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RPI Summer ARCH program - Run away

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Replies to: RPI Summer ARCH program - Run away

  • annamomannamom 1317 replies146 threads Senior Member
    edited April 2019
    @Ultramarine777 Glad that your son likes it. My DD decided RPI was the school for her during the accepted students day visit. Your son may want to join the class 2023 facebook page.

    Did they talk about what they had learned from the 2 years of pilot and what had been done to improve? What issues are they aware of the students being unhappy and what they have done to change it ? I had not asked those questions myself during my visits (and will be asking next time I visit) and only realized it when I read someone's suggestions here.
    Hopefully, the new hires can help this year's Summer Arch students.

    edited April 2019
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  • RPIparent77RPIparent77 20 replies1 threads Junior Member
    I am glad that my rant started conversation. These past few weeks we have been trying to work through this Arch thing. Here is where we are at. Financial Aid is overwhelmed with incoming Freshman and now Arch students. They are understaffed to handle all the incoming students. I have a bill due by end of April and still no responses from fin-aid because they are just overloaded! We still have zero clue where my child will sleep for Fall 2019 semester. Typically housing runs 2 semesters concurrently, however not the case with Arch. Apparently Fall housing for upperclass is on a lottery system that does not take place until later this Spring. Huge issue because if we have to scramble to find off campus apt they may all be taken on a full Fall/Spring year. RPI has deff not done its due-diligence to be sure the students campus life is a success. Housing is a key piece to a positive environment for classload success.I still do not believe this program was ready for a mandated launch! They don’t seem to have the staff, nor the processes in place. As one staff member explained to me, “we can’t push out upperclass housing yet until we know the incoming Freshman/Sophmore numbers”. I was dumbfounded that they mandate them to stay on Campus for the summer but could care less what happens to them after.
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  • Ultramarine777Ultramarine777 56 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @annamom, so below are my takeaways:

    1.They redefined the list of the classes offered during the summer. They picked required courses, so student have to take them anyway. Also they looked at the class that can be taught in the more condense time.
    2. If i understood correctly they offer 8 weeks of summer ( more traditional) and 6 weeks of summer sessions. So I guess if one takes 6 weeks of summer he can have more vacation time? This is something to look at especial if student already have AP classes to begin with.
    3. If the plans are changed ( let's say no co-op found) and you cannot go on the semester away when was original requested this can be moved to another time. That was important for me.
    4. As a part of the Arch they plan trips to actual companies and potential employers.
    5. They also plane some cultural outings and trips for kids during the summer so to make it more fun and to band them.
    6.If a kid has a lot of AP classes he/she can do arch between first and second year. Not sure we would want to do it, but may be an option for someone.
    7. Something to keep in mind. They track each visit to the Career center, that is to know if the kid relay does something in order to look for a job and how much effort he/she puts into the search.
    8. Also there is a way to get out or Arch if there is a solid opportunity for that summer. I feel it's not encouraged but doable especial if parents get involve :)

    I did not ask about housing as to me it's not clear where he will live and if he we wants to join a Greek life at all.

    I do believe it will still be a challenge this year as it will be the first real Arch experience with a lot of kids on the campus, but hopefully it will just get better every year.

    In general I do not like something that is mandated upon especially in the private institution, but i do not feel that bad about it now. Hopefully to see how this first year will turn out.

    How does your DD like RPI so far?
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  • RegretfulRegretful 81 replies12 threads Junior Member
    At admitted students day in spring of 2017 this program was sprung on us. It was one of the main reasons my child did not matriculate. Sounds like we dodged a bullet.
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  • Ultramarine777Ultramarine777 56 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @Regretful , where did you go?
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  • TQfromtheUTQfromtheU 1540 replies17 threads Senior Member
    My DS is a current sophomore who will be doing ARCH this summer. It is one long session, not two short session like a community college might have. I don't have all the information but apparently, the students had/ have access to enough to make a plan.

