Totally depressed Merry Christmas

posted 2 years ago in 30 Something
Post # 16
880 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2019

I think the PP have given you some great advice, even if it may not be what you want to hear.  Reading your post above it almost suggests you think your professor was discriminating against you.  I’d be very careful if you insinuate that to the dean.  I’d make sure that you have documentation.  Regardless having a professor you don’t feel is rooting for you sucks but I think you might be misunderstanding what it takes to do well or even pass a college class.  It’s generally less about how hard you try and more about demonstrating a proficiency in the material.  That’s why just comparing yourself to other students in terms of engagement level during class, showing up early, etc. isn’t that helpful.  They could be checked out during class but doing well on assignments and tests.

While it sounds like it was not helpful in your case, I can also kind of understand why a professor might have suggested you drop the class.  I think there are some students where it might actually make sense to cut their losses and switch to a different major.  My sister had a friend who really struggled in her education courses.  She retook the state tests multiple times and couldn’t pass.  She ended up wasting a lot of money and after a certain point it kind of seemed irresponsible to me that the school pushed her to keep going.  Same with someone my boyfriend knew who flunked out of not one but two med programs.  Not sure how he got into the second one when it was clear he wasn’t able to perform in that environment.  That said, it’s not necessarily the right advice for everyone.

Depending on what accomidations you were given for your disability only you know whether that is more a factor in your scores than your understanding of the material.  But as others have said, if you’re getting 50’s on your tests it’s in no one’s best interest to move you to the next level.  It sounds like you don’t understand the core concepts that likely will be built upon in the next class and run the risk of failing that one.

If it were me, I’d go to the dean I’d explain my situation and would ask what he and she would recommend to improve and keep progressing forward in the program.  If you’re not already getting accomidations for your disability it sounds like that should be dealt with.  If you are, it sounds like you’re struggling with the material or have some test taking anxiety and either or both need to be dealt with.  It’s great you feel you are trying but often that alone won’t get you the grades you want so you’re going to need to step up if this program is important to you.  It may mean repeating a class.  Getting a tutor.  Exploring other ways of studying.  Etc.


Either way I think the PP are right – the more you can take ownership over the situation the better position you’ll be in to improve going forward and get on a better track.  

Post # 17
5708 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

Am I the only one who thinks 4 hours a day 5 days a week isn’t a huge amount of studying?

Anyway if you do feel your grade isn’t fair or accurate then by all means go to the dean, but be prepared for the outcome. None of us can say if you deserved to fail or not but getting 50% in your exam is pretty poor and probably shows a lack of understanding. The professor didn’t ‘give’ you a 69.3%, that’s what you achieved. Take some responsibility for your results. At higher level education it doesn’t matter how hard you try or much time you spend on it, at the end of the day if you don’t know the material then you won’t pass.

You need to be careful suggesting that you were failed because your professor is racist, you will need to make sure you have proof if you’re going to make claims like that.

Post # 18
1361 posts
Bumble bee

The community college at which I taught courses had an extraordinarily rigorous Dental Hygiene Program; one had to get straight A’s in all courses in order to be allowed into the program, and some people weren’t accepted even then. 

I’ll echo PPs when I say that you need to take advantage of your Disabilities Resource Center. And, no, your professor didn’t make the course difficult for you; you weren’t given entirely different tests and assignments or grades that were radically lower than what you deserved. Studying hard doesn’t necessarily mean a student will understand or otherwise be able to handle the material–I saw many students who worked hard but were simply not intelligent enough or ready for the level of reading, and that’s the reality of it. Not everyone is capable of engaging with rigorous academic material; that’s why we build up to it. I’m sorry, Bee, but it doesn’t sound like you were capable at that time of meeting the demands of that particular course. 

Additionally, given that you want to be a dental hygienist, all the more reason to hold yourself to a higher standard! I don’t want anyone poking around in my mouth with sharp instruments who passed her courses with a 70% anyway quite frankly. Retake this course and exchange the grade–most schools allow you to retake them within a year, and the new grade will replace the old. 

Post # 19
4967 posts
Honey bee

I’d go to the Dean. It’s hard to say here if the grade was fair or not without seeing the work. I would also ask the Dean if there are any programs available for those with a learning disability. There may be more resources for you plus I’ve heard of some universities letting those with a learning disability take classes differently. Its too bad these options weren’t given to you earlier but i say check it out! Perhaps there is a tutor too!

Easier said thsn done but don’t dispair! It will all work out.  

Post # 20
738 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

If you do go to the dean, bring all of your assignments and rubrics and grades, as a previous poster has suggested, but also bring all of the transcripts for the emails where you did not get a response, or where you got a response you deemed unprofessional. If you truly believe that you should get the opportnity to retake this class, you can fight for it – but keep in mind, that unfortunately, there’s only so much the school can do in terms of financial aid. I’m surprised that you lost financial aid over one class though – typically theres a 12 credit pass for the Pell grant, and you need to maintain a certain GPA. If you got a 69, which in most universities isn’t failing, you shouldn’t lose Pell funding if you maintained a satisfactory average in your other classes. 

Post # 21
1361 posts
Bumble bee

yogabride2018 :  Yes, a number of the details provided by OP don’t square with the way matters are usually run in colleges and universities. I think we’re missing some important information. 

Post # 22
997 posts
Busy bee

yogabride2018 :   DeniseSecunda :  It’s possible she is still taking a very basic core class and if she failed, needs to take remedial class, which likely wouldn’t be covered by financial aid. That’s the only thing I can think of.

Post # 24
9948 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

DeniseSecunda :  I agree with you. I would not want someone who scraped by with a 70 but failed every test poking around in my mouth, either.

