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The American High School How It Shapes Our College Freshmen.

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Presentation on theme: "The American High School How It Shapes Our College Freshmen."— Presentation transcript:

1 The American High School How It Shapes Our College Freshmen

2 A Few Facts: •No national curriculum; each state can set own standards •Each teacher has freedom to decide what to teach •Each teacher decides how to test, how many tests to give, how to grade tests

3 Students:Who Goes Where? •The public schools are free to all students who live in the geographical region For example: E.O.Smith serves 3 towns: Mansfield, Ashford and Willington •Buses pick up students at their homes or close to their homes to transport them to school •The schools must accept all students regardless of learning disabilities or physical handicaps

4 What Do They Do There? •Classes run from 7:25 a.m. to 2:10 p.m. •Your classes are chosen for you by meeting with a guidance counselor who checks to see that you will have the right classes to graduate •The school year is approximately 36 weeks: some classes go all year, some change at midterm

5 Typical Classes •Science: Biology, Chemistry, Physics*, Earth Science* •Mathematics: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-Calculus* •Social Sciences: World Civ, American History, Geography •English: Tech prep, college prep, literature •Art: Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Jewelry •Music •Physical Education= Gym; required first 3 years •Foreign Language: Spanish, French, Latin, German

6 And…after school! •Sports: Football, basketball, soccer, tennis, golf, track, volleyball, cheerleading •Clubs: Chess, Math, Latin, Ski, Drama, French, etc. •Music: Band, orchestra, jazz ensemble •Driver’s Ed--students can get license at 16: must have driver’s ed course: state regulation

7 So, the typical H.S. student is… •Well-rounded or has a superficial knowledge of many things? •NOT prepared to be an independent learner •NOT sure what s/he wants to study or has parents telling him/her what to study •NOT sure what do with all the free hours in a day at college/or working all the free hours!

8 High School to College How does this translate into what happens in college?

9 Who comes to UConn? •35% entering freshmen in top 10% of high school class •79% in top 25% •80% Connecticut residents •Average SAT score: 1177 (national average is 1026)

10 A Little History… •1940: 16% of population attended college •1961: 48% High school grads went to college •1981: 53.9% •2001: 61.7% •Between and tuition at public colleges rose 21%; private 26%

11 Which means… •Students are increasingly less elite •Average student is less affluent •2004: increases in tuition during preceding decade outpaced inflation and growth of median family income •DEBT: college students incurring debt and working while in school

12 Who leaves UConn? •Graduation rate within 6 years: 71% •To repay debts students choose practical majors; “well-paying” fields •Decline in majors like philosophy, history, English •Increase in business, computer science, health professions •Market driven, market focused universities

13 Your job then is… •Figure out how to deal with a class of students who have totally different backgrounds and levels of preparation •Encourage/motivate them to do the work and keep up •Teach them how to study in your field •Remember they will not learn like you did!

14 Things to Think About… •Major differences between U.S. High school system and your country’s? •How will these differences show up in the college classroom? •Is there anything you’ll need to change about your teaching style?

15 Prepared by: Catherine Ross Institute for Teaching & Learning University of Connecticut Bibliography Nathan, R. (2005) “My Freshman Year:What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student”, Cornell University Press.


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