Monday, May 2, 2016

HELP! I'm failing everything!


Hopefully, none of you needs this information; however, in case you or one of your friends does, here's what you need to know...

FIRST, contact me ASAP if you want to discuss this!

NEXT...
  • In the case that “everything is going badly,” e.g, you are failing 3 or more of your classes miserably; and there is no chance to improve with what remains of the semester, YOU CAN WITHDRAW FROM ALL CLASSES, so long as you do so BEFORE 4:30 p.m. on May 10 (the last day of classes).
  • This kind of situation might arise if you’ve had lingering health problems; if there’s been a medical or personal crisis in your family; or if there are other situations happening in your life that are so distracting that schoolwork has become impossible to do; and you have fallen hopelessly behind. 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) regarding Withdrawals:
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WILL WITHDRAWING FROM ALL MY CLASSES LOOK BAD?
  •  Not if you do it for reasons like the one(s) given above.  In fact, it might be the WISER thing to do if a semester full of D’s and F’s is the alternative, and they are in courses related to your major (that you will need to repeat, anyway).
  • Academic advisors and graduate schools may ask you “what happened?” the semester you withdrew, but they will review the entire transcript, not just one semester, when assessing your readiness for the next level of coursework.
  • You do NOT need permission from anyone to withdraw the first time you do this; you might need permission to return to Maryland, however, if this is your second withdrawal.

HOW DO I WITHDRAW FROM ALL MY CLASSES? 
  • Go to the Service Desk in the Mitchell Building and withdraw IN PERSON.  Be sure they understand that you are asking to withdraw from ALL your classes, not just one (the deadline for that passed in April). 
  • The Service Desk staff will ask if you intend to return in the Fall Semester.  If so, they will allow you to stay registered for your Fall classes; however, you may want to contact me to discuss schedule adjustments, given your new situation.
  • Finally, YOU DO NOT NEED PERMISSION from anyone at the University to withdraw; however, you might need permission to return to Maryland if this is your second withdrawal. 

HOW WILL MY TRANSCRIPT LOOK?
  • Your official transcript will have a notation that looks like this:  ********* WITHDRAWN (date) **********  There will be no indication of whether you were passing or failing at the time of your withdrawal.

WHAT ABOUT “INCOMPLETES”? WHAT ARE THEY? 
  • “Incompletes” are temporary grades that professors can give, PROVIDED you have satisfactorily completed the vast majority of your class work; and that what remains is a clearly defined portion of work.  It is NOT a grade that professors can give to "protect" you from a failing grade.  Generally, this kind of option is available to students who have documented family/medical situations that occur at the very end of the semester.  Professors are not “required” to give Incompletes, however.
  • MISSING A FINAL EXAM DOES NOT constitute eligibility for an Incomplete, unless you can clearly document what happened, e.g., your car broke down and you have a receipt from the towing company. 

For a detailed version of University policies regarding Withdrawals and Re-Enrollment, go to:  http://www.testudo.umd.edu/soc/absence.html

FINALLY, please contact me (Dr. W., at wwhitte@umd.edu) ASAP if you think any of this might apply to you!  
  • We can discuss your options and try to assess the best action to take BEFORE the 5/10/16 deadline makes your situation even more complicated than it already is.
  • Please send 2-3 different days/times that would be good for you to meet; I’ll get back with you ASAP to confirm one of them.