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What should Tulane kids do now?

taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
edited September 2005 in Parents Forum
I first want to note that I visited Tulane many years ago. It was beautiful, and it was full of nice charming people and faculty. My heart goes out to all these fine people. I also visited New Orleans many times. I love that city,with it wonderful warmth, charm, and history. Nothing beat the restaurants and fun times in the French Quarter. New Orleans certainly had a flavor all of its own and different from that of any American city.

However, realism needs to set in. New Orleans and maybe even Tulane won't be back in full operating order, and water free for a long time. What should kids, especially freshmen do? If I were a parent of a freshmen kid, I would advise them to start taking community college courses as to not be too far behind. Moreover, I would start to give serious consideration to applying to other schools for the Winter semester.

Do you think this is being too rash under the circumstances? I am just wondering what you would advise a freshmen child. I want to note that I am only asking about freshmen students. I think that juniors and seniors would have too much to lose at this juncture applying to other schools.
Post edited by taxguy on
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Replies to: What should Tulane kids do now?

  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    I would not advise them to take community college courses now. Clearly, everyone at Tulane is going to be behind. There's no point in taking community college courses.

    I also would not suggest a transfer to a new school spring semester. It would be very hard to get into a comparable school for spring semester. It would be wiser IMO for the student to get a temporary job or do something else productive during the probably at least one month that they will be out of school.

    If they decide to transfer, it would be far better for them to do this so that they start next fall. That would allow them to get into a comparable school and to participate in the activities that colleges plan to help freshmen adjust.

    This advice also might be very appropriate for sophomores, who --depending on the severity of the damage -- may also want to consider transferring next year.

    Even if Tulane manages to open in a month or so, I might strongly consider having freshmen take a gap year because due to the magnitude of the problems in New Orleans and the devastation affecting faculty and staff's personal lives, I think this would be a very difficult year to be a freshman. I would be very surprised if Tulane is not liberal about allowing students to take a year off. I imagine that Tulane will want to open the campus this semester, but will not have the capability of handling full enrollment. Some dorms and buildings may not be operable. There also will probably be ongoing problems with power and staffing.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    I should have said the next semester. I do understand that it is too late for this semester.

    As far as Tulane opening up in a few weeks. I don't see that happening. They, themselves, are noting that there is "extensive damage"to the university facilites and things are getting worse with rising water.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    I would encourage all Tulane students to take a gap year. I'd encourage freshmen and sophs to consider transferring to a new college next fall. Perhaps Tulane and New Orleans will pull through by the end of this school year, but it still would be good for students to have a back-up plan.


    I don't suggest taking community college courses without thoroughly exploring whether this option is worth it. Depending on what courses are taken, the courses could actually hurt students' chances of transferring if the CC courses cause a student to have more credits than the colleges allow that receive transfers.

    The exception might be students in math or science fields who take a course or 2 just to stay up to speed in their field.

    I also imagine that Tulane may work out a deal with some colleges to take in Tulane students for spring semester. That would be the logical thing to do, and I imagine that there are colleges that would be glad to help in this way.
  • jmmomjmmom Registered User Posts: 9,084 Senior Member
    taxguy - This is obviously the big question.

    As of 7:30 pm yesterday, the word from President Cowen was that the damage to Tulane could be remedied "in a reasonable period of time." That may have changed if levee breaches have led to flooding of the campus.

    As a freshman parent, we are simply waiting to hear what the University comes up with (assuming their campus cannot open this month). I, myself, can brainstorm so many ideas: allowing on-line course credit for certain "to be authorized" courses; allowing credit for courses taken (perhaps only "distribution" type courses) at selected schools; providing online courses with their own faculty; satellite campuses, etc. etc. I am confident that great minds at Tulane are coming up with options. If the campus is able to open this term, there are many ways to "catch up" - shortened semester breaks, summer time etc.

    If there will be no fall semester, a "gap semester" is a concept I am willing to embrace, the challenge being for S to spend it elsewhere than at the computer gaming console.

    We freshmen parents have much less to worry about than seniors, I am thinking. They, too, could fill remaining distribution requirements in some of the ways I've suggested. But specific courses they need for their major, applying to grad/professional schools if that was their plan - there is a real challenge.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    I was just watching the news and the Governor of Louisiana noted that he doesn't expect New Orleans to be back in full functioning condition for three years!
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 22,598 Super Moderator
    I am quite sure that many colleges will step up and help Tulane and other colleges impacted by Katrina. Some may come up with atriculation agreements where Tulane students can take calsses and receive credit for taking courses elsewhere and as Jmmom stated Technology is a wonderful thing as some courses can be done online. I believe that some schools will build consortiums with Tulane and develop exchange programs if needed to help the students get through this.
  • concerneddadconcerneddad Registered User Posts: 1,734 Senior Member
    Just my 2 cents, but as my son is a sophmore an we have now been through two hurricanes, I have nothing but the highest admiration for the Tulane President Scott Cowan and his administration. They have always -- in my view -- put the students first. They have been far-sighted in dealing with these threats and have always been ahead of the curve in ordering the kids off campus with more than enough time to either make their own arrangments to get out of town, or to evacuate with the other students to a place of refuge established by the University.

    Could anyone have planned for what happened? Perhaps, but only in a nightmare.

