With the sometimes overwhelming pressure for college-bound students to pursue Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and even dual-enrollment courses to better prepare for college, it can leave us parents and educators scratching our heads wondering, is it really preparing students for college? Or is simply adding more pressure and stress to our young people?
Students May be More Unprepared for College than We Think
As this recent article from The Chronicle of Higher Education explains, many students are woefully unprepared for the rigors of college coursework, regardless of their efforts during high school. The transition from high school to college, for many, is complicated and overwhelming. Most students are facing their first real unsupervised educational environment – without the oversight of their parents, and the hand-holding from their teachers, it can be easy for students who performed well in high school to start seeing slipping grades, or struggle to keep up with the course load.
Can High School Students Really Know What Career They Want to Pursue?
A student preparing for college must also try to determine what type of career to pursue, as many colleges require students to declare a major, or apply to a specific area of study within the university when they submit the college application. But when you consider that this December 2017 report from Data Point shows that nearly 30% of students change their college major within 3 years of admission, it suggests that part of student preparedness for college should be exposure to different career paths and considerations.
What Can Parents Do Now?
How well a student adjusts to college, and performs on college-level coursework, relies largely on the individual student. Preparing students for college should follow a broad approach, including selecting appropriate, challenging coursework, visiting college campuses to get a feel for campus life, job-shadowing in various career paths the student is considering pursuing in college, and even a review of the college course catalog for incoming freshmen at the colleges your student is considering attending.
Need Help with Preparing Your Student for College?
If your student needs help increasing scores on the SAT or ACT college entrance exam, or help from an experienced AP or IB tutor, call Club Z! at 800-434-2582 to find an office nearest you. Club Z! also offers a wide variety of college admissions support and counseling services, including but not limited to help with selecting colleges, college majors, completing the college application, and much more!