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DD heading for failure (finals)

(48 Posts)
DuesToTheDirt Tue 16-Jun-20 14:13:36

Degree results come out next week. She did not hand in her dissertation (long story, in which coronavirus played a part but is not the only reason) and has not completed one of the other modules. She has been lying pretending to us that everything is OK, but now the truth is out we got her to email supervisors yesterday to see if her degree is salvageable, no response. Tried to follow up by phone today (she was REALLY against this), but no one is answering.

She was heading for a 2:1 but I can't see how she will now get anything other than a fail.

Anyone else in the same boat?

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titchy Tue 16-Jun-20 14:55:30

No one will be at the end of a phone I'm afraid. However she does have options (probably fewer than she would have had if she'd faced this straight on and not buried her head - she needs to learn this). Repeating the final year is an option, resitting the failed module and accepting the mark will be capped is another (assuming she handed in the dissertation...?). Leaving with a Diploma of Higher Education might be another option (equivalent to the first two years of a degree). Handed everything in late, with agreement if she has extenuating circumstances is another possibility. I don't know which of those would be acceptable to her or her institution, but the student union should be able to help.

SirTobyBelch Tue 16-Jun-20 14:58:45

Not sure who she's trying to phone. There is nobody in academic departments at universities at present: we're all working from home. (We are absolutely banned from entering campus buildings without express authorization for a very specific reason. I presume it's the same at most or all other universities.)

She should e-mail her personal tutor or the course director, rather than her dissertation supervisor. They should be able to arrange either a phone call (private number withheld) or a video call. Given most students' lack of engagement with personal tutors, the course director might be a better bet. She/he will be able to explain what her options are likely to be, which might involve repeating some modules in 2020-21. However, it does seem quite late: final exam boards should be happening around now. If the exam board has already met she'll be told what the outcome was and what she has to do to remediate if she doesn't have enough credits for completion of her degree.

DuesToTheDirt Tue 16-Jun-20 17:04:35

Thanks for that. We're in Scotland so I don't know if that makes any difference to possible outcomes. I realise there will be no one in the offices, but was hoping phones would be forwarded. I think she emailed the course director and module supervisor, but I'm not sure as DH helped her.

Re burying her head in the sand, not discussing problems.... We've been trying to tackle this for twenty years. sad We sent her for CBT counselling last summer, but after a couple of sessions she refused to go back, and she's an adult so we can't make her

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JacobReesMogadishu Tue 16-Jun-20 17:16:42

Different unis have different policies on this. The silver lining in the cloud is that most universities are being more lenient than normal due to covid. A lot have a “no detriment” policy although I’d assume you still need to hand in work. Has she actually got the work done now and could she and it in if given extenuating circumstances?

Best outcome is she gets extenuating circumstances and is allowed to hand in late with no penalty. Was the other module hand in date after lockdown?

Xylophonics Tue 16-Jun-20 17:57:56

Most unis will have student support/ advice centres, including academic support.
Have you tried them?

DuesToTheDirt Tue 16-Jun-20 20:55:34

She is busy working on her dissertation now. Very frustrating, if she had talked to us weeks ago we could have got her back on track and it would be done by now. DH and I have 5 degrees between us, so we're no strangers to dissertations! The other module is half finished; the remaining half is a presentation, which she hasn't done as she was too stressed about the dissertation.

DH is currently emailing her personal tutor and the course director. There have been various failings on the uni's part pre-covid, which he has pointed out, e.g. her dissertation supervisor has been abroad since Christmas(!).

Will look into general support/student's union etc. It doesn't help that we are having to push her on this, and we don't have all the details. I honestly think she would rather fail her degree than talk to people and ask for help confused.

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Phphion Tue 16-Jun-20 21:18:39

If results are due out next week, she is very late trying to deal with this. It is likely that deadlines for submission of mitigating circumstances have already passed and exam boards have taken place.

She should email the most senior person in her department responsible for teaching - Senior Tutor or equivalent, and copy in other relevant people (Director of Undergraduate Studies and so on). At this late stage, I would copy in as many relevant people in her department as possible in the hope that someone will pick it up and act quickly. This is out of the hands of her dissertation supervisor and personal tutor now, it will need to be resolved at a higher level.

She needs to look at the university's regulations. Where I work, if she is too late for mitigating circumstances and the exam boards then the next stage would be an appeal. This needs to be submitted within 10 working days of results coming out.

Depending on the outcome of the appeal, she will be recommended a course of action (hopefully, unless her appeal is completely denied) which might include repeating modules or a whole year (without her dissertation she is unlikely to get waved). Ideally she should work with someone in her department to determine her grounds for appeal, the evidence she will provide, etc. as it is a very technical process.

DuesToTheDirt Tue 16-Jun-20 22:02:16

Thanks for all the details. DH just sent out an email to a few people before I read that.

I could kill her for avoiding dealing with this. But I want her to get a degree then I'll kill her.

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RedHelenB Tue 16-Jun-20 22:22:05

Did last year count towards the degree? All may not be lost, she can retake exams.

Craftycorvid Tue 16-Jun-20 22:24:24

There is a piece missing: what does your daughter want to do? How does she feel about the degree? I’m noticing you and her dad doing things for her and her reaction being withdrawal. I wonder if she avoids talking because she feels you will want to fix things for her? She will have some options here, yes, if she wants to get her degree. Was it a subject she loves or a pragmatic choice? Does she know what she wants to do next or might she be scared to face that?

ChipotleBlessing Tue 16-Jun-20 22:25:56

Are you certain she is sharing all the information with you? It seems unlikely that she would have got to this stage without receiving any communication explaining the consequences of not completing things. What has been said to her so far?

titchy Tue 16-Jun-20 22:34:18

I wonder if she avoids talking because she feels you will want to fix things for her?

