In High School: Your teacher would guide you and let you know when you were falling behind.
In College: You are expected to take responsibility for your academic success.
In High School: Your teacher would take attendance and report you when you were absent; the teacher would help you make up the material you missed.
In College: Your instructor rarely takes attendance but expects you to be in class and understand the material.
In High School: Your teacher would write assignments on the board and remind you to complete them.
In College: It is up to you to read, save, and follow the course syllabus and to know what material you must read and understand and by when. Since the syllabus makes this clear, instructors will rarely remind you of assignment due dates.
In High School: Each class would typically meet three to five times each week with minimal homework each night.
In College: Each class meets less frequently but requires much more work from each student. You should generally count on doing two to three hours of studying for each hour of class. What seems like an eight-hour work day may quickly become fourteen hours or more of academic work. Take responsibility for budgeting your time and not falling behind. In college it is much harder to catch up if you do get behind.
In High School: High school teachers are passionate about guiding their students and teaching them to learn.
In College: College instructors are often more passionate about their subject matter than they are about their teaching. But you can tap into their passion for what they are talking about and guide your own learning by asking questions, seeking advice during office hours, and participating in class discussions.
In High School: Daily homework assignments and unit quizzes contributed heavily to your grade. Oftentimes a teacher would offer extra credit opportunities to give students a chance to make up for lapses along the way.
In College: Your grade in a course may be determined primarily by one or two exams and a long-term project or paper. A sub-par performance on a single exam or paper can really drag your grades down. Identify the assignments on the syllabus and get to work on them early and consistently. Don’t put off assignments or studying for tests until the last minute! In college, extra credit is not an option to fall back on!
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In High School: You were told what you should study and when. You followed a predetermined curriculum set by state and local officials. Even your parents and guidance counselors had a major say in your “elective” choices.
In College: You determine what you want to learn. It is your education—not someone else’s. Find your passion and follow it! You will be a much better student if you do.