Would the New Grade Replace the C?

Dylan is going to get two more C’s on his report card this semester.

He doesn’t care. In fact, he seems to think it is dandy.

One of the classes in which he will get a C is called Foundations of Technology. It is the easiest of three options that fulfill the technology requirement for high school graduation. The other choices are Introduction to Engineering and Computer Science Principles.

We’ve only just realized – now that Dylan has dropped out of the IBCP program – that he didn’t even need to take Foundations of Technology. He took Computer Science Principles last year, which would have sufficed as a technology credit – but I thought it would be an IBCP credit, so he had to sign up for Foundations of Technology.

Dylan claims the class is “too easy” and “so dumb” and he thinks it’s beneath him to do well in a class that’s so “ridiculous.” As a result, instead of putting in a little effort and getting solid A’s, Dylan is lucky that he’s not failing the class.

One nifty option, though, is that Dylan can take the class online – which means that, if he gets a C, he could retake the class fairly easily. If he got an A online, it would bring up his GPA.

Since Dylan doesn’t care about his C, I approached his case manager and counselor with the question about retaking the class online.

“If he takes it in the summer, even just the second half, would the new grade replace the C he’s getting now?”

After much ado, the counselor responded with this:

“He has already passed Foundation of tech A with a grade of B.  It also seems like he will finish Foundations of tech with a grade of C.   Therefore, after this year he will complete his tech credit.  Also know that the colleges are mainly interested in the academic grades while the elective grades get smaller attention.  Some elite college will even recalculate a student’s GPA using only the academic classes.  I believe he should finish this semester out and be done with it.”

I have read a number of college admissions books. I have studied online. I have watched videos by admissions counselors with “tips” for parents and students facing the college years. I grew up on college campuses. I know more about colleges than I do about the public schools in which I teach. So there isn’t much a person can tell me that I have not already heard.

But this was news. Colleges don’t care that Dylan is getting a C in an absurdly easy class?

This seems highly unlikely.

And that’s how I learned that I should not pay attention to the advice of our school guidance counselor. He’s a nice guy, and he probably doesn’t expect much from Dylan, given Dylan’s attitude about school. And I really like everything that the counselor has done for us thus far, with regard to making sure that Dylan has classes that are suitable and scheduled properly around his issues.

But I am not going to follow Dylan’s counselor’s “sage” advice about college any longer – regardless of whether Dylan retakes this class online.


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