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Academic Dismissal Help

  1. Dec 19, 2012 #1
    First of all, I want to take the time to anyone who's already read this sentence, you guys are really helping me out.

    I'm a double BME and MechE major at a decent university, and I'm planning on graduating in June 2013. I recently failed two classes in a quarter where I took three (the third class is a full year, so I simply got an "In Progress" grade).

    I failed a Mechanical Vibrations course, and a Mechanical Design course. EOM's and FBD's have never been my strong point, and these courses do derive on those. But I didn't think I'd done that badly.

    Does anyone have any advice as to how to fix such a dismal quarter? My GPA has hovered a little bit below 3 my entire college career (I was at 2.95 before this quarter finished). I do enjoy engineering, and I think I'm simply slow at picking a few concepts up, but overall, I'm your average engineering student. I love math, my favorite courses here have been thermo/fluids/transport phenomena, I'm looking to work in a medical device based industry, and MATLAB has gone from my worst enemy to my best friend.

    Is there a specific way anyone believes you can study for higher-level engineering courses? Do you have any advice as to how to improve after going through such a dismal quarter? And if I am subject to dismissal, is the only thing to do wait and petition when the email arrives? Or should I email the dean ASAP?

    Lengthy post, apologies, I think I'm writing this completely out of panic and confusion, but I just can't even fathom the idea that I might be thrown out of school after I've already spent 4+ years here, basically six months prior to what I hoped would be my graduation date.

    I'm more than willing to tell more about myself if need be, and I'm a pretty upbeat/strong/willed person for the most part, so I more than welcome criticism if I need it.

    Thanks again.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 19, 2012 #2
    they should put you on probation and give you a chance to fix yourself. however the yearlong class is a problem; can you continue in the series?
  4. Dec 19, 2012 #3
    A little story for context first: I got dumped unceremoniously into the job market, decided to try freelance work. My sister-the-Ph.D.-Psychologist gave me an aptitude test. It showed my weakest area was the area I needed the most: cold calling to drum up business. Her words of advice: "it doesn't mean you can't do it, it just means you must work harder at it." And so it is, I suspect, with you.

    I struggled in undergrad too. I audited a couple courses in the summer to try to recover ground and learn more from different instructors (it worked). I also picked up a 'D' grade in a critical class, I decided to take it over again under a different instructor whose style better fit my personality (got a 'B'...the first instructor was entertaining, but a terrible instructor). I did not learn until graduate school that I should consider education a 24x7 job. When I figured that out, I got straight A's. There'll be time enough to 'enjoy life' with your "upbeat/strong/willed" personality. Get on with it, or start planning on selling shoes / flipping burgers.
  5. Dec 19, 2012 #4
    Yes, I can continue in the series. I did pretty well in that course, it's basically a senior design project for engineering. So the first quarter is a lab course to gain the skills needed to pass, the second quarter involves designing your project and the third is possibly building or finalizing the entire thing. As long as I'm not kicked out, I can continue in that.

    I'm hoping probation is what happens but I pretty much freaked once I saw that a student is subject to dismissal when gaining <1.5 GPA. Of course, that makes sense but hindsight's always 20/20 and I just can't believe I'm even dealing with something this drastic.

    @tyger: By a 24/7 job, do you mean just working consistenly at school outside class time? I figured I did that since I'm almost always on campus from 8-5, although a lot of that is contributed to a part-time job I have. Maybe it's time to quit that and focus entirely on school? And I can agree on retaking with a different instructor. The one I had was socially one of the best teachers I've ever had...but his tests were ridiculously impossible. There were graduate students in my class who failed the midterm as badly as I did (43/100).
  6. Dec 19, 2012 #5


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    I would email your advisor first, not the dean.
  7. Dec 19, 2012 #6
    I have, they told me that I won't officially get their decision till the new year starts. Guess I have no control over it till then.
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