Comparison And Contrast Essay On High School And College

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High School to College Comparison

Going to High School Classes
Succeeding in College Classes
The school year is 36 weeks long and some
classes extend over both semesters.
The academic year is divided into two separate
15-week semesters, plus a week after each
semester for exams.
Classes generally have no more than 35 students.
Classes at large universities may number 100
students or more.
You may study outside class as little as 0-2 hours
a week, and this may be mostly last-minute test
The recommendation is to study at least 2-3 hours
outside of class for each hour in class.
You seldom need to read anything more than
once, and sometimes listening in class is enough.
You need to review class notes and text material
You are expected to read short assignments that
are then discussed, and often re-taught, in class.
You are assigned substantial amounts of reading
and writing which may not be directly addressed in
Bottom Line:  Students are usually  told in class
what they need to learn from assigned readings.
Bottom Line:  It's up to you to read and understand
the assigned material.
High School Teachers
College Professors
Teachers check your completed homework.
Professors may not always check completed
homework, but they will assume you can perform
the same tasks on tests.
Teachers remind you if they believe you need
Professors usually won't remind you of incomplete
Teachers approach you if they believe you need
Professors are usually open and helpful, but most
expect you to initiate contact if you need
Teachers are often available for conversation
before, during, or after class.
Professors expect and want you to attend their
scheduled office hours.
Teachers have been trained in teaching methods
to assist in imparting knowledge to students.
Professors have been trained as experts in their
particular areas of research.
Teachers provide you with information you
missed when you were absent.
Professors expect you to get from classmates any
notes from classes you missed.
Teachers present material to help you
understand the material in the textbook.
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
Teachers often write information on the board to
be copied in your notes.
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 are a
Teachers impart knowledge and facts,
sometimes drawing direct connections and
leading you through the thinking process.
Professors expect you to think about and
synthesize seemingly unrelated topics.  They treat
you as an adult learner.
Teachers often take time to remind you of
assignments and due dates.
Professors expect you to read, save, and consult
the course syllabus; the syllabus spells out exactly
what is expected of you, when it is due, and how
you will be graded.
Teachers carefully monitor class attendance.
Professors usually won't take roll but expect you to
be in class.
Bottom Line:  High school is a teaching
environment in which you acquire facts and skills.
Bottom Line:  College is a learning environment in
which you take responsibility for thinking through
and applying what you have learned.
Following the Rules in High School
Choosing Responsibly in College
High school is mandatory and usually free.
College is voluntary and expensive.
Your time is structured by others.
You manage your own time.
You need permission to participate in
extracurricular activities.
It's your choice now.
Parents and teachers tend to remind you of your
assignments and to guide you in setting priorities.
It's now time to keep track of your own life.  You will
face moral and ethical decisions you have never
faced before.
You are not responsible for knowing what it takes
to graduate.
Graduation requirements are complex, and differ
from year to year.  You are expected to know what
applies to you.
Most of your classes are arranged for you.
You arrange your own schedule in consultation
with your adviser.  Schedules tend to look lighter
than they really are.
Each day you proceed from one class directly to
another, spending 6 hours each day--30 hours a
week--in class.
You often have hours between classes; class
times vary throughout the day and evening.  You
spend only 12-16 hours each week in class.
Bottom Line:  Parents and teachers usually tell
you what to do and correct you if your behavior is
out of line.
Bottom Line:  You take responsibility for what you
do and don't do, as well as for the consequences
of your decisions.
Tests in High School
Tests in College
Testing is frequent and covers small amounts of
Testing is infrequent and may cover large
amounts of material.  You, not the professor, need
to organize the material to prepare for the test.  A
particular course may have only 2 or 3 tests in a
Makeup tests are often available.
Makeup tests are seldom an option. If they are,
you need to request them.
Teachers frequently rearrange test dates to avoid
conflict with school events.
Professors usually schedule tests without regard
to the demands of other courses or outside
Teachers frequently conduct review sessions,
pointing out the most important concepts.
Professors rarely offer review sessions except for
final exams.
Bottom Line:  Mastery is usually seen as the
ability to reproduce what you were taught in the
form in which it was presented to you, or to solve
the kinds of problems you were shown how to
Bottom Line:  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 in College
Grades are given for most assigned work.
Grades may not be provided for all assigned work.
Consistently good homework grades may raise
your overall grade when test grades are low.
Grades on tests and major papers usually provide
most of the course grade.
Extra credit projects are often available to help
you raise your grade.
Extra credit projects cannot, generally speaking, be
used to raise a grade in a college course.
Initial test grades, especially when they are low,
may not have an adverse effect on your final
Watch out for your first tests.  These are usually
"wake-up calls" to let you know what is
expected--but they also may account for a
substantial part of your course grade.  You may be
shocked when you get your grades.
You may graduate as long as you have passed
all required courses with a grade of D or higher.
You may graduate only if your average in classes
meets the departmental standard--typically a 2.0 or
Bottom Line:  Effort counts.  Courses are usually
structured to reward a "good-faith effort."
Bottom Line:  Results count.  Though "good-faith
effort" is important in regard to the professor's
willingness to help you achieve good results, it will
not substitute for results in the grading process.

