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ChemE students Statics stress!

  1. Mar 24, 2012 #1
    I am the parent of a ChemE student. He is a Jr at a California State University. He has some learning difficulties which makes problem solving / life issues a bit tough on him. I am just trying to help him out.

    He failed Statics last fall. He just came home from Spring Break and told me during his academic advising session that he was told he NEEDED to have Statics completed over the summer or no classes would be available to him to take in Fall, due to lack of this pre-req. I find that very hard to believe, and have emailed the Professor...but in the meantime I am frantic trying to find some sort of Statics class for him to enroll in over the summer.

    I cant believe that no community college is offering this over the summer. He has family in Michigan and also in the Tampa area......Id even pay for him to fly and stay with them, and enroll in a summer school there, but I cant find any! I have no idea what this class is all about, but this is nuts.

    Online would seem to be the smartest choice as there would be no relocation issues, but I wonder how do you find out if this class will transfer to your current school? Which dept in his University would I call to ask such questions??

    Anyway, thank you for reading the ramblings of a worried mom, and if you can offer any suggestions, Im all ears. Thank you!!
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 24, 2012 #2
    Well, the first thing I would suggest is to let the kid take care of his own problem. He's a junior in college. Why is his mom fixing his mistake?

    The second thing is that a professor probably isn't going to know the schedule for fall semester, and if he did, an email is not the best way to find out. Professors are notorious about not responding to email, unless it's from an official student email address (as I presume yours is not). Call the registrar and find out - or take the first advice and prod the kid until he does it himself.

    The third thing is, when you take the second advice and your kid responds, "But I already checked!", you tell him, "No. Call the registrar. Advisers sometimes mess up, and not offering a basic engineering course during the fall semester is incredibly fishy. Especially because plenty of kids transfer into engineering school from a community college - most of them in the fall semester - and statics is the first engineering mechanics course. Thus, they would not deny these transfer students access to the engineering mechanics sequence."

    The fourth thing is, at this late juncture, I would not try to transfer out of state and go through all the nonsense of trying to secure a transferable class, particularly as the deadline has likely already expired for any school except community colleges. There are numerous easier paths. One: I'm extremely doubtful that there are no statics classes offered by local community colleges over the summer; then again, it's California, so who knows. Two: Dual enroll in said community colleges. Ask for permission from the university to take the statics class at a nearby community college during the fall semester. Then ask if the kid can enroll in the classes that require statics as a prerequisite anyway. When I failed a class, I was still able to take another class that required the failed class as a prerequisite, so long as I was taking it as a corequisite. Then again, it was a numerical methods course, and the prerequisite was differential equations, so I think the gist of the prerequisite junk is "please, just know what a differential equation is and how to solve some basic cases". Three: If worse comes to worst, have him ride out the semester taking first semester Swahili and any other stuff that can be crammed into a schedule in order to keep him at full-time status. Four: Maybe he can do a semester abroad somewhere, at a university that offers the class.

    The fifth thing is, seriously consider following advice #1. All these options flowed from the brain of a junior aerospace engineering student during a fifteen minute interval at 3:30 am. The munchkin's gotta start taking care of his business sometime.

    And lastly, statics is physics (specifically mechanics) applied to structures that are a) non-deformable, meaning they can't bend in any way, b) are not undergoing an acceleration from any of the forces acting on the object, and c) are statically determinant, which means they can be fully analyzed by applying two very simple equations. It is not an esoteric class by any stretch of the imagination. Someone's offering it over the summer. Hell, ten-to-one says my school is offering it over the summer.
  4. Mar 24, 2012 #3
    First, I would talk with his adviser. That person should know about transfer credits or be able to direct you to someone who does. My university offers a summer course in statics. It is 100% online besides the final exam which is proctored so he must be there in person. That is pretty much as good as it will get...

    Link to the 2012 summer classes: Summer 2012 Courses
    (Statics is ENGR 1200 pg. 110 of the pdf file)

    Good Luck!
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