Experience the Move with First Year Programs

In high school…

In college…

High school is mandatory and usually free.

College is voluntary and expensive.

Your time is structured by others.

You manage your own time.

You can count on parents and teachers to remind you of your responsibilities and to guide you in setting priorities.

You must balance your responsibilities and set priorities.

You may study outside class as little as 2 hours a week, and this may be mostly last-minute test preparation.

You need to study at least 2 to 3 hours outside of class for each hour in class.

You seldom need to read anything more than once, and sometimes listening in class is enough.

You need to review class notes and text material regularly.

Teachers provide you with information you missed when you were absent.

Professors expect you to get from classmates any notes from classes you missed.

Teachers present material to help you understand the material in the textbook.

Professors may not follow the textbook. Instead, they may give illustrations, provide background information, or discuss research about the topic you are studying. Or they may expect you to relate the classes to the textbook readings.

Teachers often take time to remind you of assignments and due dates.

Professors expect you to read, save, and consult the course syllabus.

Teachers impart knowledge and facts, sometimes drawing direct connections and leading you through the thinking process.

Professors expect you to think about and synthesize seemingly unrelated topics.

Testing is frequent and covers small amounts of material.

Testing is usually infrequent, generally 2-3 tests per semester, covering large amounts of material. You, not the professor, need to organize the material to prepare for the test.

Initial test grades, especially when they are low, may not have an adverse effect on your final grade.

First tests  are usually "wake-up calls" to let you know what is expected--but they also may account for a substantial part of your course grade.

You may graduate as long as you have passed all required courses with a grade of D or higher.

You may graduate only if your average in classes meets the departmental standard--typically a 2.0 or C.

Compiled from the Southern Methodist University website: http://smu.edu/alec/transition.asp