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Attolia

Update - I am livid, talk me down please...

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DD called me this morning in tears.  Two days before drop/add her Spanish professor has told her that she can't be in her class.  The professor (a new grad student) says that she doesn't meet guidelines to be in there because she has had too much Spanish.  The thing is, DD used the department's guide to find her class.  This class is for those with more than 2 years of Spanish and DD had 3 years in High School.  She knows several people in the class who had 3 years of Spanish and they aren't being asked to leave.  DD went to class early today and asked her about it and the prof said "I am sorry.  I also think that this is unfair. The truth is that this is a decision from the director for "many reasons and factors".  What in the world?  They have reasons and factors they can't disclose for choosing DD to leave a class that she really wants/needs before going to Spain this summer?  When dd said she needed the class the professor said "Well, you undercut yourself, you'll be fine."  

 

What in the world does she do?  She has less than 48 hours to magically find a class with an opening and get permission from the professor to join this late, AND she'll have over two weeks of make up/catch up.

 

This seems super unfair to me.  They don't even know her spanish ability.  She has had homework but nothing that is turned in. I want to know what factors they can be using?

 

 

ETA - Also she spent over $100 on web access for the portal. Can this be refunded?  She can sell the bazillion dollar textbooks but what about the portal?

 

 

UPDATE to post #98

 

FINAL UPDATE to post #136

Edited by Attolia
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Is there a department head or adviser she can speak to?  Can she take the class, but not for credit?

Edited by Kassia
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Is there a department head or adviser she can speak to?  

 

 

 

She emailed.  The prof seemed to think that DD would need to go through an interview process to get back into the class.  She doesn't have time.  She only has 48 hours.  If she goes through it and they decide she can't stay, she has no time to find a replacement.  I don't understand why she would need an interview if she is not over guidelines?  I don't get it.

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Do they have placement exams? Most universities do not let students sign up for foreign language classes without taking one. Where was her advisor in all of this? Did her advisor sign off on the class?

 

I think she needs to make an appt with the Spanish dept head and request specific guidance. It is ridiculous that they didn't address this before now. It sounds like she is more advanced than the other students. That says more about the other students than her!

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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As the student, I'd be camping outside this department chair's office with copies of the guidelines for choosing the class. I'd be getting an explanation from him/her about the decision and uneven application and solutions based on the late notice. And I'd be thinking of who else to involve outside the department. 

 

As the parent, I'd be telling my dd to do the above. I'd also research the university organization for other channels to follow and send my dd that information. I'd make phone after she had done these things. 

 

 

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Do they have placement exams? Most universities do not let students sign up for foreign language classes without taking one. Where was her advisor in all of this? Did her advisor sign off on the class?

 

I think she needs to make an appt with the Spanish dept head and request specific guidance. It is ridiculous that they didn't address this before now. It sounds like she is more advanced than the other students. That says more about the other students than her!

 

 

See, that's the thing. They don't have placement exams.  You can't have more than two years of Spanish to be in 101. For 102 you need more than 2 years.  She is taking the next two level classes in Spain this summer.  Her High School Spanish level isn't a problem.  She has several friends in this class with the same amount or more of High School Spanish.  Why are they asking her to leave and not others?

Edited by Attolia

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It could be especially problematic for kids whose full-time status could be impacted. I am not sure what they are thinking but it is very poor rationale.

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This is ridiculous. Right at the end of add/drop? If they are going to do stuff like this it needs to be done on the first day of class. 

 

Edit: My guess on "why they are asking her to leave and not others" is that she's retained more from her Spanish classes and is going to be wrecking the curve for the class. But that is not her problem. 

 

I wonder if they'd be willing to do an independent study? 

Edited by kiana
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It could be especially problematic for kids whose full-time status could be impacted. I am not sure what they are thinking but it is very poor rationale.

 

 

No Kidding, right?  She would have her status impacted.  She didn't overload because she will have classes all summer.    It is super poor rationale.

 

 

This is ridiculous. Right at the end of add/drop? If they are going to do stuff like this it needs to be done on the first day of class. 

 

 

 

That is what dd says.  She says if she had known day 1, she would have been confused because she isn't over the guidelines, but she would have looked at others classes. 

