Does High School prepare you for college?

Photo Courtesy of Muskegon Community College

Muskegon

Photo Courtesy of Muskegon Community College

Riley Wyskiel, Staff Writer

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While every senior knows that he or she must focus on this year’s classes to graduate, many are also highly focused on where they will be 12 months from today. Many seniors around this time are rushing to complete college applications, obtain letters of recommendation, and improve SAT scores before applying to their dream University.

Unfortunately, many students who feel they are prepared for college will find their first few months of college to be a wake up call. I took the time to ask some Milford alumni about their experiences with college and if they feel that high school has prepared them for college.

“High School in reality didn’t prepare [me] for much of college,” informed Cortney Maser, a junior at Michigan State University.

“High School doesn’t teach you how to be independent enough to take on college if you ask me.” This is the response heard from other students as they realize college is a completely different experience from high school.

In 2014, 70 percent of Americans went to study at a four-year university. But 2/3 of those students did not graduate in four years, according to collegeatlas.com.

If all these students dropout of college due to feeling unprepared, what about the students who feel prepared due to their advanced classes? Does taking an AP class actually help prepare High School Students for College?

Emilie Kennedy a freshman at Purdue University said, “I think AP courses helped to prepare me for college because they are fast paced. In college you are expected to read the textbook yourself and you learn; for example, all of calculus in one semester. whereas in high school you have the entire year to complete the same course.”

“Saginaw Valley prepared me for Michigan State University,” recalls Cortney Maser. “You get babied in High School.”

Am I ready?

In the end, we can see that there are many different viewpoints on this question. The transition from high school to college is a difficult, and often times stressful transition,

However, a community college does help ease the gap between a university and college. So how are you able to prepare for a university or vollege?

Many programs are offered by Milford to help a student be more prepared (such as the Career Center).

College Atlas
This diagram (Diagram A in the story) shows whether or not students took advantage of programs meant to help prepare them for college. (Courtesy of College Atlas)

 

A survey by YouthTruth informs us that 50 percent of senior students feel their school has helped them develop the skills and knowledge that they will need for their college level classes. To feel further prepared, many students start their college journey at a community college, a postsecondary education program that can help ease the transition from a high school to a four-year university. At a community college, a student will receive the faster paced college treatment and will be able to see what college is like, but it comes at a much lower cost. Community college, unfortunately, is a victim of a bad stigma. Many students believe that if they attend a community college before a university it’s a reason for other kids to not believe they are ready for college.

 

In the same YouthTruth survey, about one third of students did not take advantage of these programs (Diagram A). over half of these students that did take advantage of the services offered have found them to be helpful. Colleges and universities are both individually driven institutions. There unfortunately is no way to “measure” if you’re prepared or not. The best way to prepare yourself is to attend a college or university you enjoy and find a program that works for your needs and budget.

 

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Does High School prepare you for college?