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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Kate* Offline
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Dismissal Upheld - February 7th 2015, 06:14 AM

I had my dismissal hearing this morning:

Bad News: The dismissal decision was upheld and my childhood dream is over, but I was given a chance to explain my side of things. I suspect that they had their minds made up beforehand since they didn't look at any of my documentation and they told me immediately, but I was expecting something more like a court hearing and was expecting to feel attacked, but it was very professionally done.

Good News: If I can prove that my anxiety is under control I am welcome to apply to any other (non-counseling) program at the same university and there might be some that take SOME of the credits I have so it's less of a waste, but it still feels like a waste.

I did NOT violate the ethics code as I suspected, it was quoted in the letter to clarify the faculty's ethical obligation to remove me because they didn't think I would be successful. This makes it easier to take because it wasn't anything that I did or didn't do that caused it, it just wasn't a good fit. When I asked why it took them so long (2 and a half years) to decide that I was told that "They didn't know" until I actually had clients.

It turns out that the reason it took so long to process the dismissal and appeal was because they were agonizing over it and they felt horrible that they had to do it because they liked me, and cared about me so much, it just wasn't a good fit for my personality.

Given the "feedback" I was given over the years and the accusations against me of "unprofessional" and "disrespectful" behavior, I was worried about my reputation among the faculty, but my reputation is actually fantastic and they are more than willing to write me recommendations for any non-counseling program no problem.

I was also told that they took longer than most to process the appeal because of how agonizing it was for them and my hearing was longer than most because the faculty wanted to make sure that the committee assured me that I had other options available to me because they cared so much. I guess I didn't realize how lucky I really was. I'm not mad about it any more after hearing all of that. I'm grateful. They did what they felt they had to do, but they weren't chomping at the bit to get rid of me like I had suspected.

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"Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you." Jean Paul Sarte
  (#2 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Dismissal Upheld - February 7th 2015, 06:48 AM

Hey Katie

What happened sucks, but I think this can offer you closure. What happened wasn't your fault, although I wish they would have guided you earlier to another career. But it's not too late. When a door closes, a window opens. Have you considered other graduate school options?

I said to the sun, "Tell me about the big bang"
& the sun said “it hurts to become."
Andrea Gibson, "I Sing The Body Electric; Especially When My Power Is Out"
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Re: Dismissal Upheld - February 7th 2015, 01:46 PM

Hey Katie,

Sorry that you had to go through it and that it took such a long time for them to go through the process, but at least now you know that it wasn't your own issue! I hope that you find another path that suits you even more, and maybe this was for the best!

Feel free to PM me if you ever need anything!

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  (#4 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Dismissal Upheld - February 7th 2015, 06:15 PM

Hey Katie,
I'm sorry this took so long to get sorted for you. At least it wasn't as bad as you thought it would be. Keep strong and I'm sure things will work out for you.

Best of luck,

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  (#5 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Dismissal Upheld - February 7th 2015, 10:07 PM

Originally Posted by Coffee. View Post
I wish they would have guided you earlier to another career. Have you considered other graduate school options?
You and me both, that's part of the reason I pressed why it took them 2 and a half years. I'm not sure that I fully believe that "They didn't know." until I had clients, since they knew I was struggling (but we all may have attributed it to other things) and even the one time the program coordinator said that it might not be the best fit, he never gave me any ideas of what might be better for me. He said that if I was ever dismissed, that's when he would sit down with me and talk about that. Then it happened while he was on sabbatical and his substitute never had that conversation with me. Instead, I found out by realizing that my registration for the next semester had been dropped, THAT was my notification, I then contacted her in a panic was told essentially that the letter was in the mail and it didn't show up for over a week so I had to have it re sent which made me mad and I was afraid to contact any of them because I thought my reputation was shot and they had blown me off, had turned their backs, and would just ignore any of my attempts to contact them.

Now I know the reason was that they were still discussing it or they sent the recommendation to the dean and she was wrestling with it so the program coordinator thought it had been sent when it hadn't been and the letter was delayed. When I was told I would know in "a week or two" and they ended up taking longer than that, I assumed I had been lied to and then when they ignored my attempts at contact, that they had turned their backs because they didn't have to care anymore. The reality was that it took longer because my case was particularly difficult, the dean said it was one of the longest processes because they did like me and cared so much and they were agonizing over it and felt horrible so my reputation is the opposite of trashed.

I do eventually plan on contacting the regular program coordinator to thank him and possibly suggest or make him aware of a few things to avoid my situation happening to someone else. I don't want to come across as telling him how to do his job, but I want to help avoid suffering for both faculty and student if a similar situation were to happen again.

Part of the reason I want to contact him/them relatively soon is to keep them open as options for future recommendations. I've heard the stories where professionals weren't contacted by students for too long and then were denied the recommendations when they asked because it had been so long the person didn't remember them well enough. Since I have the open invitation to return there in a year, right now I'm considering degrees that will accept SOMETHING that I already have or that will be somewhat similar so that the knowledge I have can be applied before I start looking at other options. I have a year to decide, I'm not quite ready to look into those yet.

