, with or without hyperactivity. My gifted son was tested for ADD in first grade (my brother took meds long before they were popular so it was remotely possible) and I learned a lot from the district gifted parent committee good handouts over the years.
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  • jym626jym626 56956 replies2988 threads Senior Member
    If he needs a bit more oversight/supervision/close attention to get him on track, consider FLorida Polytech for a start. He can then hopefully transfer to an ABET accredited program.
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  • CuriosaCuriosa 130 replies1 threads Junior Member
    "Testing would sort things out." Not necessarily. Bright kids with ADHD are often able to focus intently when faced with an interesting challenge - like testing. You can end up with a false negative. And boredom and ADHD are not mutually exclusive. Kids with ADHD are more affected by boredom, literally cannot keep their attention on material that doesn't interest them.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 6094 replies26 threads Senior Member
    With Adhd it's called hyperfocusing. Which is great but also can be exhausting at times. Testing with hyperfocusing will still lead to a diagnosis since the testing is much more about the symptoms then just actually intelligence testings. You can go to the Adhd site and there should be a general test with like 100 questions. There are other sites that have this also. With someone with Adhd or their parents, just looking at the first 20 questions or so will usually elicit someone to say "yep, that's me". Just reading articles on Adhd sites about struggling with learning will usually elicit the same response.
    https://www.additudemag.com/adhd-testing-diagnosis-guide/

    Again things like biofeedback can work on both excective functioning and Adhd. Something to try before medications but for the right person the medications can be a great solution to making that person feel "normal" again. Sometimes the smallest dose can do wonders. But of course getting the diagnosis correct is the first step.
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  • blevineblevine 853 replies29 threads Member
    I would strongly suggest a low cost school where if he stumbles and needs to extend past 4 years, the cost will not bankrupt you nor load him up with student debt. He may wall turn up the effort, but I wouldn't bet on that at $70k/year.
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  • 968Mom968Mom 63 replies23 threads Junior Member
    He toured Florida Polytech and loved it but I thought the criteria to get in was competitive (like a 4.0 GPA). I also thought it had been accredited.
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  • jym626jym626 56956 replies2988 threads Senior Member
    edited February 2019
    Fl polytechnic is accredited by SACS. It is not yet ABET certified. Might have ABET certification for some programs the time he graduates, or he might transfer. Those are good tour/info session questions. The average SAT is a 1280 and ACT is a 27. Acceptance rate is 72%.
    edited February 2019
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  • 968Mom968Mom 63 replies23 threads Junior Member
    Thanks jym626 - that's good to know. He should have a solid shot at Polytech then.
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