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Admissions Please look over my Academic Suspension appeal

  1. Aug 18, 2016 #1
    Please help. I am not confident about my academic suspension appeal. Please help me with my grammar, spelling, punctuation. And if there is something wrong with my letter, please address it but don't be rude about it. I am worried someone might criticize my letter and start making judgements, so please be helpful.


    Dear Academic Standing Committee,

    My name is xxxx and I am writing this letter to appeal my academic dismissal due to failure of maintaining an adequate GPA and not performing well in classes. I was unable to get my GPA up to average due to me own personal problems and not being responsible for my classes.

    When I first began xxxxxxx college, I was fresh out of high school. I did not know the college very well and did not know how the classes work nor how the semester system worked. I had a lot of self-esteem issues that prevented me from making the right choices such as choosing the wrong major and classes I was not prepared for. During the fall semester of freshman year, I wasn’t sure which classes I had to take. I really did not have a plan on what classes I wanted to take. I did good in courses like English and World History because I knew I could handle them without studying for them, but not so good in math or science due to not being prepared for them. I started taking classes over the winter session but I was not prepared with any of them also. The session was too fast for me and I did not have a study plan for either of them. I began losing focus and confidence of myself and I started doing poorly in both classes. During spring semester, I wanted to retake both the classes I did bad in, but I did not know which class to take. I did not know what to do at that point. I took classes that I really did not plan on taking and really did not put much thought into taking them. I only focused on classes I could handle such as the English and Philosophy classes, but I could not focus myself on classes like Chemistry, Calculus and Psychology. I did not plan ahead of time for any of my classes and this led to me becoming very overwhelmed and it started to drive me insane. I got off to a really bad start and I started losing confidence in myself. I only managed to do good in the humanities classes but I was not ready for the science and math courses. I ended up dropping my psychology class and failed both Chemistry I and Calculus I, and had to retake them them over the summer. Over the summer, I was not prepared. I did not have a plan for either of my classes and the semester was going really fast. I ended up only studying for Calculus instead of Chemistry and ended up getting another F. I did not take the failing grades and probation warnings seriously. I was too distracted by my own personal problems to take anything seriously.

    During sophomore year, I took classes again was not prepared for. I ended up dropping Computer Science and Biology I, due to not being ready for those classes and failed Calculus II due to lacking confidence and not setting up a study plan for any of my classes. I actually started planning on which classes I was going to take over the winter and over the Spring semester. I planned on retaking Biology I and Chemistry I over the winter. During the winter session, I started to connect with some of my classmates, and they gave me some advice about my classes and what my major. They asked what I liked doing and what interested me and what interested me was the one that was going to be my major. That is when I started changing my major from Computer Science to Liberal Arts, because I knew I had interests in topics like Science and history and was not interested at all in Computer Science. Before, I did not really put much thought into taking science courses and did not have the confidence to take them. They gave me advice to only focus on the more rigorous classes and take the ones you could handle over the shorter session. In the spring, I started planning on retaking Calculus II and continue on to Chemistry II and Biology II. I also wanted to take Anthropology and History just to get them out of the way. During the Sophomore year, I started focusing more on Chemistry, Biology and math than for Anthropology and History, I ended up dropping out Anthropology and History and planned on retaking them over the summer. I managed to do good in Calculus, but not in Chemistry or Biology due to not having efficient studying time for both of them. I spend more time on Calculus than I did for the other two classes. When I planned on retaking Anthropology and history over the summer, I ended up taking Computer Science because of no more seats for the former two classes. I did not wish on taking Computer Science, but I had to in order to get my GPA higher. I was not prepared for that class. I did not put a study plan for that class. I focused more on what classes I wanted to take the next semester and I ended up doing poorly due to making the wrong decisions. After realizing my mistake, I started taking note on the classes that I really wanted to take and when to take them. This time I planned on making the right decisions.

