Transitioning from high school to college is a BIG deal because high school and college can be very different for many students Here we will help ease some of those anxieties of change and hopefully answer some questions you’re wondering about the transition process!
Understanding the differences
Course levels in college can be divided up into different levels such as:
- Elementary (introductory classes)
GER: In order to successfully graduate from college and earn a degree, you have to complete a certain courses to fulfill certain requirements. Colleges typically require students to complete minimum courses, also known as general education requirements (GER). Colleges will list what is considered general education requirement courses at their institution.
Major requirements: In order to complete a major, to get a degree in the major, you will need to complete the major’s requirements. You might spend time completing the elementary or introductory courses in order to take the major courses. These are typically the last classes you take to fulfill your major/degree requirements.
School/College: Many four year colleges split and categorize their majors into different disciplines which can be be housed in different “schools” or “colleges” at your institution. For example, the major Chemistry can be housed in the College of Letters and Sciences at your institution. How each different majors, minors, certificates are grouped into the schools and colleges will be dependent on your institution.
Requirements and Prerequisites: Similar to high school, in order to take advanced classes or the next class in sequence, you will need to fulfill the requirements to taking that course. For example, you’ll need to take algebra before you can take geometry, therefor algebra is the prerequisite or required class in order for you to take the geometry course.
You can get some culture shock when you transition to college. There are differences in:
There can be a shift/change when it comes to the learning culture between high school and college. For example, while in high school you may have been learning information to pass your classes since you need to fulfill a certain amount of credits and get good grades for college. But in college, you might shift your mindset from just learning to pass a class to attaining knowledge and information to apply for future use in your career and occupation.
There might be a shift in social culture as well in how you interact with your peers and colleagues. College students might interact with each other for various reasons such as to build a network for future career opportunities or due to similar career interests. Also students might build social relations with professors and employers to learn from them and seek guidance.
In college, you might meet a variety of students that come from different socioeconomic statuses since students can come from all different parts of the world whereas in high school students might have been from similar socioeconomic backgrounds due to being the same city and district.
Class going culture:
College class culture will vary from high school as well for example, participation level, attendance, and asking questions. Depending if your college is a large campus, you might attend lectures that are attended by well over 200 students whose attendance is not taken and not every student is expected to participate in discussing what is being taught.
In college, there might be many student organizations, intramural sports, local organizations, and professional sports that you will be involved in. Students will engage in these different extracurricular activities for different reasons such as creating networks, improving their skills in an area, being up to date with information surrounding the organization’s mission, or practicing to play the sport professionally post college.