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I'd get her scholarship or honors dept person involved on top of her advisor. The more high up people to copy on the email to the teacher and dept head, the better. Back in the day, I found that copying the Big Guns got faster resolution as they did not want a big fish like your DD to be treated badly. (I admit to sending a copy of a letter to the chancellor.) Is the person who is in charge of the Spain program aware of the problem? All her free time today will need to be spent on the issue today. I'd start with an email this morning and visiting offices all afternoon - subject to her class schedule.

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IMO, she walks right into the director's office...today....and ask that person what she is supposed to do now.  I find that going in person makes it much easier to solve problems than over the phone or email 

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See, that's the thing. They don't have placement exams. You can't have more than two years of Spanish to be in 101. For 102 you need more than 2 years. She is taking the next two level classes in Spain this summer. Her High School Spanish level isn't a problem. She has several friends in this class with the same amount or more of High School Spanish. Why are they asking her to leave and not others?

That sounds extremely off. You should send her a copy of her high school transcript to take into the dept and request a documented explanation as to why she is the only student being asked to leave the class.

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I'd get her scholarship or honors dept person involved on top of her advisor. The more high up people to copy on the email to the teacher and dept head, the better. Back in the day, I found that copying the Big Guns got faster resolution as they did not want a big fish like your DD to be treated badly. (I admit to sending a copy of a letter to the chancellor.) Is the person who is in charge of the Spain program aware of the problem? All her free time today will need to be spent on the issue today. I'd start with an email this morning and visiting offices all afternoon - subject to her class schedule.

I agree.

 

Fwiw, it seems like this is a huge university error. They are to blame for not having a placement exam. Your Dd is not responsible for their guidelines. She followed them. The problem should not be hers to take the brunt of.

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I'd get her scholarship or honors dept person involved on top of her advisor. The more high up people to copy on the email to the teacher and dept head, the better. Back in the day, I found that copying the Big Guns got faster resolution as they did not want a big fish like your DD to be treated badly. (I admit to sending a copy of a letter to the chancellor.) Is the person who is in charge of the Spain program aware of the problem? All her free time today will need to be spent on the issue today. I'd start with an email this morning and visiting offices all afternoon - subject to her class schedule.

 

 

 

She is working on it.  She has emailed several professors to ask for permission to join their class (just in case).  She has made an appointment with her Dean, who is also her scholarship advisor.  He is pretty big.  I think he can have conversations.  He is also her advisor.  He didn't miss anything in advising.  Kids take this class all.day.long with the same amount of spanish she has.  Something is just messed up somewhere.  

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I would be sending emails to all the pertinent people - her advisor, undergrad advisor for her department, the prof, dean, any ombudsman - one email, cc'ed to them all.  Say everything you've said here.  Then go to the office of the person high enough in the food chain to force a solution and ask to see him or her now.

 

Is she finding the class seems like the right level in terms of learning useful stuff?

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I would be sending emails to all the pertinent people - her advisor, undergrad advisor for her department, the prof, dean, any ombudsman - one email, cc'ed to them all.  Say everything you've said here.  Then go to the office of the person high enough in the food chain to force a solution and ask to see him or her now.

 

Is she finding the class seems like the right level in terms of learning useful stuff?

 

 

To be honest, the class is easy for her so far and it IS busy work, but it is where she would place according to the guidelines, she will have the next two courses covered over summer, and she doesn't feel confident in speaking so she wanted this class.  Also, she hasn't turned in a single thing so how could they know that is is review so far?

 

ETA - the bigger deal is timing.  It is simply too late.  If they had addressed this in the first week she would be disappointed but fine with the switch.

Edited by Attolia

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To be fair, DD DOES undercut herself.  She always thinks she isn't as good as she is, she will always err lower, thinking she isn't good enough for a higher class.  BUT, they have no idea on her abilities and she does have the right amount of Spanish for this class.  She is good on paper.  She won Gold for the National Spanish Exam each year.  But she feels she needs the speaking practice.

Edited by Attolia

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See, that's the thing. They don't have placement exams.  You can't have more than two years of Spanish to be in 101. For 102 you need more than 2 years.  She is taking the next two level classes in Spain this summer.  Her High School Spanish level isn't a problem.  She has several friends in this class with the same amount or more of High School Spanish.  Why are they asking her to leave and not others?

