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DS wobbling about going to university

(16 Posts)
OrchardDweller Sat 02-Sep-17 09:03:13

DS missed the course he wanted by a grade but the university offered him a foundation course (in engineering) so that he could get up to speed to start the degree course in a year. DS is dyslexic and no matter how hard he works (and he does work really hard) his results don't reflect his ability. He's now doubting himself, worried that he's going to fail the foundation course and questioning whether he wants to go to uni as it will just be another thing he'll fail at.

He's not at home at the moment, back tomorrow, so I've said we can talk when he returns. So his options are to go to uni, defer it a year or not go to uni at all and look at other options eg, apprenticeships. I really feel for him, he's such great person but I'm worried because he just feels he fails all the time.

All advice much appreciated - has anyone else been through this?

OP’s posts: |
AFingerofFudge Sat 02-Sep-17 09:46:15

I have no experience, but do have a DS heading off to a uni that he got into through clearing, so not on his radar before. My feeling is that they have to give it a go, and hopefully my Christmas they'll know if it's right or not. Trying to think of the years head as an adventure with so many different paths, if one doesn't lead to happiness, try another one.

BestIsWest Sat 02-Sep-17 18:25:53

Mine is in a similar situation Orchard. He is severely dyslexic and dyspraxic and just missed his grades last year. At the last minute the university he wanted offered him a place on a Cert HE - in short the first year of the degree plus an extra module designed to help him with study methods. If he passes he can progress to the second year of the degree course.

He had a wobble and deferred for a year and went back to take a couple of A levels. He didn't do brilliantly in them either but is going to give University a go this year.

They are still very young and there's plenty of time to try different things.

moutonfou Sat 02-Sep-17 18:33:50

Has he looked into apprenticeships? Degree-level apprenticeships are becoming increasingly more popular and they usually pay your fees and pay you a small wage so it's win win. And presumably the practical elements would help motivate him as opposed to something purely practical.

I always say you only get one lot of student loans, so don't waste them on something you're not sure about. He can always go at a later point.

roloisking Sat 02-Sep-17 18:44:20

IME, support for dyslexia is much better in HE than in schools. He would be entitled to the Disabled Students Allowance - this can be used for specialist equipment e.g. laptops and software and/or specialist support eg. tuition in study skills, note takers etc. I would advise talking the course tutors about his concerns and seeing what they have to say. Lots of students with dyslexia come into their own at university.

OrchardDweller Mon 04-Sep-17 09:43:42

Thank you for all your advice. He will be going now!

Told him that unless he tried he'd never know what it was like and he'd always wonder he'd missed. Also said that if he didn't go he'd have to go and find himself a job which isn't easy without qualifications (particularly where we live)!

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BubblesBuddy Mon 04-Sep-17 10:07:45

I think the apprenticeships with degrees would still be problematic if he didn't have the right A levels. They are sought after and are attracting students who could have gone to the very best universities. So, going to do his foundation year at university makes sense. I think constant deferral just puts off making a decision and at least by going, he will be ruling something in or out.

OrchardDweller Mon 04-Sep-17 13:08:14

You're right Bubbles, he doesn't have the qualifications for an apprenticeship degree and he needs to pass the foundation course at least to continue to the next stage. If he doesn't pass this course then this isn't the route for him. It sounds as thought I'm being tough, and of course I don't want him to fail, but I do feel this is the right path for him. Just managing to convince him that it is (I did explain the alternative reality to him!)

OP’s posts: |
BubblesBuddy Mon 04-Sep-17 16:04:21

I don't think you are being tough. It's just reality. Foundation years can be very beneficial because it is a gentler introduction. He has everything to gain by doing this. Plan B if you need it! BTec?

TooManyBigFatLies Mon 04-Sep-17 16:22:31

I'm not sure I'd see a foundation year as an easy introduction to university. I THINK A lot of them are really hard work and that they often have higher contact time than the first year of regular degrees. We vaguely looked at Maths degrees with foundation years for one of my DC (as they were convinced they would fail everything shock) and the message we were given time and time again was that foundation years are hard work but that if you complete them successfully you can start the degree with just as high likelihood of having a good outcome than students who start the degrees straight from school with the correct Alevel grades. I don't know if this is actually true but we were told it by Unis such as Manchester and Nottingham.
We were also told that foundation years have high drop out rates but that if students are determined to work hard they should be ok.

purpleleotard Mon 04-Sep-17 16:26:20

My boy is dyslexic and really thrived at Uni. Hated school, the 'Black years'. He had modest A level results.
He had lots of additional support, computer etc. at Uni.
Talked himself on to a BSc, then did an MSc, and finally a long slog to his Phd.

BestIsWest Mon 04-Sep-17 16:57:50

DD's friend struggled at A level. She repeated year 12 and still didn't get the grades she needed. She enrolled on a foundation course and has just graduated with a first.

OrchardDweller Mon 04-Sep-17 23:12:04

It's so lovely to hear success stories. School is so hard for dyslexics but I'm hoping that as this is a subject he loves he will really go for it. The university does look they are very supportive as well which is great and his DSA has been sorted out.

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Becca19962014 Tue 05-Sep-17 18:50:37

There's a support available at uni for dyslexics. He should be told this when he goes but just in case, it's usually called student support services or similar. All he'll need is his diagnosis letter and they will then put extra help in place. Support is much better at uni level!

BubblesBuddy Wed 06-Sep-17 16:40:39

The very nature of a foundation year is to fill in gaps. It is gentler than going into a first year that you are not technically qualified to do. I think foundation maths would be awful, quite frankly. Foundation Engineering would be better because it's a much broader subject. If you haven't made it in maths to get into the maths degree, are you really that hot at maths? Yes, foundation is hard work because you are not up to speed, obviously. If students put the effort in, they can be successful. Choosing the right course is key. Determination is also very valuable.

Stopyourhavering Wed 06-Sep-17 18:59:45

Dd 1 is dyslexic and really struggled at school and A levels, although did get 3cs and 1 d...enough to get her into a decent Uni to do MA in Philosophy....fast forward 4 yrs and she's just finished her MSc , spending a year abroad teaching in China , before returning to do PHD in Linguistics
School did her no favours and she really flourished at uni

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