    My guess is that President Cowen and his staff is presently dealing with arrangments for the Tulane students. I would guess that rebuilding the physcial campus is less of a concern to him at the moment than caring for the heart and spirit of the campus -- its student body.

    Will my son ever go back to the school and city he now calls his own -- probably not -- except as an alum. I understand that everyone must do what is best for themselves. However, for this Tulane family, we are content to wait for President Cowen to devise a plan that meets our son's needs. I have no fear that he will.
  • jmmomjmmom Registered User Posts: 9,084 Senior Member
    Yes, sybbie, a friend of mine reports matriculation agreements already happening for her D's Florida school ( not an equivalent to Tulane academically at all, but the idea is certainly transferable). I feel confident Tulane is working on all possible fronts.
  • alongfortheridealongfortheride Registered User Posts: 474 Member
    I fall in line with jmmom's thinking. The timing of this is difficult. Comparable colleges in our area have started classes already. For those students not in areas with comparable schools, the dorms of those schools are full as is much of the off campus housing. At this point, transfer applications would be difficult to complete as official transcripts will be hard to get for some time.

    My son was in contact with others in the sophomore class, and no one seems to be jumping into coursework at other schools. We simply don't know when Tulane will resume classes, and there is the fear that a conflict could arise if students are enrolled elsewhere when it happens. Also, even summer classwork taken at other colleges is subject to prior approval. The professors have had to evacuate with their families, and there is no way to contact them.

    I think it's important to understand that these kids really are in a state of shock. They thought they would be in school this week with classmates at the school in the city they love. There's a real sense of loss and worry about their classmates from New Orleans and the Gulf Coast area as well as their school. Perhaps, the most healing aspect of this would be to contribute to the rebuilding effort. This definitely has been one of life's more difficult lessons, but we're not down for the count.

    My son also has a situation that a lot of Tulane students may also share. I call him a sophomore because this is his second year and he plans to take four to graduate, but he is actually a junior. He tested out of a year due to AP and has plans to use the hours to pursue multiple minors and coursework not offered at many other schools. The courses he needs now for his major will not be so easy to transfer and the courses he would probably readily get credit for, he already has credit for. I do understand the plight, however, of students who need to complete coursework to stay on track for applications to medical school, etc. Solutions to this situation, I think, will be very individualized.
  • alongfortheridealongfortheride Registered User Posts: 474 Member
    Concerneddad, you very eloquently stated what is in my heart. Thank you.
  • concerneddadconcerneddad Registered User Posts: 1,734 Senior Member
    Your welcome Along~
  • achatachat Registered User Posts: 2,146 Senior Member
    I personally don't think other parents should speculate on what Tulane kids should do.....taxguy, please don't take offense to this. We could not begin to understand the feeling of Tulane kids and their parents who have invested so much in Tulane and in New Orleans. Therefore, I think we should leave it to them to work out what they should or should not do.

    A gap year/gap semester helping New Orleans and Tulane get back on it's feet seems like a great idea and I would have told my kid to do if he was inclined.
  • concerneddadconcerneddad Registered User Posts: 1,734 Senior Member
    Thank you achat. I would assume that any kids who got into Tulane, and any parents who have managed to find their way to CC, have the ability to assess the situation and their own personal needs and then ask the questions they themselves need to have answered.

    The assumption that the Tulane administration would leave these kids hanging is unwarranted. Unlike the stock market, past conduct is a very GOOD indicator of future behavior when it comes to human conduct. And, there is nothing in Tulane's past performance that would indiacte that the kids are not its first priority.

    Again, I ask, who could have really foreseen the extent of the damage except in a nightmare. That is not to say that everyone (inclduing myself) should have a pollyanna approach -- obviously, things will not quickly go back to normal anytime soon. But sheesh, at least give President Cowen and his staff a few days to deal with the evolving nature of this disaster before running for cover.

    Even Chicken Liitle hesitated a moment before panicking!
  • ctymomteacherctymomteacher Registered User Posts: 977 Member
    Thank you, Achat! It upsets me to see people who have nothing at stake so seemingly cavalierly decide what our sons and daughters ought to do. My son has a very good scholarship at Tulane, and he needs to go there because they offer a major that is impossible to do anywhere in our state. In addition, even at Chapel Hill, where he was also offered a scholarship but where he cannot do this major, classes have already begun.

    It isn't that simple even if he wanted to abandon the idea of going to Tulane, which he does not. If he is willing to wait for his new life and do what it takes, why shouldn't I at least give the school a week or two to try to decide what can be done? I've taught full semesters' worth of college material in six weeks myself. It can be done. Maybe it's not fun, but it's doable. So are lots of other things, but that's not even the point. We need to hear from Tulane, its students, faculty, alumni and parents about what we are all willing to do, not be told that nothing can or should be done.

    We are exhausted and some of us are pretty emotionally bankrupt after the last few days. Give it a week before you decide our kids can't have the next four years at the school they wanted.
  • carolyncarolyn Registered User Posts: 7,435 Senior Member
    Hang in there, Tulane families. I suspect you don't need advice right now so much as the comfort of knowing that others have you and your children in their thoughts and prayers. Hopefully, in a few days, you will start to have some answers and a clearer sense of direction. Until then, sit tight, and if you can get your kids back home, enjoy the unexpected blessing of extra time with them.
This discussion has been closed.