    I realized all that I was doing. I took classes I was not yet prepared to take. I did not have a plan on what classes I had to take. I had a lot of self-esteem issues that prevented me from making the right choices and I ended up choosing the wrong major and taking classes I did not think of taking and was not prepared for those classes. After getting advice from helpful students and some of my professors, I started setting up a plan for myself. To take the required and rigorous classes over the normal session and to take that classes I could handle over the shorter sessions, so I don’t end up becoming overwhelmed and losing confidence and focus. As the years went by from freshman to sophomore, I got to the know how the college works and I started knowing myself better which allowed me to gain more confidence and know which classes to take. Freshman year, I got off to a bad start. I really did not know myself better and had many personal issues that made me make the wrong decisions, I did not know how the college worked or what classes I have to take. During Sophomore year, I slowly started to know how college works. I started connecting with my classmates and professors and they gave me more confidence to know what I had to do future. For me it’s a process. I was not prepared for college, but as time went by, I started to know the college better, I started to know myself better and knew that I had to make the right decisions and to be responsible for my classes.

    Sincerely,
    xxxxx
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 18, 2016 #2

    CalcNerd

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    Are you sure???

    First off, your letter is too long. And second, I suggest you simply apologize for your poor performance and beg to be reconsidered after a year at some other institution (which, if you plan it correctly, you might be able to make IT WORK there). I just cannot see any real alternatives to this. The sad truth is that you have an established track record and you need to uproot yourself from a bad academic history at this institution. If this is truly the college of your dreams, you will have to prove your metal and get some grades or other experience before this school (at least me) would let you return. Make alternate plans so that when the hammer comes down (and I can see no reason why they would let you return without at least one semester suspension, but probably a year).
    .
    Another school will give you a fresh start. Chances are it will have to be a junior college or a smaller school with less stringent requirements. Don't waste your next opportunity.
     
  4. Aug 18, 2016 #3
    How do I beg? That will only make me look bad. How do I apologize without first explaining why I never maintained a good standing GPA in the first place. How do I cut down my letter so I don't make it too long.

    By the way, it's a community college. Yes, it seems ridiculous why I would do bad in a community college, but remember, I got off to a bad start. I had a lot of personal problems I had to deal with and I was poorly planned. I know I got off to a bad start but I started to make some progress, and I want to show the college that I can do better next semester.
     
  5. Aug 18, 2016 #4
    Why, does it sound bad? Does it have a lot of grammatical error? I'm trying to write a statement about why I was doing bad in the first place and I want to tell them that I won't screw up this time.
     
  6. Aug 18, 2016 #5
    Good is an adjective. "did" is a verb. Use an adverb to do describe a verb.

    The correct sentence would be "I did well.."
     
  7. Aug 18, 2016 #6
    How about this?

    Is there something wrong with my letter? Did it have a lot of grammatical error?
     
  8. Aug 18, 2016 #7
    I believe that you need to focus more on what you have been doing and what you will do in near future to prevent any possibility of making a mistake again, rather than focusing on your past difficulties and apologies. The majority of your letter addressed your difficulties and did not address your specific plans to overcome them.
    Of course, this is my personal opinion.
     
  9. Aug 18, 2016 #8
    I do agree with that and also you have a few grammatical errors but y'all sound kinda sarcastic and lay off a little
    Trust me, this is your apology, not your life story. (no sarcasm meant there)
     
  10. Aug 18, 2016 #9

    micromass

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    If I were you, I would definitely suspend you. Why is that? Because nowhere in this letter is there a solid well-thought out plan that will help you achieve your goals. There is no plan to what you would do about your self-esteem issues. What you would do about hard classes. What you would do about scheduling. There is nothing in your letter about any of this.

    Sure, your letter should contain a bit of explanation why you did bad, but your letter is way too specific on those explanations. You could easily summarize your letter in a few sentences - which you should do: concise is better. You should give more details on how to actually get your academic life back in order. And you should present actual proof that you are getting it back in order as we speak.

    As it stands now, suspending you is the best thing to do for you. Maybe in a few more years, you will be better equipped to handle college.
     
  11. Aug 18, 2016 #10
    To be honest, I started to read it, got bored, and skimmed the rest, and I wouldn't be surprised if the committee to whom this will be presented took the same approach. You get specific - TOO specific. They probably don't care about each individual class that you took and why you failed each one, since they all seem to be for the same reason.