    My DS and his roommates chose to live in Stackwyck this year because they knew it was approved for summer ARCH housing. I think the housing was a little less due to the shorter session. They moved in this Fall, will take a few weeks off when Spring semester ends, and a few more when Summer session ends. They are not moving out in between and will stay in their same rooms. They will get an off campus apartment together in the Fall 2019. DS didn't sign up for a meal plan for the summer and I will just give him more cash and probably put some on a RAD account that can be used all over campus.

    Regarding financial aid, the student can see the aid posted on their SIS account and the parent can see the April bill on the payer account and manually reduce it for the aid awarded. They are visible now. My DS's package did not change, other than maybe an increase with the increase in permitted student loans. There was no change with child #2 about to enter college. (Darn for us.) The Fin Aid office said that every thing just moves forward one semester.
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  • Ultramarine777Ultramarine777 56 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @TQfromtheU, Thanks a lot for the update from the current student. How does your DS and his friends feel about the ARCH? is it a lot of stress and negativity?
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  • TQfromtheUTQfromtheU 1540 replies17 threads Senior Member
    DS is indifferent about Arch. College is college. College is a second "home" at this point and they are going with the flow. No more stressful than a regular semester. DS was at home last summer and took some classes, and came home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. He has a very nice tropical vacation planned when Spring ends and will be coming home to visit after Summer session. I'm glad it will not be cold during the Arch summer semester and I don't have to worry about him in all that snow. :-)

    My DS and at least two of his three roommates are not negative people so they are fine. They were sad that one roommate will be away a different semester and could not change it but otherwise they are ready. I've been sharing with DS what I have learned in the RPI parents' group regarding finding an internship/co-op related to his major. Per some of the parents, the career center has provided excellent guidance.

    Our general beliefs are "make it work for you" and "no whining"!
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  • annamomannamom 1317 replies146 threads Senior Member
    edited April 2019
    @Ultramarine777

    My DD loves RPI, I think it is mainly because of the friends she made.

    Here are the courses for summer, https://sis.rpi.edu/stuclshr.htm

    It is divided into Term 1 (full term), term 2 (first 6 weeks) and term 3 (final 6 weeks). A normal load is 16 credits which is normally 4 courses, hence a student can maintain fulltime by taking 2 courses in term 2 and 2 courses in term 3 (or other combinations, such as 4 courses in a full term). Obviously a student can take 3 courses for 12 credits while paying a full tuition. Therefore taking the 6 week courses (for 2 classes) does not mean an easier summer and the student will have to take at least another course in term 3. Given the demand (as I have heard/read) of the RPI academics, I have concerned on how much DD actually learns. Last year, they told us about trips to companies and cultural outings, but given the tight schedule in the summer (say less weekends to catch up with the homework), I am not sure how many students can take advantage of it. I guess we will know by the end of this summer.
    They allow freshman students who have AP credits that put them into sophomore status to take Summer Arch early. Some people take the early Arch as it may be difficult for freshman to find an internship during the first summer anyway therefore may as well take the Arch early. In addition, IMO, if a student were "forced" to take courses in the summer, it may be beneficial to take lower level courses.
    3. If the plans are changed ( let's say no co-op found) and you cannot go on the semester away when was original requested this can be moved to another time.
    Did they explain how the financial aid work in the above situation? I suspect the student can still have the RPI scholarship for that "extra" semester, but what about other aids?
    edited April 2019
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  • TQfromtheUTQfromtheU 1540 replies17 threads Senior Member
    I didn't get the sense that the semester away was flexible, other than for sports season related request.
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  • Ultramarine777Ultramarine777 56 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @TQfromtheU, That is very positive. DS was concerned that students are negative about this program, after he read all of the comments. Where is RPI parents group... on FB ?
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  • Ultramarine777Ultramarine777 56 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @annamom , I am glad your DD loves RPI , that is the most important. Thank you for explaining about summer semesters, very helpful. I also looked through the summer courses looks like a good amount but it also depends on the need of the individual student that is hard for me to know now.

