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


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

  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff Registered User Posts: 2,190 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.
  • sevmomsevmom Registered User Posts: 8,102 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.
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 13,552 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.
  • jym626jym626 Registered User Posts: 56,321 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.
  • CuriosaCuriosa Registered User Posts: 98 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.
  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff Registered User Posts: 2,190 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.

    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.
  • blevineblevine Registered User Posts: 868 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.
  • 968Mom968Mom Registered User Posts: 79 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.
  • jym626jym626 Registered User Posts: 56,321 Senior Member
    edited February 8
    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%.
  • 968Mom968Mom Registered User Posts: 79 Junior Member
    Thanks jym626 - that's good to know. He should have a solid shot at Polytech then.
  • SybyllaSybylla Registered User Posts: 2,886 Senior Member
    ABET is a minimum requirement for engineering students that want to be engineers.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,730 Senior Member
    https://floridapolytechnic.org/wp-content/uploads/Academic-and-Student-Affairs-Minutes-DRAFT_3.15.17-2.pdf from 2017 says that some sort of ABET accreditation decision is expected in fall 2019.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 20,240 Senior Member
    ABET is more necessary in certain engineering fields. Some schools are dropping the certifications because they don't feel they are necessary.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,730 Senior Member
    edited February 8
    Usually, the schools dropping ABET accreditation are those already very well regarded in the subjects, and PE licensing is not that common in the subject (they tend to keep ABET accreditation for civil, where PE licensing is common).

    But new engineering programs without existing reputations want ABET accreditation as an indication of meeting an expected standard of quality.
  • mamommamom Registered User Posts: 3,576 Senior Member
    My now almost 26yo S sounds like yours. My S scored very high on SAT 2290/ACT 34. But, he was a B+ student. Just would not do the HW. Always got great test scores but HW pulled his grade down. He ended up attending a college on a full tuition scholarship and flunked out first year. We had him tested and found out he had a very high IQ and was basically unmotivated by grades. He refused to do busy work. He attended the local state U and CC for two years while working and living at home. Loves going to school, but will not do busy work. We stopped paying for school and fast forward, he is now an apprentice in the local pipefitters union and loves, loves, loves it. He is making good money and enjoying life. He is confident and proud of his job.

    As someone in the engineering field, I will tell you that an unmotivated kid will probably not do well as an engineering major. It is a ton of work, a lot of "busy" work and if he is not motivated and willing to give it his all, he will probably fail. My D attends one of the Claremont Consortium schools, which includes Harvey Mudd (eng and STEM). She tells me the Mudders are all about academics. They do not have a lot of free time or participate to the same degree on the sports teams or clubs.

    OTOH it is easier to switch out of eng to another major than try to switch in. So if he is really decided on eng, and can get accepted to a program, better to start there than try to switch later.
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