    Like others have said, focus less on the past and more on the future. Don't just write about it, think about it. What specific things did you do wrong, and what specific things will you do to correct that?
     
  12. Aug 18, 2016 #11
    How does this sound? I re-edited it:

    Dear Academic Standing Committee,

    My name is xxxxx and I am writing this letter to appeal my academic dismissal due to failure of maintaining an adequate GPA and not performing well in classes. The reason behind my poor academic performance was due to poor planning.

    During Freshman year, when I first began xxxxxx community college, I got off to a really bad start. I didn’t know the college very well. I didn’t know how the classes work nor how the semester system worked. I wasn’t sure which classes I had to take. I was shy and could not connect with the community. During fall semester, I thought I could handle college. But when I started taking harder classes in math and science, that is when I started doing poorly. I was not prepared to take those classes. I did not realize how much time I had to study for them. At that point, I began losing confidence of myself and started feeling unmotivated. I was unsure on what to do at that point. During the spring semester, I still did not know what to do. I took classes I really did not put much thought into. I took English and philosophy along with Chemistry, Calculus I and psychology. It wasn’t the course schedule I had in mind. I found it difficult to study for all those classes. I started feeling overwhelmed and I started losing confidence and became more unmotivated. I failed Chemistry and Calculus due to not keeping track of them and retook them over the summer. During the summer, I was again not prepared. The session was going really fast. There was so much to study, that I ended up only studying for Calculus instead of Chemistry and ended up getting another F for Chemistry.

    During the first semester of sophomore year, I didn’t have a plan in mind. I chose classes I wasn’t prepared for. I ended up dropping them and retaking them. This is when I started connecting with my classmates and professors. They gave me advice about what classes I needed take and told me whatever interested me should be my major. I started changing my major from Computer Science to Liberal Arts: Math and Science. I knew I had interests in science and history but had no interest in Computer Science. From there I started gaining confidence and this time, I actually started planning on which classes I was going to take. I planned on continuing to take science and math classes while taking a few elective courses I knew I could handle, so I chose history. However, I only focused more on science and math classes than for history, because they required more studying. I ended up dropping history and planned on retaking it over the summer. I realized that I did not have an efficient study plan for my classes such as when to study for them. I spend more time on Calculus than I did for Chemistry or Biology. Over the summer, I took Computer Science instead of history. There were no more seats for history. I did not wish to take Computer Science, but I had to in order to get my GPA higher. I was not prepared on taking it and ended up doing poorly due to making the wrong decisions.

    Here is my plan from now on. Take the required classes I need to take over the normal session and elective classes over the shorter session. I must set up a plan ahead of time so I don’t end up stressed out and start losing confidence. Set up a study plan for each classes, the day and how many hours I need to study for that particular class and stick with that plan. That way, I won’t feel overwhelmed and start losing confidence. Now that I have the confidence, if I have any trouble, I should ask my classmates and professors for help. For me it’s a process. I got off to a bad start, but as time went on, I learned more about myself and how the college worked. I promise myself I won’t screw up this semester. I promise to make up for my bad start this third year.
     
  13. Aug 19, 2016 #12

    micromass

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    Too much focus on the past. Not a solid plan for the future.
     
  14. Aug 19, 2016 #13
    I agree with micromass here again. You do not need to mention specific courses. It seems like you can easily say "I did not have the self-discipline to perform well in courses in which I had no interest". Is this correct?
     
  15. Aug 19, 2016 #14

    Andy Resnick

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    I have a lot of direct experience with this- on the committee side. My thoughts:

    1) Nowhere do you mention meeting with, or planning your academic future with, an academic advisor. You need institutional support, and right now you don't have it.
    2) Do you have a job? If you have a job, you need to address your priorities: cut back on work to focus on school, for example.
    3) Why are you in college? What is your motivation to graduate? I can't tell.

    Of the 3, #1 is most important- you need a letter of support from an academic advisor.
     
