U.S. News reports that only 37 percent of high school students are prepared for college level work. With almost one out of every three incoming students not being prepared for college, many institutions have remedial classes to help students be able to test at the college level.
When I graduated high school, I thought that the college workload would be just like many semesters of my high school career. I took a lot of advanced and AP classes during high school, which entailed a lot of work inside and outside of the classroom. I was very used to doing two hours of homework a night, on top of balancing nine extra-curricular activities I was involved in and varsity sports.
During my first week of Wilson, I was surprised that some of the material I was learning in my classes was somewhat of a review. However, I found that many of my studying skills did not work as well when I got into college.
I found myself having some difficulty learning some of the material. Many of my tests and quizzes in college were more intensive than they were in high school. I learned that I was not just able to read my notes and take a test. For many of my classes I had to reread various chapters, make note cards and take practice quizzes.
Graduating with a 3.94 GPA in high school, I thought I was fairly smart. But, being smart does not mean you are prepared. Last year, I spent two hours in the library every morning and at least two to three hours in the library at night. Many of my weekends and free time were devoted to studying. College showed me that studying whenever you can is the best option.
In most cases, I was able to adjust to do what was expected of me in college for homework and other classwork. However, there continues to be many students that are not prepared due to the fact that many high schools are focused on common core curriculum and standardized tests, rather than providing students with the knowledge and study skills they need for post-secondary education.
Teachers have to understand that not all students attend high schools that prepare kids for post high school education.
“If we’ve been giving kids worksheets with simplistic answers for years and then get upset when they can’t write a five-paragraph essay or recognize subject-verb agreement, that’s not the kids. That’s us,” said Sonja Brookins Santelises, CEO, Baltimore City Public Schools in an article written by the Hechinger Report.
Being prepared for college is a learning opportunity for many students. Not one student has the same amount of preparedness as the other. The biggest challenge is to be able to figure out which areas of college the student needs to put focus on whether academically or socially. The earlier this can start, the easier it will be for the student. With colleges like Wilson, who implement remedial programs, it helps students learn what is expected the next four years.
Being prepared for college is both an eye opening to students as well as teachers. With looking more closely to what aspects of college students lack in when they come to college, institutions can learn from them and apply new ideas to help students in the future.