I was toying with the idea of law school, but would have to disclose and explain the dismissal on the application and was assuming at the time that it was due to an ethics violation and between that and the assumption that my reputation was shot and therefore the faculty would be unwilling to recommend me for anything I figured it was out of the question. Now that I know it just wasn't a good fit and i didn't do anything wrong, I am more open to disclosing and explaining it and I know that recommendations for anything will not be an obstacle.

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Re: Dismissal Upheld - February 8th 2015, 12:33 AM

Hey, Katie! I've been noting your progress (and 'failure') at your concentration in the past few months, and your frustrations with the facility and people in charge. I am glad they have finally spoken to you and explained why you were dismissed. Wasn't that back in April? Though, you said two and a half years. Wow! What a waste of 30 months, but you know now that you can start with some of the credentials you do have and hopefully find something better suited for you.

Like Traci said, they should have guided you to a different career earlier on instead of wasting those 30 months and driving you mad.

Whatever you decide to pursue next, you can do it.

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Re: Dismissal Upheld - February 8th 2015, 03:51 AM

I've been following all of this for some time and I was hoping things were getting better but I guess now it's official. I'm sorry this happened. I honestly think the unprofessional was on their part. Forget unprofessional, they're outright disrespecful. If they really cared about you they'd tell you the truth instead of putting you through all that to not hurt your feelings or whatever their excuse was. If this is a counseling program, I thought they'd know that even the truth hurts sometimes it is important to tell the truth when it comes down to it if it is important to do so. Like this...I feel like it is hypocritical because I wouldn't want someone who trains future counselors to think it is okay to do this to someone.
At any rate, you have learned from all this. It isn't a waste in the sense that you have new wisdoms through your story that you can share what you lived through.
I hope that this marks a new beginning in your education and that greater things happen from here.
that saying my grandma says..."when one door closes another one opens"
Good luck
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Re: Dismissal Upheld - February 8th 2015, 05:03 AM

The fact that you are echoing what students in the program believe tells me that I wasn't imagining things. They seriously had me simultaneously convinced that everything that was happening to me was something I was doing wrong and not taking responsibility for then blaming me and failing me when they couldn't (or I suspect wouldn't) tell me how to correct whatever the problem was and that nothing was wrong and I was being paranoid and needed to stop being so hard on myself. They had me convinced that I was losing my mind because I didn't know what to believe

Turns out the problem is with them as ironic as that may seem and that I just wasn't a good fit, but it wasn't because I did anything wrong. It would've been really nice if somebody had managed to tell me that before letting me get so deeply invested.

When I brought up the "feedback" I was given which included "Are you even capable of carrying on a normal conversation?" Assuming falsely that I was unable to answer one question because I had not done 16 hours worth of work that was required of me then questioning my motivation level (I hold the record for repeating a class the most times and voluntarily did a remediation plan because I'm NOT motivated, yeah, that makes sense) After being "fired" by the agency I was questioned about my (lack of) employment history and when I said that I had looked for a job for a year, but with a bachelors degree in psychology and no previous experience, I was unable to find one, followed by "Well, how hard did you really try?" Another professor flat out told me "If you manage to graduate, no one's going to hire you like this."

When I mentioned that to the committee, one of them said something along the lines of These are difficult conversations to have and maybe that was their way of trying to tell you it wasn't a good fit. My problem with that being THESE ARE MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS they're trained to have difficult conversations like that every day, yet will say that to a student's face. They asked if I asked my supervisor to clarify "Are you even capable of carrying on a normal conversation?" to which I said, "I was so taken aback by that, I wasn't sure how to respond" and mentioned that I considered that inappropriate and wasn't sure there was an appropriate response.

I find it incredibly hard to believe that it took them until I had clients to realize it wasn't a good fit after being there for over 2 years. I don't buy that "They didn't know" Also, if I had progressed at the normal pace, I was there long enough to graduate, I don't understand how this large a group of mental health professionals couldn't find a tactful way to have that conversation in all the time I was there. I would've been okay with that, it would've been a lot better than what I ended up getting instead.

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Re: Dismissal Upheld - February 8th 2015, 12:44 PM

I'm really glad things turned out better than they've been and that they finally explained. And I do agree that they could have handled it better. But as far as not knowing until you had clients, it's very possible that they really didn't know until then. It's also possible they wanted to give you a chance with clients. There are reasons why they may not have known until then, so I wouldn't be TOO hard on them in that respect. That being said, the entirety of the situation could have been handled infinitely better and while I'm sad you had to go through this, I hope it can serve as a learning experience for them for future students.

"We all have battle scars, Finn. Suck it up and build a brace for yours."
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