Appeal to my academic disqualification

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I'm writing to challenge the academic expulsion I was recently given from the University of Southern California. I concur and accept complete responsibility for my poor academic performance and the predicament I found myself in. I have, however, regained my academic focus over the past two semesters at community college and have earned a tremendous amount of maturity in my life experiences. I believe that after the review of my appeal letter and university file, the USC Academic Review and Retention Board will allow me the privilege and honor of being a University of Southern California student again, in the Spring of

2018 and soon to be a graduate of the university.

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and attended an all-girls Catholic school (Louisville High School) where I swam and played water polo four years. After high school, I attended Los Angeles Valley College where I continued my academic and athletic success making my family proud. I applied to USC after my first year in community college and was delightfully accepted which was one of the highlights of my life and for my family.

I began my journey at USC with an incredible amount of excitement and passion. During my 2nd semester, my father, a twenty-nine-year veteran detective of the police department, was ending his career under much distress. He was assigned to work as an undercover narcotics detective on loan to the DEA for a multi-agency task force in Southern California. After three years on the Joint Task Force, he became ill due to an exposure that affected his lungs and overall health. While my father was sick and unable to work, I went back home to assist my mother with taking care of my younger brother, dad, and grandmother. Besides, I was also responsible for numerous household obligations and helped my dad with his various medical appointments. These challenges were a huge distraction in my life, and impended my focus in all aspects, especially academically. During this time, I should have taken a leave of absence from the University of Southern California, but felt I could achieve my dreams. I was wrong and ended up compromising my objectives and academic goals.

The result of my unforeseen family emergencies and my poor choices led to my academic disqualification from the University of Southern California which was heartbreaking to my family and me. Additionally, during this period, my father was forced to retire for medical reasons from his honorable career as a detective, and we were forced to sell our home in Van Nuys. My parents were ashamed when we had to move into a small apartment, and this was a very challenging time for our family.

I’m proud to state that my dad’s overall health is much better and he was given an opportunity to start a new career. My brother is now attending Loyola Marymount University, and the rest of the family is continuing to recover from this adversity. During my absence, I am now aware of myself academically and personally. I recognized that budgeting my time each day to my studies and building a rapport with my professors enables me to be more confident in the classroom. While having a rigorous course schedule, I have continued to live at home but still pursue my educational and career goals by holding an internship position with Live Nation as a music industry event organizer. My internship had challenged me in organizing and implementing various special events for the advertising department which all have had a successful outcome.

I am also proud to state that during my absence from USC, I accomplished a total of 21 college units that were focused primarily on my major requirements. Each class that I took has kept me on track and eager to finish my degree with my intended major of Psychology. These courses have allowed me to stay on track with my USC curriculum and degree in mind. I obtained a cumulative GPA of 3.2 for my Spring semester while working full time. The adversity I’ve experienced has made me humble, grateful and even more driven to succeed in all aspects of my life and education.

These lessons learned have allowed me to maintain my academic relationship with my USC academic advisors, Ms. Vivian Hsu-Tran and Ms. Alma Gonzalez. They have graciously guided me through the process of readmission. I am confident and on track to return to the school of my dreams.

Please understand that I’m a good person, from a humble working class determined family. I am committed, eager to learn, and will pursue my commitment to be a graduate of USC. Please help and allow me Spring 2018 admittance. I hope you find that I have learned to “Fight On,” balance my studies, deal with personal issues and mature during my time away from my Trojan family.


Kayla A. McClafferty

June 26, 2023

Education Life


Higher Education

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