This is a really good point. She needs to be sorting this not you. If that means she fails maybe that's what needs to happen. What about the next problem she inevitably has with work or a house or relationship. Careful you're not inadvertently teaching her that she isn't capable of dealing with things.

DuesToTheDirt Tue 16-Jun-20 22:47:01

Frankly, she isn't capable of dealing with certain things (she is almost certainly on the spectrum). DH and I are dealing with it because she won't. Believe me, I have no desire to get involved in this - she should be doing it.

She chose her degree and has put in 4 years of work. She was going to get a 2 1, and to fail at this point?

According to her (of course we may not have the full story) she had an email a week after the dissertation was due asking if she needed support. She didn't reply and has had no further communication about it.

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TrobadoraBeatrice Tue 16-Jun-20 22:48:16

I'm university teaching staff, and we're not allowed to enter into correspondence with parents (and going in on the attack about supervision arrangements is not entirely helpful - not that I'm justifying the absence). Your daughter will need to do this herself, applying for extenuating/mitigating circumstances if there are grounds to do so, or finding out about her options to resit in due course. I get your frustration (I feel frustrated about some of my students who have failed to submit work when I want them to get the result I know they are capable!) but this is not something that parents can deal with, it has to be the student.

SirTobyBelch Tue 16-Jun-20 22:51:38

I agree 100% with @TrobadoraBeatrice.

DuesToTheDirt Tue 16-Jun-20 23:00:05

I do realise that and we have asked them to get in touch with her.

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puta91 Tue 16-Jun-20 23:03:05

I'm sorry to hear this, it's such a stressful time. It does depend on the university she's in, I did a dissertation this year during the pandemic with two kids and it was awful, I did ask my supervising tutor what would my degree outcome be if I wasn't to do the dissertation (as I was genuinley struggling, pregnancy, children, no childcare) she mentioned I wouldn't graduate with a degree but a HND, which I did not want. It's results month coming up, normally all dissertation grades would be marked by now. BUT... if they can push for an extention (which my university said they could until August) she would graduate next year. I would of done this, but I wanted to graduate this year as my baby is due in November. Most universities are very supportive, especially during this pandemic, ask what her options are. Most tutors are working from home, send them an email. Good luck

TrobadoraBeatrice Tue 16-Jun-20 23:13:41

Her tutor(s) probably will get in touch with her, but they can't apply for mitigating circumstances (or whatever the process is, and is called, in her university) on her behalf, so she needs to be doing this for herself, not waiting to be prompted by anyone whether that's you or her tutors. It does sound like there's a lot going on here, but without any kind of disclosure of circumstances or support needs or anything of that sort, there is very little that can be done. Time is definitely of the essence though if results are so close, and it may even be that she will need to submit an additional justification for not having submitted a mitigating circumstances claim in good time if the deadline had passed. Certainly in my institution that would be the case; the appeals process is not the route that would be applicable for something like this.

MindyStClaire Tue 16-Jun-20 23:23:27

Where you and your DH can help is by digging around on the university website to see what the rules say, it should all be accessible. Make sure you read the covid sections particularly closely, our procedures are very different this year (entirely to students' advantage).

I doubt there is any point in your DH emailing, as others have said they won't be able to respond.

Odds are it's salvageable in some way, but you'll need to figure out what that is.

Phphion Tue 16-Jun-20 23:45:17

I would agree with Mindy. If your DD wants your help, then the best thing you can do is inform yourself about the regulations, processes and timeframes of her particular university. Where does she stand currently, what outcome does she want and what evidence, etc. will she need to provide to get there?

For example, where I work, if the exam boards have already met and the Board of Examiners have agreed her degree classification, her only route would be through the appeals process (where she would be able to submit evidence of mitigating circumstances and her reasons for not submitting mitigating circumstances in good time), but at TrobadoraBeatrice's it seems it would not be.

ChubbyPigeon Wed 17-Jun-20 08:54:46

This happened to 2 people I know, both of them ended up resitting the year where they just had to do the dissertation.

Why dont you sit down with your DD and help her write an email to her personal tutor from her?

I doubt the uni will let her fail, but she might not graduate till next year. If shes lucky they may let her submit it as a 'resit' but I think she might be too late to submit it this year sorry OP

latedecember1963 Wed 17-Jun-20 09:23:35

I don't have any better advice to offer than that you have already been given.
Our DS1 got into a similar situation, only his was at the end of Year 1. He had done what your DD has done in terms of blocking out issues and not asking for or admitting to needing help even though we had regularly tried to encourage him to do so. Like you, because he was over 18, noone would speak to us without his permission.
In the end, he left uni and got a job to tide him over and give him a routine which he did for a few years. There were times when we wondered if he would ever move on and be able to live independently. He was intelligent but struggled with adult responsibilities for things like paperwork.
8 years on he has a good job with potential for progression, is in the process of buying a house with his fiance who he marries next year.
I still remember that gut- wrenching feeling I would get and the mixture of worry and frustration for him when he used to get upset. Hang in there, things have a way of working out, even when it's hard to see it at the time.

Xenia Wed 17-Jun-20 11:37:06

My son did not meet dissertation deadlines which I think were somethingl ike December for the topic etc - he appealed a requirement to resit that last year in something like Feb as there was still time to write it but he went to the hearing but failed so he stopped year 3 about February from memory and then restarted it in the September so did a 3 year degree over 4 years. Like your daughter he also ignored warnings and reminders and it was only when they started coming here to our house that he and I realised it was an issue.

DuesToTheDirt Wed 17-Jun-20 14:13:12

Thank you for the supportive messages. The academic staff involved have replied to our email and are going to set up an online meeting with the three of us (DD consented to us participating). We can then find out what her options are.

Honestly, I think the older kids get the more stressful it is.

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