Some help? (possible academic dismissal)

<p>I'm in a situation where my cumulative GPA might fall below a 2.0. The number one thing I've learned this year is don't mess around with time! I'm not even going to wait. I'm starting to plan out already and I've started drafting my letter and thinking of possible professors who can write a letter for me. I have even sent them e-mails.</p>

<p>My questions are:</p>

<p>[1] If I get the VP of Academics (a student) to write a letter along with mine, how will it look?
[2] What's the difference between asking to be re-instated and asking for academic probation? Which one looks better?
[3] If I get a church pastor / choir member to write a letter along with mine how will that look?
[4] If I get a group/ club / organization adviser to write a letter how will that look? (it's a Christian group)
[5] Is someone on this forum up for it to look through my essay with me and work on it 'til we get it right? I'd be really grateful and owe you big time someday for this.</p>

<p>EDIT - how will it look asking fellow students, classmates, friends to also write letters?</p>

<p>Have you looked at the college requirements on your college website? Usually the first semester you fall below 2.0 puts you on probation not suspension or dismissal. There will be very specific requirements for your school as to what is required and what to submit.</p>

<p>I could imagine a letter from you, your adviser, and possibly a professor being appropriate.</p>

<p>Letters from friends, other students, church/choir members, clubs/organizations sounds ridiculous and inappropriate to me.</p>

<p>I agree, stick to people who are associated with your academic life. Advisor, professor, Dean, etc. </p>

<p>Unless that is, you go to a Christian college? If your college is very Christian and places as much emphasis on moral character as academic rigor, you might be served by getting your pastor (if he is the leader of the church) or your Christian group advisor (if they are a professor or other college staff member, NOT a student) to write something. </p>

<p>Also, make sure in your letter you present a concrete plan for getting back on track. What steps do you plan to take to improve your time management skills? What campus resources will you commit to taking advantage of? Make sure you address those in clear, concrete detail.</p>

<p>It seems to me that what you have to sincerely say in this situation is going to go a lot further than what anyone else can say. Take a look at this thread:</p>

<p><a href=“[/url]”>;/a&gt; </p>

<p>I suggest you take the time to read it all. Then in post #152, take a look at what this kid did to pull himself out of the type of situation you are in. You need to formulate your own plan (and then stick to it). Seems as if right now you are far too worried about getting someone else to vouch for you, and not worried enough about making your own plan to turn things around.</p>

<p>I don’t see the point to the letters - especially letters from the outside - why should the college care about what a pastor has to say about the individual? This isn’t about what a nice person you are. I don’t even see the point in a letter from a prof since this is about academic performance and it is what it is.</p>

<p>If you have some temporary personal issues, like an illness, that affected your performance I can see it may make a difference. If it’s like most cases though, where it was too much partying, video gaming, socializing, sports, sleeping, a major you can’t handle, etc. that caused the problem then I don’t see the point in the letter. </p>

<p>You need to find out what their policy is in this area and deal with it. If it’s a matter of going on academic probation for a semester as is often the case, then don’t work on getting letters - work on your HW and studying!</p>



<p>Seriously! All this time and energy spent on worrying about the fact that you MIGHT fall under a 2.0 should be re-directed to STUDYING.</p>

<p>Call the school or have your parents call the school and asks what happens. Schools have different policies so you just need to ask.</p>

<p>As UCSD UCLA Dad said, letters are not going to be of any use to you. If your grades are so bad that you are in danger of academic dismissal I do not think you are going to find any professors or deans that are going to have much that is positive to say about you and letters from pastors and choir members are irrelevant to your fitness as a college student. </p>

<p>You need to tell the administrators at your college that you realize you have performed poorly so far, that you have the potential to do better, know you must do better and are ready now to do whatever it takes to get your grades back into an acceptable range.</p>

<p>Unless you are at a very Christian college, whether you are a good Christian or not is not the issue here, it is your academic performance, and only you can convince the school you are prepared to deal with that in a serious matter.</p>

<p>--------------------------------------------Directly from school site:-----------------------------
**What is academic probation?</p>

<p>A student whose cumulative grade point average (GPA) falls below 2.0 is subject to academic dismissal from the College. If your cumulative GPA is <2.0, in a minority of cases, you may have been allowed to continue on Academic Probation for one of two reasons:</p>

<pre><code>Your cumulative GPA has fallen below a 2.0 (within reason), but you were granted leniency and the chance to improve in one semester’s time because it was your first (i.e., transitional) semester; OR
You were subject to academic dismissal, but your formal appeal of the dismissal was granted (with proof of extenuating circumstances) and therefore were allowed to return conditionally on Academic Probation.

<h2>In either case, students returning with academic probaton status must raise their cumulative GPA to a 2.0 or higher by the end of their probationary semester or, in all likelihood, face dismissal at the end of the next semester.**</h2>

<p>**What happens if my cumulative grade point average (GPA) falls below 2.0?</p>

<p>At the end of a semester, the College conducts an academic progress review of all students’ records based on their cumulative GPAs. Students who have cumulative GPAs below 2.0 fall under “academic progress review.” This review is essentially the College’s way of insuring that students meet our minimum academic standards and make timely progress toward degree completion (e.g., graduate within four years).</p>

<p>Academic progress review notices are sent to students via e-mail (Plattsburgh e-mail account) and in hardcopy to home addresses. These notices include guidelines about the process to submit written appeals of the academic review. The Academic Progress Committee (APC) reviews appeals and determines whether to allow a student to return on academic probation or to academically dismiss the student from the College. All details about the academic review process, submitting appeals, deadlines, decisions, etc. are included in the notice students receive.**</p>