  16. Aug 19, 2016 #15
    I think he needs to focus on specific plans he has been (and will) implementing to fix his mistakes. For now, I think the whole letter only tells the past story of his difficulty.
     
  17. Aug 20, 2016 #16
    I revised it again

    Dear Academic Standing Committee,

    My name is xxxxxxx and I am writing this letter to appeal my academic dismissal due to failure of maintaining an adequate GPA and not performing well in classes and to apologize for not doing well as I am supposed to for college.

    I took classes I could not handle and wasn’t prepared for. I didn’t have a well thought out schedule of what classes I needed to take. I did not set up a good study plan nor did I have sufficient study hours. I began feeling overwhelmed and I started losing focus. I could not ask help from my academic advisors or my professors and classmates due to my own personal issues such as being shy and not outgoing. I really got off to a bad start. As time went on however, I started learning more about myself and how the college worked. I began connecting with my classmates and professors and that help me with progressing through some of my classes.

    After seeing my course history and how poorly planned out along with many bad grades, I started setting up a plan for myself so I don’t end up overwhelmed. My plan is to start taking the harder classes I need to take over the normal session and easier classes I could handle over the shorter session. I won’t overload myself with five courses in the short session and hard courses over the shorter session, and this time, I will choose the classes that I know I want to take and not take classes I am not prepared to take. Part of why I performed bad in my classes was due to not having a study plan and not having enough sufficient study hours. From here on out, I will set the day on which to study and set how many hours I need to study for each class and stick with that plan. I really got off to a bad start not knowing about the college and myself, but as time went by, I started connecting with the campus, getting to know how the classes work, the office hours, and as time went on, I started developing my interpersonal skills which allowed me to connect with my professors and classmates and gave me the confidence to help me with my classes and my major. I want to continue this semester so I could show I can get my GPA up and make up for my bad start and I want to continue to get to know myself and develop my interpersonal skills even further. I promise myself I won’t screw up this semester and third year of college.
     
  18. Aug 20, 2016 #17

    micromass

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    OK, what you have now is a vague plan. But to a committee member, this will just look like words and empty promises. What you need is actual proof or evidence that your plan works. Or if you don't have proof, what guarantees does the committee have that your plan will work outside of your word.
    How will you force yourself to keep to your plan? What if you deviate from the plan, what guarantees do they have that that won't happen?

    THAT is the kind of thing they're looking for: guarantees, proofs, evidence. Not just your promise.

    Here's a small suggestion that could make a difference: go to a councillor to get your interpersonal skills up. A councillor or a group that can help you. And get evidence that you actually go to that councillor or group. This is the kind of thing that the committee is looking for. Just saying "oh, it's all better now" is useless to them.
     
  19. Aug 20, 2016 #18

    micromass

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    Basically, whether you send the letter in post 1, 11 or 16, it will make little to no difference. Why not? Because all they get from you is your word and your promise. And to them, that counts as much as a suspect in a murder trial giving his word that he didn't commit the murder. What you need to get is independent verification of your goals and plans. If you can get an advisor, a councillor, a professor to stand with you, to help you and to give his/her confidence in you to the committee, that will do so much more for you.
     
  20. Aug 20, 2016 #19

    Fervent Freyja

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    You need to start from scratch again. Make an outline based upon the advice given to you above. Lighten up a little bit, it's incriminating you even further! It really isn't a murder trial. Throw in two or three fancy adjectives or write a short poem/quote at the end. Use stronger motivating words. Although it isn't a good situation, being so dismal and negative doesn't help, your letter has a slight passive-aggressive tone to it. Bringing more positive information about yourself and how you see the future shows that you have matured. You are acting like a kid only apologizing because he got caught! Redo it again!