 

If the instructor is a graduate student, is there an actual professor who is responsible for the class?  If so, if she has already spoken with the instructor and asked the bolded question (along with presenting background information), she should start there.

 

Then I would move on to the department head.  

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Ok, two out of  three of the English profs she has emailed have come back and said it is too late for her to join their class.  

 

Pray that the Dean or Scholarship head can fix this.

Edited by Attolia

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Her friends think she needs to ask the director "Is this because the class is so high demand and my family isn't wealthy?"  :lol:   Not because that has ever really been an issue.  There is just a lot of money in that school and they think it would be funny to see the director's reaction.  Bless.

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Ok, two out of three of the English profs she has emailed have come back and said it is too late for her to join their class.

 

Pray that the Dean or Scholarship head can fix this.

I would make sure that her advisor is involved. Period. Especially if this could impact going below full-time.

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I would make sure that her advisor is involved. Period. Especially if this could impact going below full-time.

 

 

If she can't find another class, it will impact her full-time status. 

 

She has a meeting with him for this afternoon.

Edited by Attolia
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As others have already suggested:

involve the advisor

talk to Spanish department head

demand explanation why she is asked to leave if she fulfills prerequisites specified in course catalog

 

I hope this can be sported out. The whole thing sounds extremely strange to me.

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Why are they asking her to leave and not others?

 

Extremely strange. 

 

I would be sending emails to all the pertinent people - her advisor, undergrad advisor for her department, the prof, dean, any ombudsman - one email, cc'ed to them all.  Say everything you've said here.  Then go to the office of the person high enough in the food chain to force a solution and ask to see him or her now.

 

 

 

Bolded by me - yes, you need to document! Also the admission's office, the provost, the scholarship department, and the president. Of the university, not POTUS. I would possibly not cc the exact same letter to everyone, people ignore the heck out of cc's, but tweak the intro to each person/department and address it directly to them. The body of the email can be the same, outlining what occurred. And I am dead serious when I say that I would include the provost and the president, with a comment that I'm doing so because there is no time for niceties and my full-time status and scholarship are in danger. She needs to put both her cell and your cell in the letter (I'm including my mom's cell also, just in case I'm in class when you call . . . ).

 

It sounds like your dd is doing a great job talking to people and setting up appointments, but this is mission critical. I can't remember how far away you are, but this is so critical that I'd consider driving to the school today, particularly if her appointments are in the afternoon today. Failing that, I would be on the phone. You can explain that dd is working on it but time is limited, and make it clear that you are observing and involved. Colleges say they want students to do it all, but they sit up straighter when parents are involved.

 

 

She is working on it.  She has emailed several professors to ask for permission to join their class (just in case).  She has made an appointment with her Dean, who is also her scholarship advisor.  He is pretty big.  I think he can have conversations.  He is also her advisor.  He didn't miss anything in advising.  Kids take this class all.day.long with the same amount of spanish she has.  Something is just messed up somewhere.  

 

What do you mean by 'her' Dean? If it's not the dean of the language department, she needs to involve him as well, or the "director" that the professor blamed for the decision. 

 

Also, did the prof someone drop her, or is he telling her that she has to drop the class? Because my final contingency would be to simply not drop the class, and tell the prof that her advisor double-checked and she is approved. If she has class today or tomorrow, she should definitely go.

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Sneaky beast that I am, I would also both call and email the department and ask for the placement guidelines. Anonymously. Or have a friend call. Note the date and time, who you talk to, and exactly what they say. Email from a different email address. 

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Did you see this link? https://romancestudies.duke.edu/undergraduate/languages/spanish/placement-credit

 

It states, "Your records will be reviewed the first week of classes to verify your eligibility. If you have too much previous experience you will be dropped from Spanish 101." It seems they didn't follow their own guidelines.

 

Did she read any texts in Spanish in high school? I am wondering if that is how they are disqualifying her.

 

Fwiw, I don't understand why in heck they have these policies. It is absurd when a simple placement test would suffice (unless they have kids throwing their placement exams for lower placement?? If that is the case, I am not sure what it says about the students.) Seriously poor system.

