Here’s something you probably already know…high school students aren’t exactly happy with their education. At least that’s what Jezebel is telling us. Apparently high school students feel like their education is not preparing them enough for college.
And frankly, I don’t blame them. Not just because I think there should be more emphasis on math and science or something like that, but because I genuinely feel that high school doesn’t do enough to prepare students for college inside and outside of the classroom. Networking? Time management? These things matter too, a lot more than AP scores or SATs.
1. Survival Skills. I’m not trying to take us back to the days of home economics, believe me. But I think there is something to be said for high schools offering their students the means to learn some basic survival skills. A few quick and easy snacks for late night studying. Some meals that can be made in the dorm room. A few basic rules for laundry room virgins. These are things college students need to know, but I’d be really surprised if any high school offered courses in them.
2. Networking Skills. Colleges put a lot of emphasis on these skills because they’re a great asset when trying to find a job, but they’re also a great asset when applying to college. Think college interviews. Meetings with advisors. Getting to know faculty parties. All those events that colleges throw with alumni and business partners who they’ve already hired from? All the people these students meet? Wouldn’t a few tips offered up in high school go a long way?
3. Computer Skills. College is about presentations and research papers, Excel spread sheets and charts and graphs. And while some colleges require students take basic computer classes, they wouldn’t need to if high school classes taught more than basic typing. I understand that resources are limited and not all schools have access to enough computers for students to learn these skills but those that do should take full advantage of them.
4. Writing Skills. Whether you’re a science major or an English major you will be spending a large chunk of your time in college writing. But more college students than we realize enter freshman year without even understanding how to cite sources properly. Research skills, writing skills, the ability to analyze an argument. These are the types of skills high school seniors should be learning in English classes. Not how to best beat that AP Lit. test.
5. Time Management. Every high school senior should be heading off to college to take this one because let’s face it, just about every high school senior needs it. In high school we didn’t really need time management skills. We went to school, did our thing, went home, did the homework we couldn’t avoid and repeated the process. Now things are just a little bit different. There’s all this free time and it seems like we should be able to get things done but five hours on Facebook go by fast. Teaching students how to organize their life, schedule their classes, and make time for school and a social life would probably be the greatest skill high school teachers could give soon to be college freshman.
Your turn. What do you wish your students had taught you about preparing for college?