Independent reading and study will help your child to prepare academically for college. This is a good way to develop interests, expand knowledge, and improve the vocabulary and reading comprehension skills needed for college and the SAT or ACT. Encourage your child to read all kinds of books for fun -- fiction and non-fiction. The school library and the local public library are good sources of books, magazines, and newspapers.
Knowing what will be required for college is important; by taking the right courses and examinations from the beginning of high school, your child may avoid admission problems later on. In addition, students who do not prepare well enough academically in high school, if admitted to college, may be required to take remedial courses. Most colleges do not offer credit for these courses, and students may have to pay for these extra courses and spend extra time in college to earn their degrees. Studies have also shown that students who take more rigorous courses in high school are more likely to complete college. Chart 3 lists some questions that you or your child may want to ask your child's guidance counselor.
In our paper-based College Preparatory Program, students complete 18 units of credit—15 required and 3 electives—and upon completion of all graduation requirements receive the regionally accredited American School diploma. The 15 required units of credit in their recommended order of study include:
When , keep a list of required credits and classes. Pick gen-ed courses that interest you. For example, humanities requirements have many class options. A Shakespeare course, creative writing course, or electives on pop culture fulfil the same requirement. For non-humanities majors, look for fun options like an elective on pop culture. If the course topic is fun, you will be more engaged and keep up your GPA.
In our online College Preparatory Program, students complete 18 units of credit—13 required and 5 electives—and upon completion of all graduation requirements receive the regionally accredited American School diploma. The 13 required units of credit include:
Chart 2 lists the high school courses that many higher education associations and guidance counselors recommend for a college-bound student. These courses are especially recommended for students who want to attend a four-year college. Even if your child is interested in attending a junior college, community college, or technical college, he or she should take most of these courses since they provide the preparation necessary for all kinds of postsecondary education. (In addition, many students who attend two-year colleges go on to earn a B.A. or B.S. degree at a four-year college or university.)
Although academic requirements differ among colleges, the admissions requirements listed below are typical for four-year colleges. The specific classes listed here are examples of the types of courses students can take.
When you are ready to enroll in the College Preparatory Program or the Program, you can begin the enrollment process . You’ll feel confident knowing your student is taking interesting and affordable courses while earning an accredited diploma through one of the long-time leaders in distance education, American School.
College Prep - 3 Years: Courses shall include Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II (or the sequential content equivalent of theses courses). Students are encouraged to take a math course in their senior year.
Many high schools offer advanced placement (AP) courses and exams. AP courses are college-level courses in approximately 16 different subjects; they help students prepare for college-level work while they are still in high school. Students who take AP courses are often more prepared for the academic challenges presented in college. In addition, a student who takes an AP course, and who scores a grade of 3 or higher on an AP exam, can often receive advanced placement in college or credit for a college course. [Footnote: This can result in significant cost savings. However, not all colleges and universities give credit or advanced placement for earning a grade of 3 or higher on an AP exam. Write to the admissions office of the colleges that are of interest to your child to find out if they give credit for an AP exam grade of 3 or higher. Ask to obtain the college's AP policy in writing, or look for a policy in the institution's catalog.] Talk to one of your child's teachers, your child's guidance counselor, or the principal of your child's school to find out if the school offers AP courses. If they don't, ask whether they might consider offering AP courses in the future.
If your child is interested in pursuing a technical program in a community, junior, or technical college, he or she may want to supplement or substitute some of the electives listed in the chart with some vocational or technical courses in his or her field of interest. However, many technical fields, such as engineering and computer science, demand high levels of science and math. Regardless of the career your child is interested in pursuing, he or she should take the suggested courses in at least the core areas of math, science, English, history and geography. Look especially for more advanced technology courses in the junior and senior years of high school.
Many colleges are flexible in terms of how you fulfill general education requirements. Some of the classes you take may even count toward the classes you need to fulfill for your major. If you’re interested in graduating early or are simply uninterested in taking many classes outside of your major, talk to the advisers in your department or consult your course catalog to determine which courses will meet your college goals. Some schools are even doing away with general education requirements or replacing them with courses aimed at expanding students’ access to life and professional skills, so make sure you know what’s expected of you before course registration day comes.
Talking to an administrator or professor from a community, junior, or technical college is a good way to find out about the best high school courses to take in order to prepare for a specific technical program offered at that college. The dean of a particular technical program will also be able to tell you about the entry requirements for the program.