There is Life After Academic Dismissal! An Inspiring Story

It’s always satisfying to hear good news, so we want to share an inspiring success story with you.  The story comes from one of our readers.

We often receive comments on posts or e-mails from both parents and students.  Many of these messages come at a time of difficulty – often around probation or dismissal or other crises.  It is often a time of struggle and uncertainty.  As often as we can, we offer a few words of encouragement or advice, and most of the time we never know what happens.

Here is a portion of one such comment, received in  the summer of 2013 on our post What to Do If Your Student is Academically Dismissed.

“Vicki,

First of all, I really appreciate your responses!  I have learned a lot just by reading them.  I do have a similar issue with being Academically Dismissed.  I was attending school and majoring in Gerontology.  I attained my Associate in Arts degree prior.  I did very well my first 2 semesters, but then some personal tragedies began to unravel my life. . . . Unfortunately, due to my living situation being turned upside down and also my car breaking down and having to buy a new one, school was not feasible.  I stopped attending class because I had to go to work.  I was a mere 20 credits away from my degree. 

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“I Don’t Want to Go Back.” When Your College Freshman Wants to Quit

Perhaps you’ve seen it coming over the course of the semester, or perhaps it has taken you by surprise.  Your student came home for what you thought was going to be a few weeks for winter break and announced that they don’t want to return to school when break is over.  No one expected this when you headed to school for Move-in Day.

Dissatisfaction with the college experience at the end of the first semester is not uncommon.  Several national studies suggest that as many as one third of college students do not return for their sophomore year of college, but there is little data regarding how many of those students leave at the midpoint of their first year.  However, both college personnel and first year students know that there are many students who will not be back for second semester.

So you are faced with a dilemma.  Your student says they don’t want to return to school.  What do you do?

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Readmission to College: The Application Process

This is the second of two posts about the readmission process after academic dismissal. Be sure to read the first post for some suggestions about working with the college during your student’s time away.

Most students who are academically dismissed from college are asked to spend a certain period of time out of the school. That may be a semester, a year, or even longer. If your student has been working closely with the college after his dismissal, he will be clear about the length of time away, and he will have some information about how best to spend that time. The college recognizes that something went wrong for the student when he was enrolled and hopes that some time away will allow the student to address whatever issues interfered with his success.

The decision to return

Once your student feels ready to return to school, the first decision he will need to make is whether he will apply for readmission to his original school or consider transferring to another college or university. This is a very personal decision and should be made in conjunction with his family, and after gathering all of the necessary information from both his original school and any schools to which he is considering applying.

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Readmission to College: Work With the School

If your student has been dismissed from college for poor academic performance (sometimes called Satisfactory Academic Progress), it can be a devastating blow. Both you and your student will need to come to terms with the reality, evaluate what happened, and decide how to move forward. We have several earlier posts that may help you with these stages of the process.

What To Do If Your Student Is Academically Dismissed from College

Academically Dismissed from College? Time for a Reset

Academically Dismissed from College? Ten Steps to Move On

However, once you and your student have evaluated the situation, and perhaps taken some time away from school, your student may be ready to get back on track – either at her former school or at a new school. She may have questions, but she may not be sure where to begin.

Let your student take ownership

It is important that your student, not you, do the work to prepare to return to school, but you may need to give her some guidance about necessary steps. All calls to the school, all e-mails to school offices, all visits to college offices, all application or appeal materials should be completed by your student and not you. The college is looking for responsibility on your student’s part. She should advocate for herself and make her own case. If you step in, you may actually hurt your student’s chances of being readmitted.

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Three Steps to Take If Your College Student Is Forced to Change Major

Statistics tell us that as many as 75% of college students will change their major during college. Some 10% of students may change their major as many as four times. That is a lot of shifting. However, when we think about students changing their major, we usually think about students changing their mind, discovering a new passion, finding a new field or career interest. What the statistics do not tell us is how many students may change their major – not through their choice: they are not opting out, the choice is being made for them.

Some majors at some colleges and universities have entrance requirements. Other majors have minimum GPA requirements in order to remain in that major. A student who has not done well in one or more courses required for a particular major may be blocked from the major, denied admission to the major, or dismissed from the major. Many departments institute these requirements because they know, from years of experience, that students who fall below these standards will ultimately not succeed. From the college’s viewpoint this makes sense for your student. However, you, and your student, wonder – what happens now? It can be a heartbreaking, and perhaps frightening, situation.