    About ability to change a semester away ...they actually mentioned it in the presentation. Again may be it is not encouraged but looks like if needed can be done. I am thinking if he goes to RPI I would suggest for him to take a Spring semester away as was mentioned here. Also i did not ask about Fin aid. All of this are great questions, but I am completely new to this process. He is my first going to college, and when I went myself I paid a full price by working full time and was not qualified for any Fin aid.
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  • annamomannamom 1317 replies146 threads Senior Member
    @Ultramarine777 The parent group is on FB and you can only be a member after your son has been committed to RPI.
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  • RPIparent77RPIparent77 20 replies1 threads Junior Member
    I suppose it is what student you talk to. My child is top of the class and VERY frustrated! Has had scheduled appointments with advisors and they are no shows. Zero email replies by departments of the school, very little support when its needed. In fact, some professors seem to not really care much in general. Please note, we are talking a current 3.9 GPA and most has been self taught in her overall opinion. I will quote my child “this place is a mess, I see all these huge tours and I want to just yell this place will make you crazy! Nothing goes smoothly you have to pry your way into everything and most professors arent here to teach they are here to do paid research” . This is coming from a student that is not asking for anything more than a signature so another class can be added and has been sent to multiple people and, no responses and no shows....its been 3 weeks of trying! Still no reply by finaid ....on week 2 of trying to get bill resolved so it can be paid by the deadline. I quote “we apologize we are trying to get incoming freshman taken care of, we are not staffed to handle the new arch kids” this is getting exhausting!
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  • CollegeGrad79CollegeGrad79 100 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I am sorry that your child has had to experience this @RPIparent77 It must be extremely frustrating for your child and your family.

    Reminds me of the Tute Screw we used to talk about years ago. "The 'Tute Screw is a metaphorical screw that goes in regardless of the direction of torque applied- in other words, whichever way you turn it. It is used to refer to several ailments that afflict RPI students- namely hard classes, inept administration, expensive cost of attendance, lack of girls, and a whole rogue's gallery of other ____. The truly unique aspect of this screw is that it can never be removed or taken out even a little bit- the longer you stay, the further in the screw goes." (Uncyclopedia)

    Picture: https://archives.rpi.edu/blog/2008/03/04/the-tute-screw/
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  • 123France123France 129 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @RPIparent77 , your child's experience at RPI is very different from the experience my son had (2017 graduate), I don't know if your post above is only referencing ARCH, but my son didn't have to "self teach", and he valued his professors. He did complain about one professor who had a thick accent and refused to wear a mic during lecture, so it was very difficult to understand her. His advisors were supportive and cared. He had trouble understanding a particular class and met with the professor many times during the semester.

    Again, don't know if your comment is ARCH specific or general. I do hope things smooth out for your child.
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  • RegretfulRegretful 81 replies12 threads Junior Member
    Although WPi was also an option Lafayette won out in the end.
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  • CollegeGrad79CollegeGrad79 100 replies0 threads Junior Member
    So how does mandatory Summer ARCH work for science majors (and others) who want to do (on, or off-campus) summer research, or an REU that summer? Almost all of these positions are only open in the summer, not Spring, or Fall semester. Since top grad schools really like it when an undergrad has several years of summer research and/or an REU, isn't this hurting RPI's undergrads chances at getting into a top graduate program?
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  • Spark2018Spark2018 100 replies0 threads Junior Member
    wrote this like 1-2 weeks ago and it did not populate out of my drafts

    @annamom Not going to summarize all I wrote. Best to view in context. Plus @randomdude532 likes to **** me, most recently saying I know nothing. So if you value his posts and commentary, heck, ignore mine. With that said rando pointed me to Reddit which I had not checked in awhile. This was an interesting recent post with strong 1st hand comments both way. If I read the cost part of the post correctly ARCH room and board is less? For those who plan to live on campus all four years I guess it is a 'savings' (for some reason I doubt it).

    Last thought before I drop ... I guess this summer will be the test of ARCH. Will it crash and burn as it scales up to a significant multiple from before, or succeed ? I'm going with succeed as we get over the resistance to change. I don't know if there is really an in between outcome, and honestly hope it either one or the other to end this debate, and take out any uncertainty I have.
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  • Spark2018Spark2018 100 replies0 threads Junior Member
    TIP - Apparently did not post as I had a link to reddit. I just removed and boom, posted.
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