Academic Expectations: Making the Transition from High School to College.

With the school year drawing to an end, recent high school graduates are scrambling to ready themselves for their collegiate journey. Between registering for classes and decorating dorm rooms, it can be easy for students to overlook preparing for the academic transition from high school to college.

What factors constitute an “Academic Transition”? A smooth academic transition requires a specific mindset that allows a student to excel in the college environment. Along with this new mindset, students need to develop a set of skills and habits to keep their study habits in check without adult supervision.


The Mindset:

The high school environment promotes a structured and planned study aesthetic. Students receive step-by-step assignments and study guides. In college, professors provide a syllabus and office hours as the full extent of guidance. Students are expected to perform and study at their own pace according to their individual habits. How can we prepare students to excel in their new alma mater? The answer is simple: instill in them values like responsibility, accountability and initiative so that they are capable of achieving without micromanagement. As parents, mentors, and learning coaches, we need to train these young adults that success is challenging and requires more than an average amount of effort. While this is by no means an easy mindset to achieve, it is a goal that ANY student can attain.


Tips for Parents:

Training your children to think in an academically constructive way will take time and patience. Still, there are some beginner steps that any parent can utilize. A good way to start this process is by helping your child keep an assignment planner. This handy book keeps track of their assignments while teaching students the importance of organization. Another useful trick is reading ahead. Teach your child to read the relevant chapters of their textbook before class. This way, students can go into their lectures with some prior understanding of the material while also staying on top of their assignments.

Last but not least, parents need to drill their students on the importance of attendance. College professors rarely take attendance, but every single lecture matters. An excellent way to encourage consistent attendance is by keeping a fluid class schedule. Try to have your children sign up for classes that start around the same time every day of the week. That will give them a structured routine! A full list of helpful college “hacks” and tricks can be found here.


This post written by: Roxana Manii, History and Writing Tutor, NovaStar Prep



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