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Hi guys! Has anyone here applied/ gotten interviews for dental schools while having a relatively low GPA that was attributed to a medical condition? Most people who get in are 3.8-4.0 range in GPA, but I wonder if there are some instances where someone had a low-ish GPA (because of said undiagnosed condition) but a great DAT score, shadowing experience, research, etc. that was able to score an interview or even get an admission in Canada? If you were able to show trends of academic improvement after receiving treatment, do you think that was a major deciding factor for them? I’ll probably ask more detailed questions later when I can. Just want to get a look at what’s out there! Thank you!
Hello, I am a South Asian woman who entered Western's MPT program in the Fall of 2012 with a 3.83 GPA from my undergraduate degree. I completed my first semester with a B+ average. In the second semester I was performing well generally, however I had a few questions for clarification for two courses taught by the same professor. I made an appointment with her and within the first part of the meeting, the professor told me I was a memorizer, that I didn’t critically think and that memorizers don’t do well in her courses or the program. She didn’t answer my questions, just criticized me for asking them. I was so upset because these comments were not true and she was so harshly judging me with no proof. I was unable to fully concentrate which was very bad because the exam was in a week’s time. Due to lowered self-confidence, I failed by 1-2% on her midterm exam. In the mandatory appointment with her to discuss reasons for the failure, she tells me I probably have a learning disability and need to get tested (testing was $1800). I told her I didn’t want that and that I always did very well academically. Learning disabilities can’t exist for one course! She reduced my degree in Psychology to mere memorization and told me the only reason I did well was that I was studying all the time (which she wouldn’t be in a position to ascertain and in any case I wasn’t due to several other commitments I had). She didn’t know the first thing about degrees in Psychology! She didn’t listen to me and throughout the next 6 months made derogatory comments such as telling me that if she was my clinical investigator, she would tell me to go back to Western and that I was an embarrassment to the program and the school. She criticized me in front of other students when I was practicing in the labs, telling me that if she was my patient she would think I'm incompetent and unprepared. She made loud comments for correction and physically moved my body into the correct position, classmates would turn and stare. My log of interactions would really shock you if you read it, she was so brazen making these comments thinking she would get away with it. Tells you something about the power structure at Western. She was upset I wouldn’t get tested and told the teaching assistants that I probably had a learning disability and that they should not try to help me. Consequently, they never answered my emails or met with me, even though they were required to as part of their obligations as teaching assistants. I had to meet with her as no one else would meet with me for help. The professor told the Chair of the Dept about her assessment of my ability and once again the Chair reinforced that I needed to be screened- without even taking a look at the lack of evidence to show that I may be learning disabled. She had no direct observation of this "disability", I was actually getting a B+ in her cardio-respiratory course. I was referred by her to SSD. The “learning disability specialist” at the Services for Students with Disabilities who isn’t even qualified to do learning disability assessments (she referred me to a Psychologist to get it done) had the nerve in a meeting lasting less than 30 minutes to suggest I had a nonverbal learning disorder without having access to my academic, developmental or medical history. She did not administer any type of questionnaire to arrive at her conclusions. In sum, that is three White female authority figures telling me I had a learning disability within a one month time frame and that I should get tested. Words can not explain how hurtful and infuriating this was. I stood up to them and did not get the testing, this really angered the professor and caused a worse lashing out at me in terms of comments and grading. I completed my first year at Western before being forced to withdraw without my second remedial exam (as allowed to all students). The 19% grading differential caused me to fail her course. Additionally, her and the two teaching assistants gave me 2.3/ 5 on lab participation even though I attended over 95% of the classes and was not late. On my peer feedback sheet, a large amount of students commented I was hardworking, persistent and determined. I was always in the labs practicing and gave it my all. When I asked for a grading rubric, they wouldn't give me one. When I complained formally on the appeal, they were forced to take this BS score out of my grading. Even though I presented my log of interactions and the 19% grading differential between her and 6 other examiners on 3 separate