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Should CHS Do More to Prepare Students for College?

Katrina Bucher, Staff Writer

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The ongoing debate still stands- does high school actually prepare students for college? Is CHS teaching students the skills that are required in for post-high school success? If not, what should they be teaching?

Last year’s senior class president Gwen Jensen, attending Temple University, feels that high school classes aren’t really similar to college classes at all, which definitely shocked her for her first couple weeks.

“The college classes I take are almost all lecture-based, where you read something and the teacher debriefs it in class. Not many of my classes in my high school career were formatted like this, and it took me some time to adjust,” stated Jensen.

She also noticed the work schedule was different in college than high school. It’s very easy to let yourself get behind in college because you decide your own pace.

“I spent five hours doing homework today, and it’s not like I was getting ahead, I was catching up. It was kind of a shock to get so much reading for all your classes, each class not caring if you have other classes” explained Jensen.

Another 2017 graduate, Alex Dymicki, attending Towson University, agreed with Jensen on the drastically different work schedule in college.

“The classes are fixed, meaning on the first day of class you get a syllabus that tells you the exact plan for each period of the semester, and the schedule doesn’t really shift much,” Dymicki said.

Dymicki goes on to explain that the schedule change was something he wasn’t prepared for, and it was very different from how high school operated.

“Whatever you don’t get done in class you’re responsible for completing it on your own time. In high school the teachers would adjust the deadlines to how the class went, but that rarely happens in college.”

Current senior Walid Khan feels prepared academically. He agrees with Dymicki and Jensen on the fact that the learning environment will be very different, and high school really hasn’t been preparing for that change.

“For most of my classes when assignments will be due is a surprise, and you don’t know what to expect for each period. In college I’ve heard it’s a lot more independent, and I don’t really feel that high school has prepared me for that style of learning” stated Khan.

English teacher Rachel Wilkinson, who teaches classes at UMBC along with CHS also agrees that independency plays a huge part in the college learning environment.

“The more responsibility a student takes for their own learning, the better they’ll do in college” stated Ms. Wilkinson.

The controversy of the new grading system also plays a part in the transition from high school to college, including no homework grades and redos on summative assignments Students were told is supposedly similar to how college works. But is this actually true?

CHS language teacher Frank Masel also teaches college classes at CCBC and Goucher, and explained how the grading system can be sometimes be unrealistic.

“In an ideal world, it would be a good situation, right? You didn’t understand that, you can redo it. However, it doesn’t teach us about deadlines or structures, or studying for depth because more things are ahead… I don’t think it’s real life,” stated Mr. Masel.

The learning environments in college and high school are very different. Students going to college in the near future should focus now on creating good work habits and learning independently. College is just around the corner, and the changes from high school will be bigger than ever, and students should make sure they’re ready for the challenge.

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The Student News Site of Catonsville High School.
Should CHS Do More to Prepare Students for College?