Degrees of Achievement

The number of college degrees
expected to be awarded during
the 2009-10 school year:

Associates            741,000
Bachelors          1,634,000
Masters                  659,000      
Professional           94,400
Doctorate                 60,800

Source:  National Center for
Educational Statistics

Ministry to Students
Michael J. Bozack, Ph.D.
Department of Physics
Auburn University
Auburn, AL 36849

Dropping Your College

Homesickness, roommate
conflicts, academic
pressures, difficulty forming
new friendships -- any of
these can cause college
freshmen to leap to the
conclusion that they've made
a bad college decision and
should transfer.  Resist this
temptation; it is common for
many new college students,
particularly on large

See USA Today, Nov 12, 09,
p. 7D for a useful discussion
of the problems and

USA Losing Ground

In South Korea, 93% of all
students graduate from high
school on time, compared to
the USA, where one-quarter
of all students -- more than
1.2 million individuals each
year -- fail to graduate.

Once the world leader in
secondary-school education,
the US now ranks an
embarrassing 18th among
36 nations.

Source:  Organization for
Economic Co-operation and

Getting Away With Poor

Nearly one in five college
seniors and 25% of
freshman say they frequently
come to class without
completing readings or
assignments, a national
survey shows.  

Students report spending
about 3.5 hours a week
preparing for each class.  
That's about half what
instructors expect from a
typical student.

Source:  National Survey of
Student Engagement, 2009.

The Value of Community

Community colleges educate
roughly HALF of all students.

Over the next decade, at least
57% of all job openings will
require postsecondary
education but not necessarily
a four-year degree.  Some of
the highest-demand workers
get their job training at
community colleges, including
half of new nurses.  

While many private, four-year
colleges are seeing dips in
applicaitons, junior college
enrollments last fall rose by

Source:  USA Today, Dec 29,
08, p. 10A.

Some people may mistake college as a simple step above high school, but an examination of the two levels of study reveals that there are indeed numerous differences between the two.

One of the differences is in the nature of classes in college and in high school. In high school classes, assignments and learning materials that are to be used to complete the assignments are provided for the students. High schools also normally have guidance counselors to help students determine what advanced core and elective courses they may be interested in taking, especially as it pertains to preparing for a college or a vocation. In college, the situation is very different because it is the students who are charged with the responsibility to decide the kinds of classes that they should take until they graduate. If a student has challenges in selecting a unit, the student may make an appointment with a course advisor. However, colleges do have counseling and guidance offices to help students look at what they might be interested in as a career and to help them plan accordingly. Even so, college students are rarely given the materials that they need for their study and therefore, unlike high school, must purchase the necessary texts and other learning material.

Another difference is that, compared to college professors, high school teachers tend to be more accommodating towards their students. For instance, high school teachers tend to be more interested in knowing the name of each and every student in their class while college professors rarely relate names to the faces of their students. Also, high school teachers are more likely to closely monitor the grades of their students, ensure that all the students access the required notes, find out why a student may have missed a class, and even remind the students of assignments and future examinations. High school teachers are also more likely to accept a late submission of assignments or even call a student’s parents to inquire about a student who may have missed class. On the other hand, college professors rarely pay attention to the attendance habits of their students and do not make any effort to ensure that all their students pass or score good grades in their subjects. If a student misses a class, a college professor is unlikely to follow up and give the student the notes he missed. Instead, it will be up to the student to figure out from whom to get the notes that he missed when he did not attend class.

Finally, it is not uncommon to meet a college professor even after graduating from college and not be recognized by that professor, unlike the case of high school teachers who remember some students long after graduation. In high school, it is very easy to get one-on-one time with a teacher because all that one has to do is to schedule a time before or after school. In college, one has to book an appointment in order to have a one-on-one time with a professor, and it is not always a guarantee that after booking the appointment, the professor will keep the appointment.

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Nov 17, 2014

Filed under: Sample Papers — Tags: comparison essay, high school and college essay — Joan Young @ 11:34 am


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