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PSA - Fall "transfer" 2020 - Updates, Q/A, Information

JaceyKJaceyK 548 replies13 threads Member
Good morning! I thought I would kick off a thread geared specifically to all of those who received PSA last March. Would be a great way to keep in touch and maybe even offer hope to future PSA kids. My son is actually doing exceptionally well with his biochemistry PSA major (taking Chem 1, Bio 1 & Calculus - all 3 have labs as well). He is so far holding a 4.0 GPA and loving college so far (not really living THE college life but loving the academic side of things - weird kid lol). We are looking apartments/houses in College Station for moving into in August. He is still very much looking forward to his life in cstat. Sadly, his peers do not seem to be thriving as well - he has been so surprised at the lack of interest in some of his peers, but he is working hard to encourage/support them.

Anyway, that's us in a nutshell - how are you all doing? I wish I had screen names but I don't have a list of them - @AggieMomhelp @Thelma2 do y'all have a list that we can tag here to pull people into this thread? :)
edited May 18
326 replies
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Replies to: PSA - Fall "transfer" 2020 - Updates, Q/A, Information

  • BlueBayouAZBlueBayouAZ 588 replies11 threads Member
    @JaceyK - Glad your son is doing so well. Sounds like he is making the most of his PSA journey.

    My daughter (UTD - major not offered PSA) too has been perplexed with students not focused on school. UTD has mainly academic focused students, so it is not that prevalent. But she ended up on a group project with a kid that didn't always show up to class and did not pull his weight. It was very much a learning experience for her. It was a project in one of her major classes, so she was surprised by the lack of commitment and follow-through.
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  • AggieMomhelpAggieMomhelp 2368 replies4 threads Senior Member
    I don't have a list. Sorry. Wish I did. Hopefully they'll jump on here soon after the holidays and search PSA!!!
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  • daleNchipdaleNchip 66 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Oh, me me me! Just coming on here to ask a question myself, LOL. Thanks for starting the thread, @JaceyK !

    My son is at Tarleton. The advising he has received has been (thinking about how to say this nicely) subpar. I have been impressed with Tarleton as a college, but disappointed in the PSA program in particular. Both semesters my son has been advised to take only 12 hours so he can "focus on his grades". Sounds good in theory, but my kid has had way, way, WAY too much free time and has lost focus as a result. It's easy to get lost in your freedom when you don't have enough responsibility, know what I mean? We--as a family--talked through Spring semester courses and he spent a lot of energy finding a 4-credit science course that would count toward his TAMU degree, but be available at Tarleton *over and above* his 24 hours on the PSA sheet. The advisor REFUSED TO ALLOW HIS REGISTRATION in that class because it was not listed on the PSA sheet. This course would be IN ADDITION to the 24 hours required off the sheet and would take his course load in the Spring to 16 hours.

    What. The. Actual. ****

    Before folks start telling me TAMU prefers students take their science at TAMU--I understand that is true for many majors. My son is headed for Recreation, Park & Tourism Science which is NOT science-intensive. There is zero reason I can find to support the PSA advisor's position that "if it's not on the sheet, he can't take it." I am 100% open to it if someone can find supporting evidence that it would not transfer. Just give me a link that supports it!

    My son is a lover, not a fighter, so he caved on the science thing but knew we would raise holy hell with him if he did not get registered for 15 hours, so he ended up with the advisor reluctantly agreeing to another course off the PSA sheet. It's not the end of the world and it will keep him on track to his degree, but I feel like the advisors are looking out for their own interests (push students through PSA) rather than advising students holistically. I do not believe those are in opposition. [Full disclosure: I have been a college instructor and advisor. I'm familiar with requirements, electives, balance, red tape, and performance metrics.]

    So there is that. But the question I actually came to ask:
    How is cumulative GPA calculated--the kind that includes dual credit/dual enrollment? The TAMU PSA Site says: "Dual credit grades will be factored into the cumulative GPA calculation. PSA requires you to have a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0 on all transferable coursework, which includes dual credit. Additionally, you will need to have a 3.0 GPA or higher on coursework you complete at your specific system school." So. . . if he had two, three-credit DC courses from high school; four, three-credit courses from the PSA sheet; and one, two-hour University Studies ("how to college") course. . . how does that calculate out? Because, yeah, that 3.0 is a concern here.

