Does High School Actually Prepare Students for College?


As students venture through high school, they are being introduced to adulthood and their permanent careers. The step between high school and careers for many is none other than college. Starting early, students are thrown into the college search and the pressure only intensifies the closer graduation gets. Students are focused on finding the right college and major, but are often overlooking how likely they are to do well in the coursework. Are high school classes adequately preparing us for college level courses?

I’m not so certain our common curriculum holds us to the standard of that of a college student. This is fine, as we are not college students, but with some of the shocking grades that come back on an MCC assignment leave me feeling like we’ve been more than left out on certain topics. I had no clue I had been making footnotes wrong and not using a proper outline format until I got that first disappointing grade on a college paper. Some of the reasons behind points that are docked make no sense to me, and will end up hindering my progress in the future. It is a rough wake-up call to these new college students to find that their prior knowledge is not enough for the coursework. A smoother blend between the two education levels would help the transition to be less stressful on top of the other components college throws at you.

Independence is another factor that I don’t believe is emphasized well enough in high school. Students are expected to show up on time, complete their work on time, and even dress in a certain manner. In college, nobody is hovering over your shoulder to make sure you attend classes and do your work. You are an adult and you are expected to hold yourself to your responsibilities. This can be a huge shock to students who were used to being told what to do, and they will have to reevaluate their whole schedule and train themselves to handle their own responsibilities. This would have to happen eventually anyway, but introducing personal responsibility in high school will make for a smoother transition.

Overall, high school curriculums could do a better job of preparing students for the vastly different environment of college. Small changes in coursework could lead to higher grades in college once students transitioned over, and implementing small instances of independence within high school can help students be better prepared for adult life.