<p>If you do in fact get dismissed, you may be offered the chance to appeal your dismissal and be reinstated if this is the first time. You will be informed of the appeal procedure. Follow it to the letter. At many colleges, it involves a mandatory meeting with your academic advisor and the development of a specific plan (i.e. retaking courses in which you received low grades; utilizing college services such as tutoring; reducing the number of hours worked at a job; reducing the number of credits you take each semester; etc.) to which you are held if you return. You also must write an essay in which you explain why your GPA is so low (don’t say it’s someone else’s fault) and what will be different about your behavior next semester if the college lets you stay. Your essay should focus on taking responsibility and showing insight into how you got into your current position, along with a realistic plan for improving your performance. If you had medical problems or family difficulties (bereavement, etc.), provide documentation and mention them in your letter. However, you must explain how you will overcome them and be successful in the future.</p>

<p>The timetable on appeals can be quick. The deadline is sometimes only a week or two after the close of the semester. Contact your advisor or department chair immediately to arrange an advising meeting if, in fact, you are dismissed. And letters from sources outside the college, unless they are medical documentation or the like, are not at all helpful or relevant.</p>

<p>I understand what you all are saying. I’m writing my own appeal letter and I was just wondering if along with my letter these additional letters would help. But yeah you all are right. I’ll not include letters from pastors and others. I’ll limit it to an adviser and a professor.But here’s the thing. My adviser IS also my Biology professor and I’m a Bio major. I didn’t do too hot in the course. I didn’t pass a single test (final test grades aren’t in yet though so you never know). I’m not sure if she would write something for me. I did send her an e-mail last week and all of last week and this week she has been talking to me and helping me work things out. I basically told her what I’m also planning to tell the committee. This semester, I didn’t fool around or anything. I did my work. Stayed in on Friday nights typing essays, reading and more. But here’s the thing, my grades didn’t reflect that. Why? I took way too many credits than I could handle. Everyone is different when it comes to learning so please don’t tell me how some kids have double majors and work jobs and are taking 21 credits and are still getting 4.0’s. It’s stories like that stopped me from dropping a course early on and sticking with 15 credits which I would have been able to handle and done well with. I’m not one of those kids who get things that easily. I have to constantly work and work and work at it. I also declared a music minor and music takes time to practice. Point blank, my studying skills and time management was really awful. But I did try my best. I used to be one of the last people out the library. For those saying I should be studying with this energy, I haven’t sleep more than 3 hours a day since Sunday. I’ve been studying like an animal for finals which I’m not even sure I’m going to do so hot. </p>

<p>Have I learned my lesson? Yes. I now know what study methods work for me. I know to go get help. I know not to take an 18 course load until maybe junior year when I’m used to the system. I’ve discussed with my adviser if I was cut out for the Bio major since I struggled with my science courses. My lowest grades are in the sciences. I told her I want to be a doc and go on to med school but sometimes you have to face reality. If I’m not cut out for the sciences then I need to look elsewhere. I told her with such a poor freshman year, my chances didn’t look too good for med school. She said if I dropped my music minor and focused strictly on the sciences I will be okay. Turns out all this while, I was pursuing a B.A. degree and she pointed me towards the direction of a B.Sc which has more science courses so I would be able to raise my science GPA. And she advised I go easy on the credits because it seems I was overwhelmed this semester. </p>

<p>What have I learned and how will I change? During the summer, I’ve cancelled my plans for getting a job. I’m going to self study basic concepts in Chem and Bio and re-take any failed courses and do better. I’ve laid out a plan for the next 6 semester which will get my GPA good enough for Podiatry school or a post-bac program to help boost me to be able to apply for med school after senior year and graduate on time. </p>

<p>On a side note: (other things)
During mid-terms my grades were:
Chem - E (or an F depending on the school scale)
Bio - D
English - B+
Music - B+</p>

<h2>History - D+</h2>

<p>1.7 GPA which would put my cumulative at 2.06 or something around there. </p>

<p>I was fine during mid-terms. During the mid-terms, I had taken just about one test in each class so the mid-terms offered more than hope for me those B+'s could have gone up to A’s and the D+ a possible C+ or better and the Chem could have gone to a C at best. But I just got discouraged that with all the work I was putting in, the 1.7 didn’t reflect it. Also, the classes got harder. Chapter 1 / first exams are always decent and not too bad but the difficulty increased and my studying skills weren’t cutting it anymore. I just didn’t know what to do. I overdid myself with the credits. It was too late to withdraw. I fell behind and couldn’t keep up. Here I am now asking for a second chance</p>

<p>one really good life lesson is here for you: NEVER AGAIN let other people make decisions about your life for you (even indirectly). you said that you may have allowed other people’s opinion dictate how many units you felt you were capable of handling. you now know that you are the only person actually TAKING the classes, so you’re the only person who can make the decision about how much is too much. </p>

<p>i’ve seen kids come on this website with a ridiculously back-breaking load, asking whether it’s “too much”, and parents telling them that they should roll with it, without knowing a thing about that kid. don’t listen to other people. listen to your own gut. always.</p>

<p>good luck to you in the future.</p>

<p>It is perfectly fine to acknowledge that you bit off more than you could chew. It sounds like your Biology advisor is giving you solid advice. It’s also possible that you need to reevaluate your curriculum and change your major. Don’t be afraid to discuss this with your Biology advisor. Professors want the students at their college to succeed, somewhere at that college. Sometimes the right place is not where one originally planned. No advisor is going to take personally a student’s desire to change majors or try something else. I have advised several struggling majors in my field to consider changing. This is not because I thought they were failures as students or people, but because they would be better off in another discipline and ultimately, I want them to be content and productive. </p>

<p>The fact that you are being so proactive and realistic about your academic plans speaks well of you. Good luck.</p>