college freshmen

college freshmen

Students Are Taking Remedial Classes They Do Not Need

According to new studies from the Teachers College at Columbia University, many community colleges are placing students in remedial classes when the students do not actually need them. The schools are relying on the students’ scores on standardized tests, but the studies show that they would be better able to place students in the appropriate classes if they relied on the students’ high school GPAs instead.

Most students would not like to take remedial classes if they do not have to, and the reason why this is makes a lot of sense. Remedial classes are a waste of money and time if students do not actually need them because they do not receive any credit for these classes. In fact, more than 75 percent of students who start out taking remedial classes in college do not earn a degree, and this could be simply because they get burned out taking remedial classes.

“We hear a lot about the high rates of failure in college-level classes at community colleges,” said Judith Scott-Clayton, a professor at the Teachers College and the author of one of the studies. “Those are very visible. What’s harder to see are the students who could have done well at college level but never got the chance because of these placement tests.”

The placement tests that Scott-Clayton is referring to are most commonly the College Board’s Accuplacer and the ACT’s Compass. These tests have been used at many schools since the 1980s to determine what classes students should be placed in, based on their scores on the tests. Many students are told not to prepare for the tests because they are only used for placement, but this can lead to students  being placed in classes that are not the appropriate level for them. According to the two new studies from Columbia University, schools would do well to rely less on these tests and more on the students’ high school GPAs as an indicator of the students’ abilities.

The trend is being seen in schools across the country.

“I haven’t seen the studies, but what I do know is that when I talk with leaders of community colleges, a lot of them have issues with the diagnostic tests and sense that far too many students are being put in developmental, remedial education, especially in math,” said Walter Bumphus, president of the American Association of Community Colleges. “Almost every one of them has some plan to change that.”

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Freshmen Beware: Differences Between High School and College

Think college will be just like high school? Think again. Read these differences so you know what to expect come your first day of class.

You may have more time on your hands: Even full-time students come to find that they may only spend half of their day in class. Some schedules even allow for several hours in between classes. College freshman often get excited with all this free time and take on more than they can handle. Getting a part-time job or joining an extra-curricular activity is a great use of this time, but your college education comes first. Be sure to leave time to study and do homework.

Your professors won’t give you detention for skipping class: Some of them don’t care if you show up. Others will likely do roll call by having students sign in. A professor will not take the time to find out why you’re not coming to class. They may dock attendance points, but there isn’t a principal that will call your parents. Colleges and universities assume that since you are paying tuition, you’ll get your money’s worth, and go to class. Remember that you’re an adult now, so it’s up to you, not your parents or teachers, to make education your responsibility.

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Record Stress Levels in College Freshmen

In a survey conducted of over 200,000 students entering four year colleges, it has been found that the emotional health level of freshmen is at its lowest level in 25 years.

Students are depressed and under stress with some of them using psychiatric medication. More students arrive on campus with problems and are in need of support. Students worry about the debt they are accruing while in college and if they will be able to find a job after graduating and it is causing a lot of additional stress for them.

During this survey students were asked to rate their own emotional health and the emotional health of others. While many students rated their own emotional health below average, it was more difficult for them to gauge the emotional health of others.

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Top 10 Books for College Students

classic booksNothing is more inevitable in college than heavy loads of reading. Throughout college, I was assigned to read several books, some of which became my favorites. Before college, I was one of those people who believed that if a book was any good, they’d make a movie out of it, and I always planned to catch the cinematic version. But now, I’m grateful that I had the chance to read those books, and I know I wouldn’t have read them if they weren’t a requirement.

College is an awesome time to read several variations of literary work. Some of the assigned books may bore you, but, through all that reading, you may find some of your favorites.

The National Association of Scholars, to conclude their report that assigns books to college freshmen, released a reading list of 37 books they consider fit for college students. Read the rest of this entry »


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