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For personal reasons, almost 30 years ago I left school to enter the workforce. I decided late 2008 to go back to school and finish my degree. After the expected loss of credits for a transfer, from Temple University to University of Phoenix, I'm now about 75% done. The experience has been interesting.

Classes are time compressed, only 5 weeks each. Because I have a family and a full time job, I'm taking one at a time. Even so, I've written more papers in these classes than I ever wrote at Temple. My own papers are one thing, but the team papers give me heartburn since I can't completely control what goes into them. Not a big deal except that they make up 30% of our grade.

In any case, most of the class facilitators have been great. I had great ones for Accounting, Finance, and frankly most others. I've had a few (4, maybe) cases where I was less than 2 points from an A, and asked the facilitator if I could get any of my work reviewed to see if I could get those extra points. I figured it was worth a shot, and there were no extenuating circumstances to help make my case. I think that only one facilitator decided after a review of one paper that my interpretation was good, just not what he expected, and gave me another point, which gave me an A.

So while none are pushovers, they've all been open to discussion, which is as much as I should expect. Overall, good experience.

That is, until my last class. On the second week, the day I was due to hand in my personal assignment for the week, I was in an accident. An SUV creamed my little Ford Focus, and totaled it (estimated repair over $11K). I was pretty banged up, especially my left shoulder. I was scheduled for rotator cuff surgery for two weeks later, and getting hit against the door really made it worse. After dealing with the police, the EMT, the tow truck, and the Percocet and Flexeril for the pain, I crashed for the night and didn't get to upload my paper until the next day.

The instructor took 30% off for it being late, even after I supplied photos of the car, my arm (huge bruises), and offered to supply the police report number. I figured I'd be okay since that's 2.7 points, and I could lose up to 5 before jeopardizing an A grade. Well, that wasn't the case as we lost more points than I expected on our team paper in Week 5. I ended up with a 94.3. Yes, 7/10 of a point from an A. Of course I asked the instructor to review the issue with the accident and give me just the 0.7 points I needed for the A.

That got me a short response of "I have received your emails and review your work over the last five weeks. Your current grade will stand. If you would like to dispute your grade then please feel free to contact your academic advisor. I wish you much success in your professional and academic career." Brrrr….!

So I asked my academic advisor to file a dispute. If it wasn't that a pretty bad car accident was the cause, I wouldn't have. Without the grade reduction, I would have had a 97 for the class, so I'll argue that I was performing at the A level throughout the class. Why her purported "review" of my work didn't then warrant such a minor adjustment, I don't know. An A- drops my GPA, and this ticked me off. Now I have to wait and see what the school says about the grade dispute.

Posted on Thursday, May 13, 2010 2:15 PM School | Back to top


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