If your student is starting college for the first time, they are probably so excited to be a college student that they haven’t given much thought to what it really means.
Preparing ahead of time for some of the major differences between high school and college can assist with the transition.
|Time/Schedule||Structured and sequential. Typically a daily routine that is stable and predictable.||Unstructured. Students are personally responsible for waking up, going to class, managing priorities, and going to bed at a reasonable hour.|
|Teacher-Student Relationship||Significant contact as most classes meet five days per week. One-on-one relationships and casual meetings before and after class. Frequent homework reminders.||Most classes meet one to two times per week. Students are expected to meet with faculty during office hours. Work is often self-directed.|
|Freedom||Student freedom is usually dictated by scheduled activities and parental guidelines.||Students make their own choices about how to use their time. There are no curfews at Purchase.|
|Parent/Family Involvement||Parents and guardians have access to and monitor grades, assignments, and attendance. Parents contact teachers or counselors directly with concerns. Communication is open and information is freely shared.||Parents may access academic and financial information only if the student grants them access, according to federal law. Professors and advisors are not permitted to share information with family members about student progress or concerns without the student’s authorization.|
|Advising||Guidance counselors plot out the four-year curriculum with the student. Parents may also be involved.||Students make appointments with advisors every semester and should be prepared prior to each meeting. It is up to the student to correctly map out their course of study and major but advisors are available to help.|
|Academics||Students may be able to earn good grades with minimal effort. The class work is evenly distributed throughout the semester. Students are given detailed instructions and support for major papers and projects.||Students may find that college is more rigorous and expectations are higher. Minimal effort may produce poor grades. Course work tends to be “back-loaded” meaning that there may be more work in the second half of the semester. Students must ask for assistance and clarification if they don’t understand major assignments.|
|Advocacy||Parents, teachers, and counselors advocate for the individual students. Parents frequently intercede in problematic situations and are able to bring about resolution.||
Students must learn to advocate for themselves by asking for help when they need it and taking advantage of college support services and resources. Parents
are not able to make appointments on behalf of a student.