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College vs. High School

Personal Freedom in High School Personal Freedom in College
Your time is usually structured by others. You manage your own time.
You can count on parents and teachers for guidance and to remind you of your responsibilities You will be faced with new moral and ethical decisions. You must balance responsibilities and set priorities.
Guiding Principle: You will usually be told what your responsibilities are and corrected if your behavior is out of line. Guiding Principle: You're old enough to take responsibility for your decisions and their consequences.
High School Classes College Classes
The school year is 36 weeks long; some classes extend over both semesters and some do not. The academic year is divided into three separate 11 week quarters, plus 3 days at the end of the quarter for final exams.
Teachers carefully monitor class attendance. Some instructors factor attendance into final grades.
You are provided with textbooks at little or no cost. You must budget $200 or more for textbooks each quarter.
Studying in High School Studying in College
Study time outside of class can be as little as 2 hours per week, and this may be for last-minute test preparation. You should plan to study 2 to 3 hours outside of class for each in-class hour throughout the quarter to achieve mastery.  You will need to review class notes and assignments regularly.
Class participation is often all that is necessary to learn what is needed.  Substantial reading and writing assignments may not be directly reviewed in class.
Guiding Principle: You are usually told in class what you need to learn from assigned readings. Guiding Principle: It's up to you to read and understand the reading assigments. Lectures and other assignments presume you have already done so.
High School Teachers College Teachers
Teachers approach you if they believe you need assistance. Most instructors expect you to initiate contact if you need assistance.
Teachers provide you with information you missed when you were absent. Instructors expect you to get notes from classmates for information you missed.
Teachers often write information on the board to be copied into your notes. Good note-taking skills are a must; instructors expect you to identify the important points.
Teachers often take time to remind you of assignments and due dates. Instructors expect you to consult the course syllabus for all important class information.
Tests in High School Tests in College
Frequent tests covering small amount of material. 2 or 3 tests per quarter, may be cumulative, covering large amounts of material.
Teachers may rearrange test dates to avoid conflict with school events. Instructors in different courses usually schedule tests without regard to the demands of other courses or outside activities.
Grades in High School Grades in College
Consistently good homework or "extra credit" may raise your overall grade when test scores are low. Grades on tests and major papers usually comprise most of the course grade.
Initial low test grades may not have an adverse affect on your final grade. Generally, all tests contribute substantially to your final grade.  A low initial test is a "wake-up call".
Guiding Principle: Effort counts. Teachers reward a good-faith effort. Guiding Principle: Results count. Instructors expect quality work.

Contact Information

  • Contact your Running Start high school counselor at your student's school.
  • You may also contact Barb Hahto at SFCC:
    E-mail: barbha@spokanefalls.edu
    Phone: (509) 533-3524

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