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male and female high school graduates in cap and gown

The Difference Between High School and College: Academic Expectations & Self Advocacy

Making the leap from high school to college can be overwhelming for students. The transition can be easier if they know what to expect in college. This table outlines what is expected of students in high school and college in regard to academics and self-advocacy.

High School College
Most of the learning happens in the class. Homework supports the class experience. Most of the learning happens outside the class. Class work supports the outside learning experience.
Parents serve as advocates for students and work with teachers directly. Students must advocate for themselves.
Faculty and families establish study hall times and locations. Students must plan their own study times.
Homework is given on a daily basis.   Students are given a syllabus with homework and assignments listed for the semester.
Teachers seek out students who need additional support and help. Students must find professors during office hours to get extra help and support.
Readings are discussed and reviewed in class. Professors assume students complete the reading and will ask any questions they have.
Teachers work to engage students in class discussion. Professors give opportunities for discussion but do not always prompt students who are reluctant to participate.
Teachers will often review information prior to a test. Professors expect students to review on their own and will teach until the day before a test.