kitchen table math, the sequel: momof4 on college planning

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

momof4 on college planning

momof4 says...

I have always felt that the preparation for high school is too little and too late, both in terms of academics and of advance planning. Especially in a system where APs have prerequisites, kids and parents need to know that so they can plan coursework accordingly.

All of the schools my kids attended waited until 8th grade - usually spring -to address the HS plan. Parents need to know the critical nature of the usual sixth grade test, which determines who gets on the top math path, which will also determine eligibility for AP Physics BC (calculus is a co-requisite). There is just far too much mush and wasted time; kids without aware parents who are able to supplement are hosed before they hit 7th grade.

BTW, I've found it fairly common for a shared MS-HS campus, so taking some classes at the HS may be possible. Also community colleges, universitites etc - whatever is available.


Redkudu said...

This may be a little off-topic, but I feel the same way about college prep at the high school level. The two high schools I've taught at don't take students on college visits until their senior year.

At my previous school this wasn't quite as bad, as there was a push for college or technical schools all along, and programs geared toward both for all students.

My current school doesn't do this. Only seniors go on college visits, and only the privileged get encouraged into the technical programs. We do have an "early college" program, but it is geared toward *high* performing students (in all areas) who will be the first in their family to go to college. I have several students who do not perform highly in *every* subject, but work hard - they are not approached for this program and I believe many of them should be.

To my knowledge, there is no specific SAT or ACT training at this school, except in the AP classes.

Last year, I took my remedial reading students (9th and 10th graders) to UT Austin for a field trip and they couldn't stop talking about it. This town is definitely the sticks, but is close enough they could get to many area colleges and universities - if they had an idea of what worlds that would open up for them.

I took a brief poll on that trip. Out of 60 students, only 15 had ever left this small town to go to Austin (many go to Mexico or the next town over that has a shopping center), and none of them had ever visited or been asked to consider college.

My parents began taking me on weekend college visits in the 10th grade, and even before that there was the expectation I would go to college, even though my father didn't until after retirement, and my mother hadn't until later in life.

momof4 said...

My terminology has been corrected; the calculus-based AP Physics course is Physics C; there is no BC.