    *Try to work away from using so many pronouns, 119/446 words are "I" and 27/446 are "my/me" derivatives!
    *3 paragraphs with similar word counts will make it more visually appealing. Introduction and conclusion can be slightly smaller. The introduction can be negative, focused on past. The persuasive paragraph can be focused on now, and about what you have learned from struggling. The concluding paragraph needs to be more future-oriented and written in a more positive, mature, and motivating manner.
    *Remove all contractions, but don't just extend them, phrase it differently to work around them.
    *Don't start out introducing your name like that. Introduce that you are a student with x amount of time spent at that university and why you decided upon that one (are you native to the area).
    *List only official reasons for dismissal (write the name and any corresponding codes of the violation in full length/date). Not performing well or doing well are both redundant after listing the first reason. Note that you were on warning for x semesters and which semester you were suspended.
    *Learning more about yourself, making connections, and finding yourself welcome are strong points you mentioned.
    *You could have asked for help, maybe you feared or didn't know how to ask? However, remember that they are aware there are students who still do well while they are going through a serious crisis and life changes, so trying to evoke too much pity can work against you.
    *Note how humanities and classes you had a easier time with, but weren't prepared for the difficulty of the science and mathematics courses.
    *Replace the words 'screw up' with something else. They don't want to read a student be so self-depreciating. Regret. Remorse. Guilt. Disappointment in self. Positive change comes from those places.
    *What is your career plan? Life plan? Want to get a job and get out on your own? What are you excited about? What motivates you to even be there? Getting a job, taking mental health counseling, meeting with advisers often in the student services will help your appeal! Joining a group on campus or doing volunteer work will too.
    *Additional tips: make a cover page, 12-point times new roman, 1" margins, 1.5 spacing, or whatever makes it one page when completed. Print it on quality paper, do not fold, leave any marks, or staple the sheets together. Go out and find a nice envelope to put it in. Hand deliver it if you can!
     
  21. Aug 23, 2016 #20
    I started a previous thread regarding my academic appeal, but was not able to access it due to internet issues over the past two days, so I am starting a new one. <Moderator's note: post has now been added to the existing thread.>

    I rewrote my academic appeal and got some advise from different members back in the previous thread. Please check if my letter is good or bad, grammatical error or anything else.

    Dear Academic Standing Committee,

    My name is xxxxx and I am majoring in Liberal Arts: Math and Science. I am writing this letter to appeal my academic dismissal due to failure of maintaining an adequate GPA and inadequate grades in classes. There is absolutely no excuse for having a poor GPA and poor performance in classes. I have gathered the main reasons for doing poorly throughout the freshman and sophomore year.

    · Took classes I thought I needed to take, but really didn't need.

    · Was not prepared to take intensive courses in science and math.

    · Did not have a good outline of what classes I needed to take. I ended up overloading on classes I did not need and ended up dropping out and eventually failing several courses.

    · Did not have a good study plan for any of my classes. Insufficient study hours.

    · Procrastinated and gave up due to so much material to study.

    · Did not have any short term or long term goals in mind. I came in thinking I was able to handle college.

    In addition, I did not set up any short term or long term goal. I was not prepared for college, mentally or emotionally. I was young, naïve and lacked motivation. I came into college thinking I could handle it with no problem. That is the when heavy course load caught up to me and I realized that I needed to put more effort into college and take responsibility of what classes I need to take for my major. As I progressed through college, I learned the repercussions if you don't do good in college. After seeing my transcript and seeing so many bad grades and poor selection of course, I started taking action and started making a plan to get both my GPA and my grades up.

    · Take classes I actually need and not take classes I “think” I need to take.

    · Don’t overload myself with a schedule of six classes in one session. Take the classes I know I can handle.

    · Set up the day and time when to study for each class. Study for at least two-four hours for classes in the longer session and six hours in the shorter session.

    · Go to the library to study for classes and shut off all electronics.

    · Take notes and re-review them. Use the internet only to research a topic to better understand.

    I began to set a goal for myself. My short term goal is to get my GPA up and perform well in my classes. My long term goal is to graduate and find the job I want to be in. To achieve this long term goal, I must complete my short term goals, and to do that is to stick with my plan above and not change that. I now realize that I have to take responsibility with my own work and know what courses to take for my major. As the years went by, I now know that college demands a great deal of responsibility and work ethic. I want to continue the next semester now knowing the right classes I have to take and when, how long to study for each class.

    Sincerely,

    xxxxx
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2016
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