Saturday, August 16, 2008

Florida's Education System

Before I go on to recount the insanity that i have been dealing with, it's good to know that i'm doing well. Vince and the Dog and I are getting along swimmingly. Apparently there's a tropical storm-a-commin' but i'm not worried about it. in fact i'll be the news room dog-sitter since we live like 5 min from the station and they will all have to be there 24/7 till it passes. .... woot fun!

but we'll see if that happens or not.

now for my insanity....

So now that I’m in a school officially and am registered for classes I can tell you about it.
I’m going to FGCU in Fort Myers, officially as a post bachelor-degree, non-degree seeking student (Post-Bac-non-degree student). This is so I can take the three pre-requisite classes that I need because I’m not already a teacher in FL, so I need to take Developmental Reading, Classroom Management, and Foundations of Curriculum Instruction before I can take any classes regarding counseling. (I’m still not sure if that will be helpful or not in the long run but that’s their requirements… whatever)

Now, that’s great because I can take those classes without being accepted into the program so I can work on my requirements before being in the program, with no problems counting those classes for the degree. BUT I’m now ineligible for financial aid because I’m not degree seeking. Tee hee hee! And I’m not accepted into the program because I still have to take the essay portion of the General Knowledge Exam. I have to take this because I didn’t not score a 1000 on my GRE. I got a 950. … but see the ironic thing here is that the “score” does not include the writing portion of the GRE in the point-score. I got a 5.5 out of 6 on the writing portion of the GRE but am now being held from being a degree seeking student because I have not taken the writing portion of the GKE because I got a 950 on the other portions of the GRE! (so the only thing that I knocked out of the park is the only section that is holding me back from getting financial aid.)

Besides that, I took the GKE while I still had intentions to go to USF in Tampa. So naturally I think that the FL DOE would work like any other organization with a standardized test where you have to request that they send additional scores to the school so that they are “official” …. Yeah not so. I called and asked how to request having me scores sent to an additional school, and they told me that they have to send them to me personally and won’t send them to any school not listed on the original list given when taking the exam. AND that you can’t order over the phone, AND that you can’t even order online. You have to go to the website (that the DOE operator has to tell you wrong once, and then say it correctly while being incredibly annoyed that you would ask twice) and you have to print the request to mail it to them (in Mass!?!?!?!) so that you can request your Florida test scores to be sent to you in Florida so that you can send them to the school in Florida that you want to go to so that they will accept you into their program because you didn’t get a 1000 on the non-writing sections of the GRE. So you can do this all over again when you do take the writing portion.


a) What kind of official testing center/organization refuses to send official scores to universities?
b) How can the operator not know that they are the ONLY organization that does it that way, and get frustrated at the caller for trying to do it how every other educational organization does it!
c) Why the F is my life so complicated!

So this is what I did this morning.
`Talked to the director of Financial Aid and discussed the possible options.
`Left a message for the Director of the College of Education to see about being accepted into the program with a pending status so that I can get federal financial aid.
`Called the admissions office to triple check what my application needed.
`Called CSU to find out how to order transcripts without having my ramweb ID
`Called CU Denver to find out how to get a transcript for my math credits that I took in 2002
`Called the FL DOE to try and order scores. Fought with their website…. Insane.
`Called Admissions office again to find out if I can bring in my copy of the scores or if they need a sealed copy from this illusive FL DOE
`Called the DOE certification specialist to see if this mess with my GRE GKE can be resolved… but even though their hours were stated in the teleprompting, no one was there… Insane, again.

All the while I’m on the phone thinking of how much I was over last month in phone minuets because of BS like this with USF… at least this time it’s with the FL DOE rather than just a school! WOOT Florida!

Ps. To the educators in my life… don’t move here!