There are many differences between your expectations and supports in high school to those that you will receive in college. Look at the comparison chart below of high school versus college expectations.
Classes in High School
· You spend six continuous hours each day – thirty hours a week – in class.
· The school year is thirty-six weeks long; some classes extend over both semesters.
· Teachers carefully monitor class attendance.
· Classes generally have no more that thirty-five students.
· You are provided with textbooks at little or no expense.
· You are not responsible for knowing what it takes to graduate. Your guidance counselors and case managers track this.
Classes in College
· You often have hours between classes; class times vary throughout the day and evening.
· You spend twelve to sixteen hours each week in class.
· The academic year is divided into two fifteen-week semesters, plus a week for finals.
· You arrange your own schedule in consultation with your academic advisor.
· Professors may not take attendance, but they are still likely to know who attended.
· Some classes may number a hundred students or more.
· Textbooks can sometimes cost more than $200 each semester.
· Graduation requirements are complex and differ for different majors. You are expected to know those that apply to you.
Teachers in High School
· Check your completed homework and remind you of incomplete work.
· Approach you if they believe you need help.
· Often available for conversation before, during, or after class.
· Provide information you missed when you were absent.
· Present material to help you understand the textbook.
· Write information on the board to be copied in your notes.
· Remind you of assignments and due dates.
Professors in College
· May not always check homework, but will assume you understand.
· May not remind you of incomplete work.
· Open and helpful, but expect you to initiate contact if you need assistance.
· Available during scheduled office hours.
· May not follow the textbook but will still test on reading assignments.
· Expect you to identify important points of lectures in your notes and obtain notes you’ve missed.
· 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.
Studying in High School
· You may study outside the class zero to two 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 to know.
· You are expected to read short assignments that are then discussed and often re-taught in class.
Studying in College
· Need to study at least three to four hours outside of class for each hour in class.
· Need to review class notes and text material regularly.
· Assigned substantial amounts of reading and writing which may not be directly addressed in class.
Tests in High School
· Testing is frequent and covers small amounts of material.
· Makeup tests are often available.
· Teachers frequently rearrange test dates to avoid conflict with school events.
· Teachers frequently conduct review sessions, pointing out the most important concepts.
· Mastery is usually seen as the ability to reproduce what you were taught in the form in which it was presented to you.
Tests in College
· Testing is usually infrequent and may be cumulative, covering large amounts of material. A particular course may have only two or three tests in a semester.
· Makeup tests are seldom an option; if they are, you need to request them with a very substantial and valid reason. The professor will decide to allow this or not.
· Professors usually schedule tests without regard to the demands of other courses or outside activities.
· Professors rarely offer review sessions, and when they do, they expect you to be an active participant, one who comes prepared with questions.
· Mastery is often seen as the ability to apply what you’ve learned to new situations or to solve new kinds of problems.
Grades in High School
· Grades are given for most assigned work.
· Consistently good homework grades may help raise your overall grade when test grades are low.
· Extra-credit projects are often available to help raise your grade.
· Initial low test grades may not have an adverse effect on your final grade.
· You may graduate as long as you have passed all required courses with a grade of D or higher.
Grades in College
· Grades may not be provided for all assigned work.
· Grades on tests and major papers make up most of the course grade.
· Extra-credit projects cannot, generally speaking, be used to raise a grade.
· Watch your first tests. They may account for a substantial part of your course grade.
· You may graduate only if your average meets the departmental standard — typically a 2.0 or C — but higher for other departments.