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  • daleNchipdaleNchip 66 replies0 threads Junior Member
    @libbyshims , @alstro , @Scotsfi , @OMGdontblink , @wewait , @tisulli --Those are the folks I remember participating in the PSA thread in Spring '19. Anyone else I am missing?
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  • AggieMomhelpAggieMomhelp 2368 replies4 threads Senior Member
    @daleNchip yes he’ll need 3.0 on psa transfer work and 3.0 overall. So however many hours he had dc plus the 24(or 27) at tartleton needs to be 3.0. What were his Dc grades? And not sure why they said no to science. That’s ridiculous. My daughter true transferred into rpts. They took her animal science, chemistry and biology. Chem was an elective tho and they had her take a KINE 120 course her last semester. But it’s whatever. She took no science at tamu. I agree the advisor is taking the easy road. Following the guide. It should be holistic approach.

    And FYI.. many advisors at tamu are just as bad. It’s sad really. You have to help your student navigate the degree plan. Don’t rely solely on the advisors.
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  • JaceyKJaceyK 548 replies13 threads Member
    @daleNchip wow that's ridiculous - he/she shouldn't have power over what he wants to take. This isn't high school. Ugh! I hope things work out - hopefully with maturity, your son will figure out what to do with his time. I worried about same thing with my son, but he fills his time up with helping his classmates or playing video games (insert eye roll).
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  • JaceyKJaceyK 548 replies13 threads Member
    @libbyshims @OMGdontblink @Scotsfi @alstro @wewait @SMcC07 @tisulli Bump up - how has the first semester gone? One more semester until they can switch! Be sure to talk to adviser to get low down on timeline for application of intent to transfer. I think deadline is around March 1st? Here is the information on submitting application for transfer:

    A transfer application through ApplyTexas or The Coalition. Submitting this application will allow you to be considered for scholarships. When submitting, please indicate the fee waiver option on the payment page. Texas A&M will then waive the application fee for you. Answer ‘yes’ to the custom question indicating that you are applying for admission as part of the Program for System Admission. Please note that you are not required to submit Essay A.
    An official transcript from your system school showing your in-progress coursework for the spring semester. You will also need to submit a final transcript once the semester is complete.
    A final high school transcript reflecting your graduation date.
    An official college transcript from any other schools attended including those where dual credit coursework was taken during high school (even if the coursework is included on the high school transcript).
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  • tisullitisulli 131 replies0 threads Junior Member
    hello everyone! good to see some familiar names. my son’s first semester has gone very well. he had some transition issues the first few weeks that i expect most had but he quickly recovered and hit his groove by midterms. and here we are at finals week.

    the two other boys on his floor in psa have dropped out of the program. honestly, i’m not surprised after some of the things he’s told me about the lack of interest many have shown toward their education. he spent many nights in the library so he could concentrate on studying rather than the parties happening all around him.

    he’s still on target to transfer after the spring semester. he’s very much looking forward to getting on with his major. i’m very much looking forward to him being in an apartment, away from the party atmosphere he’s endured at tarleton!
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  • BlueBayouAZBlueBayouAZ 588 replies11 threads Member
    I am really glad to see this thread. I think it is very helpful for students and parents who are probably, at least initially, disappointed with a PSA decision.

    One key take away - the freshman year of college flies by so quickly - way faster than anything in high school. The PSA year will be over before you know it.

    It also highlights the need for students and parents to be very honest with themselves about if PSA is a good fit for their student. We don't know the figures (and I have affection for cold hard stats), but we know that most people who start PSA do not end up at TAMU, despite the fact it appears to be a pretty straight forward process. It is probably less than 1/3 make it to College Station.

    For what it is worth - here are my thoughts.
    For driven, high achieving students with stats and scores like the folks tagged on this thread - PSA is just a slight detour on their goal.

    But PSA is a "soft-rejection." Meaning there is a HUGE spread in stats of the students offered PSA. Class rank and test scores do correlate with potential college success. That is why schools just them. Sure there are kids with great stats that wash out of college and there are scholars that were mediocre in high school that come to life in college. But those are the outliers.

    So with the people doing PSA you have kids with solid stats like my daughter (pretty much academic admit to every state school except UT and TAMU - and I still can't believe @JaceyK son got PSA with his stats.) and students in the bottom half of their class and ACT/SAT scores below the 50% range.

    So you have a wide spread of past academic performance in the PSA program and the schools participating in PSA attract less academically proven students. I think @tisulli @chipndale touch on something exceedingly important. If you are going to participate in PSA - you need to be prepared to be a top performer and not go along with the crowd. Using Tarleton as an example.

    Here is a look at the common data set freshman admission data.
    Middle 50%
    SAT
    970-1150

    ACT
    18-23

    With 33% of the students coming from the bottom 1/2 of their graduating class.

    At TAMU
    Middle 50%
    SAT
    1170-1380

    ACT
    25-31

    With 1% of students coming from the bottom 1/2 of their graduating class.