exams, the Chair of the Department, the Vice Provost and the SRBA concluded that the professor was justified in her comments, actions, and grading in my 3 internal appeals. They reasoned that because she had 25 years of teaching experience, that she was qualified to make judgments about student abilities and disabilities even on a first meeting. The fact that she had no specific training or degree on learning disabilities made no difference to them. Worth noting is that the professor was NEVER interviewed about the log of interactions or the cause of the grading differential at any level. I wondered how the professor could make such ignorant comments about my ability but when I did the research, I found that there exist stereotypes that South Asian students tend to memorize and not critically think. See for example: http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2009/08/does_the_south_asian_spelling_bee_reinforce_stereotypes.html http://www.ibtimes.com/spelling-bee-blues-indians-domination-only-reasserts-negative-stereotypes-1286975 http://www.thegazelle.org/issue/29/opinion/usman-6/ http://www.npr.org/2012/05/29/153898668/why-indian-americans-reign-as-spelling-bee-champs https://www.learnthat.org/news/why-indian-americans-rule-the-scripps-national-spelling-bee/ The professor in question had admitted and gone on record during a legal proceeding that she made those comments to me on the first meeting and that the log of interactions was for the most part true (although she denied I told her to stop touching me in the labs). Yet, Western spent thousands of dollars to defend her over a one year period! Actually, if Western had been reasonable and given me my second remedial exam during the internal appeal as they gave to all students before me, I might have not gone through with the legal proceeding (the case only finished in March 2015, thereby taking up 2 years since I withdrew in June 2013). I didn't find out until the internal emails were released on a legal summons that the Acting Chair had been having discussions about me from February 2013-June 2013 trying to figure out how to get documentation to support her decision of making me withdraw. She already concluded prematurely that I wouldn't be able to make it through the program and openly said so to her colleagues. So when the opportunity came for her to be consulted by the Vice Provost about whether I could have my second remedial, she was eager to decline my request. This worked against her as she got demoted (she is no longer Acting Chair, now just a professor). I find it unbelievable that Western would put a person who referred me to SSD to get learning disability testing and who had been friends and colleagues with this professor for over 20 years in charge of reading my appeal which contained the log of interactions and the grading difference. It was obvious from reading the emails and from our discussion back in February 2013 that she believed I had a disability. In front of my father in June 2013, she openly said that some people just aren't suited for graduate work, that in undergraduate studies they can get by with memorization but in graduate work critical thinking becomes essential. She said that I wouldn't be able to pass the Physiotherapy National Exams because the exam required critical thinking. This woman had the audacity to say that I failed because I refused to get testing and that the professor was acting conscientiously by continuously reminding me about getting tested. She is still teaching there currently (2015) and I have no idea if she was ever talked to about her behaviour by management. Obviously it doesn’t matter because she still has her job, faculty protects faculty! It is too bad because I would hate for any other student to have their dreams crushed like they crushed mine. The mental anguish I experienced during those 6 months in the program and then during the legal proceeding was excruciating. Would they be so quick to kick out a faculty member’s son or daughter? How would they feel if this professor demeaned their straight A achieving child in this way? I worked so hard to get into the physical therapy program and now I probably won’t be able to get in to a program in Canada, even if I do I would spend thousands of dollars and two more years of lost income. Back in 2009, the physical therapy department forced another visible minority who had an actual disability out of the program. To me it suggests a frightening pattern, one that students collectively have to take a stand against. It doesn't matter if you aren't a visible minority or a disabled student and perhaps thinking that what happened to me couldn't happen to you. If you see things like this happening and don't do anything to stop it or to raise awareness, you are part of the problem. Indifference is the biggest cause of society's ills. We must be the change we wish to see in this world and it starts with raising awareness about the stereotyping, discrimination and power abuses that go on right under our noses. It is unfortunate that my dream had to be sacrificed in this way but if it helps someone out there have the courage to take a legal and moral stand if they know of something like this happening, or encourage others to do the same, I am glad to have helped.