Wednesday, November 21, 2012

High schools don't prepare students for college. From the Rochester Democrat.

by Amanda Rodriguez

Has high school really helped prepare you for college?

I typed that question into Google one day because I needed to know if I was the only one feeling this way. An online forum gave me the information I was looking for:

“Not at all.”

“It didn't prepare me at all. It was mostly a waste of time and damaging to my self-esteem.”

“I learned how to write essays in high school. That’s about the only use it’s had so far.”

I decided that wasn’t enough for me. Having random people from the Internet prove my point wasn’t satisfying. I decided to ask people I actually knew. I was talking to one of my friends one day about the subject and asked her opinion:

“Academically? No, not at all.”

Full Article.


  1. And apparently a journalism major at RIT doesn't prepare people to write "guest essays" on the internet.

    "High school doesn't prepare people for college because it doesn't. I asked the internet, and the internet said no. I asked people I know, and they said no. But at least I made friends. Oh wait, that's off topic. What I meant to say was that my high school teachers let me slack. It's not their fault, but it is sort of their fault because they shouldn't do that. College is different from high school, because OMG no extra credit. In conclusion, high school does not prepare people for college."

    1. Yeah, that whole "no extra credit!" thing is a complete myth. Our HS teachers drilled it into our heads that we should enjoy extra credit while we could get it, because NO WAY would we get any in college, never, ever, not a chance. So I get to my SLAC, bracing myself for stiffer rules and tougher grading, and in nearly every class the prof ended up giving some kind of extra credit, most without even being asked or hounded to do it.

      It probably says a lot about me as a student that I felt more cheated than relieved.

  2. At least the author seems to get the idea that college should be different from high school. That distinguishes him from students who "learned how to write essays in high school," and refuse to consider the possibility that they might need to learn how to write in other genres and subgenres, or even (gasp!) learn processes that might serve them well in approaching a writing task for which they haven't (and won't) receive explicit instruction(s). I've met a few of those.

    What I'm not sure that the author (or any of the interviewees) realize(s) is that the fact that college work requires developing and exercising new skills (both academic and life) doesn't necessarily mean that they were underprepared by high school (though in many cases they probably were). College is supposed to involve new challenges. That's why it's called higher education.

    1. "College is supposed to involve new challenges. That's why it's called higher education."

      Well said, CC. I'm not sure that anyone outside of professors make that distinction!

  3. I have so many students who won't try something new because "I didn't learn how to do that in high school." They seem to think they should have mastered it in high school and that college is a test of what they learned in high school.

    1. What about the students who cite their high school teachers as higher authorities on subject matter?


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