I know it sucks but clearly you didn’t understand the information in the class. That’s not the teachers fault and sometimes even though we study hard and try we just can’t retain information. I know because I have a learning disability that effects the way I retain information. I never went to college but I did have trouble in school with math in particular and ended up failing my exit math test my senior year by one question. At the time I felt like you, like why couldn’t they just give me that ONE question. But that’s not how the world works. I had to retake the test a shit ton of times over until I passed it so I could get my diploma. Even thought I thought it was stupid and I was mad at the time, I still did it and pushed through instead of being defeated and blaming everyone and everything around me.

You can do this, you’re just going to have to apply yourself and kick the defeatist attitude. 

Post # 25
3020 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

I have a learning disability too and I couldn’t freaking pass Algebra 2, which was a prerequisite for College Statistics. I used all of my accommodations, the adjunct faculty tutors that I needed to pay for (no free grad student plebeians for me!) and study groups but nope, couldn’t wrap my defective head around systems of equations. I get the pity party so just let it out, girl! Watch a sad movie and cry into your ice cream. And then think about what you can do.

I dropped the class twice and when it became apparent that I would need to drop it a third time, I talked to the dean about how I am a psychology major with an LD who wouldn’t be taking any math beyond College Statistics, showed documentation of my disability, my tutoring sign in sheets, and my transcripts showing an otherwise high GPA, and then asked to challenge the prerequisite, substituting the Stats for Psych class that I had aced as a prerequisite for College Statistics. It worked! 

You appear to be in a STEM discipline, so it might not be as straightforward, but I would talk to the Dean and see what your options are. Don’t play the victim, just say you have an LD, was so close to passing, and will lose your FA if you don’t pass. Ask if you can bump the grade to a passing one because you were so close, or if you could at least change the grade to a Pass/Fail so it doesn’t wreck your GPA.

Worst case, take a little time off until you get your FA back and try again, maybe with a less bitchy professor if more than one teaches the class. There are plenty of teachers who would have just given you a “gentleman’s C” (e.g. I will pass you if I never see your face again). Maybe check to gauge if a new prof will be a good fit. 

Post # 26
28 posts

I agree with the fellow Bee’s. A grade of 50 is just not adequate for your exams. My Dental Hygiene program was much much harder than all the pre requisites I had to take to get there. If you thought Hygiene school was an easy 2 year way to earn a good salary, it isn’t. The money is great but you need to work your butt off through school to get there! If you’re dedicated, do not give up! Many of my classmates had to retake courses two or three times before they got the grade they needed to get into the program. Speak with your dean and advisors, there’s always a way through hard times!

Post # 27
2592 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

I’m in a masters program and I had to write a 23 page paper for one of my classes. We couldn’t get less than an 80% on the paper or in the class otherwise we would have to retake the course. I worked my ass off to make sure that wasn’t a possibility.

I’m also a science teacher and I round up on semester grades, but 69.3 is not a C-. 

You sound like you’ve been working hard to study, but clearly you aren’t studying right or perhaps you are not testing in the right way. Maybe alternate settings could help you if you have a LD. 

Keep working, this isn’t the end of the road.

Post # 28
99 posts
Worker bee

I hope you understand that as the course continues, it gets harder…not that the professor is making it harder *just* to fail you. 

A 50% shows lack of retention and understanding. If you’re unable to understand the previous concept, you are then both encountering a harder subject AND you do not have the time to go back to relearn the previous since you need to focus on the new.

Allied Health courses are graded different (usually). A 70% would’ve been a D. Courses need at least a 75% to pass and everything will be cumulative from your pre-reqs until your last class. That means recalling the chapter in anatomy about the heart on test because gum disease is linked to heart disease. Your professor doesn’t have time to go back and reteach the heart – you’re expected to have come in with good retention of the subjects that are required to apply. 

From my understanding, I believe the teacher was attempting to help you by encouraging you to drop the class so you don’t *have* to lose your FA but you ignored them and are now blaming them for your own stubbornness.

I’m apologize if I came off harsh but blaming a professor for a grade you have earned is a huge pet peeve of mine. This attitude will not serve you well in the healthcare industry. 

Post # 29
738 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

rosydelight :  

DeniseSecunda :  

I work in a large, well known unversity, specifically in a department which provides funding and assistance for low income, high risk students. We deal with financial aid and grade issues multiple times a day. Something here is not adding up. Even if it was a core class, the option to retake it in the summer or one time would be provided before financial aid would drop the student, provided the rest of the student’s GPA was satisfactory. Something just isn’t adding up for me. I can’t imagine one single grade, which isn’t even failing, would derail a student this much. I’ve seen students get dropped for failing two classes, or only taking 12 credits and failing one single class. 

Post # 30
6498 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

I think you need to stop telling yourself victim stories. Almost all teachers now have a rubric explaining the grading process, and while some courses may never be entirely numeric, most of the sciences or math courses are. A teacher (from a middle school teacher to a college professor) can likely show you every numeric grade you received, how they are weighted and how they add up. They aren’t failing students for fun or because they don’t like  you or because they want to deny you a career. But they are responsible for making sure you know the material so you can be successful as your education progresses. You have not demonstrated adequate mastery of the material to pass. Period. 

So go to the Dean if you wish, but leave the poor me stories at home. If accommodations were not made for your learning disability when that disability has been documented and evaluated, then rules (and laws) were broken. If you did not have accommodations or asked for things that were not documented, your professor was under no obligation to oblige them when other students did not get the same benefits.

I also agree about one class being unlikely to completely derail financial aid, and if it did (and you knew it would), then you should have dropped the class until you were better prepared to deal with the material and pass. Ultimately, unless your professor broke a law or graded you according to a different rubric, this falls on you. Instead of feeling defeated or like a victim, you need to figure out what you can do to pass this course next time you take it.

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