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Do You Have a Super Senior? Making the Most of the Fifth Year of College

To every parent their student is a “super” kid, whether a senior or not.  But the term “Super Senior” is not necessarily the term that parents hope to hear when referring to their college students.

What is a Super Senior?

Super Senior is the term sometimes used to refer to a student who is a college senior in the fifth, or sixth, year of college.  They have already been a freshman, sophomore, junior and senior – and are now a Super Senior – or fifth (or sixth) year college student. One study has suggested that only approximately 39% of students graduate with a bachelor’s degree in four years.  The Department of Education actually calculates a six year graduation rate, which comes closer to 59%.

So the term Super Senior is becoming increasingly common. But whether the numbers are accurate or not, or whether five or even six years is becoming the national average for completing a degree, if your student will be spending a fifth year in college, both you and your student should discuss the situation.

 

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How to Tackle Tough Conversations with Your College Student

There are many reasons you might need to have a difficult conversation with your college student, and the middle or end of the year is often a time when that conversation needs to happen.  It might have to do with a poor semester academically, poor social decisions, financial issues, or many other possible situations.  Whatever the topic, chances are that you probably dread the conversation.  It’s important, it’s necessary, but you know that there are so many ways that it could go badly.

There is no getting around the fact that the conversation is probably going to be uncomfortable, but there are a few things that you can do to help it go more smoothly and to help both you and your student be more comfortable with the outcome.  Before you sit down to have that tough conversation with your student, consider a few things.

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Your College Student’s Senioritis: Recognizing and Addressing It

This is the second of two posts about the senioritis sometimes experienced by college seniors.  In our first post we looked at some of the roots or causes of your student’s feelings.  In this post, we’ll consider what this senioritis may look like and how you, as a parent, might help your student cope.

In many ways, although the causes may differ, college senioritis may look very similar to high school senioritis.  Your usually motivated student suddenly loses interest in his coursework, missing classes and deadlines for assignments.  He doesn’t seem to care about his work and only puts forth a partial effort.  His grades are in jeopardy of slipping and he doesn’t seem to care.

Although it is possible that this may be due to “school fatigue” after sixteen or more years of school, we discussed in our last post several other possible causes.  These causes may lead to other symptoms that indicate that your student is a victim of senioritis.

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Is Your College Senior Suffering from Senioritis? 13 Reasons Why It May Not Be What You Think

This is the first of two posts about the senioritis sometimes experienced by college seniors.  In this post we look at some of the roots or causes of your student’s feelings.  In our next post, we’ll consider what this senioritis may look like and how you, as a parent, might help your student cope.

We hear a lot about senioritis and high school seniors.  It’s that apathy and lack of motivation that hits in the latter part of their senior year when they’ve been accepted to college and they let their guard down and struggle to keep their grades up and stay focused on school.  Severe senioritis in that last year of high school could even result in having a college rescind a student’s admission, so it can be a serious ailment.

We hear less about senioritis during the last year of college, but it exists.  Often, it looks much like high school senioritis.  Your student has been in school now for sixteen or more years, and he is tired of being a student, loses focus and motivation, skips classes, does poorly on assignments, and generally appears unengaged.

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When Your College Student Is Struggling Or In Trouble

You send your college student off to college with high hopes.  It was a long road of applications, SATs, essays, and finally decision making.  You and your college student have survived and now you are ready to sit back and watch him thrive in the environment that he chose.

Suddenly, things are not going as planned.  Your student is struggling and having difficulty.  Your student may or may not be sharing details with you, but you sense that something is wrong.  You feel completely helpless, and you want to help.  This is every college parent’s nightmare.

Your student may be struggling for any number of reasons – from lack of preparedness, lack of motivation, lack of perseverance, too much partying, mental or emotional difficulties, or just plain homesickness.  Whatever the reason, you’re at a loss for where to turn.

Here at College Parent Central, we want to help you navigate all of the phases of college parenting, and for many families that includes navigating the dark waters of a student in trouble.

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