 

ETA: wait....is she in 102?? Then none of it makes any sense.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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ETA: wait....is she in 102?? Then none of it makes any sense.

 

Yes, the poor kid is actually in 102 to begin with!! I am having an anxiety attack on Attolia's behalf. 

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No, you shouldn't be talked down on this. You should be livid.

 

Call every single name you have. Call the Spanish department and demand that your child be placed somewhere so she can be prepared to go to Spain. Call the academic advisor in case the Spanish department falls through to find her another class. Call the scholarship office and say you have two people scrambling to find other classes for your kid, but what can she do to keep full time status?

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Is there any chance she can get into a section of 201? With 3 yrs of high school Spanish, she should be prepared - I know at this point there's also the issue of whether there's a section open, and at the right time.

 

If that could work, for the summer program could she then also switch her second class to something more advanced (and maybe even more fun) like conversation or literature or culture?

 

I'd be absolutely livid too... just throwing out ideas...

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I agree.

 

Fwiw, it seems like this is a huge university error. They are to blame for not having a placement exam. Your Dd is not responsible for their guidelines. She followed them. The problem should not be hers to take the brunt of.

 I think most don't have placement exams. Even though they advertise them.

But this does not at all sound like a placement issue.

 

Edited by madteaparty
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 I think most don't have placement exams. Even though they advertise them.

But this does not at all sound like a placement issue.

 

We'll have to disagree on the first point. 

 

But, the entire issue seems to be around the TA saying she placed herself in too low of a level and should have registered for a higher level course. ???  That would be a placement issue.  

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I agree that this is odd.

 

Where did your daughter do her foreign language classes? If she did "plain homeschool" classes (no outside grades/classes/

Accreditation, I am wondering if school is saying she has not had any foreign language. Yes, I read that it was presented the other way, but I am wondering if there is a communication issue.

 

I agree with all the advice you have received.

Adding, I would have her go meet with language director asap and ask him/her exactly what the problem is. ... simply state I was told I was dropped from Spanish 102, why? Do not add anything else.

When she meets with her dean, I would ask the dean to go through the classes she is interested in and get her added to one. it is on the school to find her an appropriate class, so she can keep her scholarship since someone at the school messed up something. It is on your daughter to make sure the school handles this.

I would talk through this with her and go as far as script it out for her if that would help her stand up for what she needs.

I hope she gets it sorted out soon.

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I agree that this is odd.

 

Where did your daughter do her foreign language classes? If she did "plain homeschool" classes (no outside grades/classes/

Accreditation, I am wondering if school is saying she has not had any foreign language. Yes, I read that it was presented the other way, but I am wondering if there is a communication issue.

 

I agree with all the advice you have received.

Adding, I would have her go meet with language director asap and ask him/her exactly what the problem is. ... simply state I was told I was dropped from Spanish 102, why? Do not add anything else.

When she meets with her dean, I would ask the dean to go through the classes she is interested in and get her added to one. it is on the school to find her an appropriate class, so she can keep her scholarship since someone at the school messed up something. It is on your daughter to make sure the school handles this.

I would talk through this with her and go as far as script it out for her if that would help her stand up for what she needs.

I hope she gets it sorted out soon.

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 I think most don't have placement exams. Even though they advertise them.

 

 

What, placement exams for foreign language? I'd be very surprised to find a college that didn't have them. They'd have quite a mess on their hands if students could just randomly pick their language level, lol. 

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I went to your dd's school.  Once when I had a BIG problem and my dad was livid, he called the President of the University. And the problem was solved in a day. Your dd is a big fish at that school, and they don't want negative press. If the higher ups know about it, it will be fixed asap.  Your dd has little time and a very hard situation to fix, I as the parent would get involved *now*.

Edited by lewelma
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Just checking in for an update - and posting so this thread is easier for me to find later.

 

Otherwise, I'll just second all the advice to get her situation known by Powers that Be and quickly!  They be the Powers who can change things (and hopefully will), but only when they know something is happening.

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did she submit a Spanish subject test score?

