Transitioning From High School to College
How is High School Different From College? Below you will information on how college is different from high school in regards to classes, freedom, instructors, and studying. These great resources are provided by Groves Academy in St. Louis Park.
How is High School Different From College--Classes
- Each day you proceed from one class to another.
- You spend roughly 7-8 hours each day in class.
- The school year is 36 weeks long; some classes extend over both semesters and some do not.
- Most of your classes are arranged for you.
- Teachers carefully monitor class attendance.
- Classes generally have no more than 35 students.
- You are provided with textbooks at little or no expense.
- Your counselor guides your course selection and monitors credits.
- You often have hours between classes; class times vary throughout the day and evening.
- You spend 12-16 hours each week in class.
- At most colleges the academic year is divided into two separate 15-week semesters, plus a week after each semester for exams.
- You arrange your own schedule in consultation with your academic advisor. Schedules tend to look lighter than they really are.
- Professors may not formally take attendance, but they are still likely to know whether or not you attended.
- Classes may contain 100 students or more, or they may be very small depending on the college.
- You need to keep a budget for textbooks, which will usually cost more than $200 each semester.
- Graduation requirements are complex, and have differing requirements for different majors and sometimes different years. You are expected to know which requirements apply to you.
How is High School Different From College--Freedom
- High school is mandatory and free (unless you choose other options such as private school).
- Your time is usually structured by others.
- You need permission to participate in extracurricular activities.
- You need money for special purchases or events.
- You can count on parents, teachers, and counselors to remind you of your responsibilities and to guide you in setting priorities.
- Guiding Principle: You will usually be told what your responsibilities are and are corrected if your behavior is out of line.
- College is voluntary and expensive.
- You manage your own time.
- You must decide whether to participate in extracurricular activities (Hint: Choose wisely in the first semester and then add later).
- You need money to meet basic necessities.
- You will be faced with a large number of moral and ethical decisions you have not had to face previously. You must balance your responsibilities and set priorities.
- Guiding Principle: You’re old enough to take responsibility for what you do and don’t do, as well as for the consequences of your decisions.
How High School Teachers Differ From College Instructors
- Teachers remind you of your incomplete work.
- Teachers approach you if they believe you need assistance.
- Teachers are often available for conversation before, during, or after class.
- Teachers have been trained in teaching methods to assist in imparting knowledge to students.
- Teachers provide you with information you missed when you were absent.
- Teachers present materials to help you understand material in the textbook.
- Teachers often write information on the board to be copied in your notes.
- Teachers impart knowledge and facts, sometimes drawing direct connections and leading you through the thinking process.
- Teachers often take time to remind you of assignments and due dates
- Professors may not remind you of incomplete work
- Professors are usually open and helpful, but most expect you to initiate contact if you need assistance
- Professors expect and want you to attend their scheduled office hours
- Professors have been trained as experts in their particular areas of research
- Professors expect you to get from classmates any notes from classes you missed
- Professors may not follow the textbook. Instead, to amplify the text, they may give illustrations, provide background information, or discuss research about the topic you are studying. Or, they may expect you to relate the classes to the textbook readings
- Professors may lecture nonstop, expecting you to identify the important points in your notes. When professors write on the board, it may be to amplify the lecture, not to summarize it. Good notes or a tape recorder are a must
- Professors expect you to think about and synthesize seemingly unrelated topics
- Professors expect you to read, save, and consult the course syllabus (outline); the syllabus spells out exactly what is expected of you, when it is due, and how you will be graded
How is High School Different From College--Studying
- You may study outside of class as little as 0 to 2 hours a week, and this may be mostly last minute test preparation
- You often need to read or hear presentations only once to learn all you need about them
- You are expected to read short assignments that are then discussed, and often re-taught, in class
- Guiding principle: You will usually be told in class what you needed to learn from assigned readings
- You need to study at least 2 to 3 hours outside of class for each hour in class
- You need to review class notes and test materials regularly
- You are assigned substantial amounts of reading and writing which may not be directly addressed in class
- Guiding principle: It’s up to you to read and understand the assigned material; lectures and assignments proceed from the assumption that you’ve already done so
A transition guide for high school students heading to college: Click this link!
Here, you will find examples of various syllabi that have actually been utilized in different college classes that span a multitude of different majors and concentrations from colleges all around the country. Take a look at each syllabus and compare and contrast it to what you have seen throughout your high school years. What are some similarities and differences that you noticed?