    If a student isn't willing to go to the library when everyone around them is partying or not focused on academics, think long and hard about doing PSA. It can be really difficult hitting the books when everyone else seems to be out having a good time.

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  • JaceyKJaceyK 548 replies13 threads Member
    Well my son took his last final and is on his way home. He did very well - believes he will have a 4.0. We are so very proud of him - he took one of the harder course loads (as required for his PSA major) - Biology, Calculus and Chemistry - all with labs and didn't let TAMU's "soft" rejection define him. We are going to be signing a lease on a house in cstat so he's very much looking forward to it. I hope all of your kids are doing well and look forward to hearing about their first semester!
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  • AggieMomhelpAggieMomhelp 2368 replies4 threads Senior Member
    Congrats @jaceyk to your son. That's amazing and yes, a very rigorous course load. He'll be here in no time!
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  • OMGdontblinkOMGdontblink 120 replies0 threads Junior Member
    edited December 2019
    @JaceyK @libbyshims @OMGdontblink @Scotsfi @alstro @wewait @SMcC07 @tisulli
    Sorry I have not been on here in quite awhile. DS had a great first semester at TAMUCC and feels like he aced all of his classes. Now we wait for grades to be posted.
    He took Biology, Calculus, Philosophy and Political Science (US). We have to be very careful of which classes he takes because he had 30 hour before he started. He is registered for Spring in Calc II, Bio II, POLS (State) and Music Appreciation. He's pretty shy so it took him awhile to find his group. He too is amazed by the lack of interest in some of the students. His roommate is great and they get along well. I try to grill him for information about life at school but he a typical boy and doesn't go into too much detail. He is friends with several PSA kids but I don't know everyone's name.

    I might have the only kid that goes away to college and loses 10 pounds. But he also stopped playing travel and varsity sports so they could be a factor. He really likes music so he brought his guitar to school and found a couple of classrooms where he can go and play the piano. He is SO motivated to get to CS and if he keeps up the work he will be there in the fall. I am nervous about signing any leases until we know for sure he will be there in the fall. From what I have seen on FB in the Aggie groups he probably won't have too much trouble finding a place at the last minute. I have told him to talk to his PSA friends at CC to see what they are doing and potentially finding a roommate. He likes CC and the vibe but he hates the drive and so badly wants to have a shorter drive.

    I hope all of your kiddos are thriving and will make it to CS if that is still what they want. He will definitely be working on his CS application over the break. Are any of your kids going to transfer camp? I hope I can convince DS to go, I want him to get plugged into Aggie life. They also have an orientation before school starts to familiarize them with the campus right?
    edited December 2019
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  • OMGdontblinkOMGdontblink 120 replies0 threads Junior Member
    @JaceyK Congrats to your kiddo for a stellar semester!
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  • AggieMomhelpAggieMomhelp 2368 replies4 threads Senior Member
    @OMGdontblink so great to hear from you. Thank you for the update on your son. Sounds like he is thriving. Yes they have t-camp which is great but not mandatory. New student conference (nsc) is mandatory for everyone. That’s where he’ll register for classes and yes there are tours you can take.
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  • tisullitisulli 131 replies0 threads Junior Member
    thanks for the heads up @JaceyK
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  • 2xAggieMom2xAggieMom 103 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Also, follow up on anything necessary for the transition. My son’s friend requested that the community college in which he did his dual credit send his transcripts to A&M. They didn’t. He didn’t check to make sure they arrived. He didn’t get in to A&M.
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  • OMGdontblinkOMGdontblink 120 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Where on they Apply Texas Application will they put that they are PSA?
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  • JaceyKJaceyK 548 replies13 threads Member
    edited January 6
    @OMGdontblink I don't think there is a place that specified or points to applicant as being PSA. The instructions say to apply as transfer and to waive application fee. From TAMU website:

    A transfer application through ApplyTexas or The Coalition. Submitting this application will allow you to be considered for scholarships. When submitting, please indicate the fee waiver option on the payment page. Texas A&M will then waive the application fee for you. Answer ‘yes’ to the custom question indicating that you are applying for admission as part of the Program for System Admission. Please note that you are not required to submit Essay A.

    My son hasn't started his application yet - he's too busy being lazy during the break. 🤦‍♀️🙄
    edited January 6
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  • 2xAggieMom2xAggieMom 103 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Once your student returns after the break, A&M will send them an email verifying the steps they need to take for the transition. There is a spot (maybe in the essay space) in which the student will type in something like “I am participating in PSA.” The email will include a specific list of steps and specific instructions to make it very easy.
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