No, she’s didn’t take one because she didn’t feel confident enough in her Spanish. Yet they tell her she is too advanced? She has a friend in the class who scored a 5 on the IB and has 4 years of Spanish. She hasn’t been asked to leave. Keep in mind, DD hasn’t spoken to this professor in person, hasn’t turned in any assignments. There isn’t any reason for her to dislike DD or to judge her ability.

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Is there any chance she can get into a section of 201? With 3 yrs of high school Spanish, she should be prepared - I know at this point there's also the issue of whether there's a section open, and at the right time.

 

If that could work, for the summer program could she then also switch her second class to something more advanced (and maybe even more fun) like conversation or literature or culture?

 

I'd be absolutely livid too... just throwing out ideas...

 

 

She will take that this summer.  And this class (102) is a prerequisite for this summer in Spain.  It is super hard to get into and she will not be able to go without this class.

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No, she’s didn’t take one because she didn’t feel confident enough in her Spanish. Yet they tell her she is too advanced? She has a friend in the class who scored a 5 on the IB and has 4 years of Spanish. She hasn’t been asked to leave. Keep in mind, DD hasn’t spoken to this professor in person, hasn’t turned in any assignments. There isn’t any reason for her to dislike DD or to judge her ability.

Then none of it makes any sense. I read through their guidelines and the only thing that possibly made sense was if somehow they said she couldn't take the class bc of test scores.

 

I don't think she ultimately needs to worry bc it doesn't seem like they have any cause for telling her she can't take the class.

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Ok, so this is where we are....

 

 

She found an English class that would let her in. This means she is now overloaded and she will not lose her full time status.  

 

Her Dean/Advisor said "no way".  He says something, somewhere is terribly messed up.  He was extremely irritated that someone thought they could just remove her from a class without his permission.  He has to approve this kind of move.  He hasn't approved it.  No one has even asked him for approval.  Her class is still there in her schedule and in her registration portal. 

 

When she showed to class today the professor said, "oh, you are going to audit?".  She said that dd can't be in the class and she won't give her any grades for work but she is welcome to listen in.

 

I called the office for languages.  The lady said that sometimes they do require interviews and they can schedule one for her but not anytime in the next two days and drop/add ends Wednesday morning.  This is just super confusing because even according to their own guidelines, they only do this for Spanish 101.  Again, a friend has had 4 years and a perfect IB score and hasn't been asked to leave.

 

We are still so confused.  Her Dean/advisor gave her an email in the spanish department to contact directly.  

 

She's so over it.  She wants to just drop the class and be done but then she might lose her spot in Spain this summer.

Edited by Attolia
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Then none of it makes any sense. I read through their guidelines and the only thing that possibly made sense was if somehow they said she couldn't take the class bc of test scores.

 

I don't think she ultimately needs to worry bc it doesn't seem like they have any cause for telling her she can't take the class.

 

 

 

You are so right.  Not a bit of it makes any sense.  We are just terribly confused as to why she is having to go through this stress and possibly lose her place in the Spain program.  

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I do not think you fully get the position your dd is in with the award that she has.  Her school will bend over backwards to make her experience worthy of her full endorsement.  You need to let people know so that they fix it, both for her and for others. 

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What, placement exams for foreign language? I'd be very surprised to find a college that didn't have them. They'd have quite a mess on their hands if students could just randomly pick their language level, lol.

Well in my experience they don’t have them. I haven’t polled every university in the country.

What the profs have done, again, in my experience, is meet with the student.

Edited by madteaparty
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I do not think you fully get the position your dd is in with the award that she has.  Her school will bend over backwards to make her experience worthy of her full endorsement.  You need to let people know so that they fix it, both for her and for others. 

 

 

I get that.  I have contacted the language office.  I left a message with someone over her scholarship office.  I am hopeful she calls me back tomorrow (she was out of the office today).  I really don't feel like it is appropriate for me to contact anyone higher until dd has heard more from the emails she has sent.  I mean, if she doesn't hear from them tomorrow then that is different. I will start calling.  No one seems to understand why this is happening.  I feel like giving them time to sort it out first is respectful.

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Ok, so good news.  Because of the snow last week we just got an email they have extended drop/add until Friday.  This gives us a little more time  :hurray:   If this isn't sorted out completely by Wednesday then I'm calling people and taking names.  Right now she is signed up for an extra class so she won't lose her full time status.  

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