Wednesday, April 1, 2020

College Preparedness Debate

By: Isabelle Morris/Content Editor

Whether you are a student now, or were a student sixty years ago, you know that high schools regularly push the idea that they are preparing you for college. The concept of attending college after high school has been romanticized since years past. It was less common to go to or even be able to afford college years ago. While college is more heavily pushed in today’s world, is it really becoming more reachable? Are students really being prepared for a higher education?

In a survey of the Blue Ridge High School students (sophomores, juniors, and seniors), we found that 83.3% of students feel that they would benefit, or would have benefited from a college preparedness course in high school.

Graph by Isabelle Morris

If you’ve been in high school for the past few years, you have experienced the decision of whether to take AP/Dual Enrollment or general classes.  The biggest question you come across when deciding to take or not to take accelerated courses is, whether or not it’s worth it? Is the college credit worth the time, stress, and for most people, the money? If you have taken accelerated courses in high school, or are currently, do you believe that it was a good preparation for college? And, if you have not taken those courses, do you feel that you are behind the game, or are you equally prepared? When a Blue Ridge senior who has taken AP courses was asked if they thought that taking those courses was worth it, they said, “No, not really it just helped me learn better material, but it wasn’t anything really different from the normal level class.” Another Blue Ridge senior, who did not take accelerated courses, said that they felt they “missed out on some important skills and understanding of what a college workload looks like.”

Graphs by Isabelle Morris

A college prep course in high school would consist of learning fundamental skills, such as time-management, essay writing, and an overall understanding of how much effort goes into succeeding in the rigorous curriculum, all skills which are the foundation of a college education. Obviously, no one can be prepared for every academic situation that will be presented during college, but having an almost College 101 course in high school could lessen any blows.

By: Annie Bonner/Content Editor

Does everyone think that we need a college preparedness course?

According to the results of our survey, it seems as though that is not the case. Out of 30 surveyed high school students, 25 students said they would benefit, while only five students said they wouldn’t benefit. Something to note is that three out of five of the students that said “no” were juniors. Juniors and seniors can take multiple AP classes, and if they wanted to, seniors may take six in one year. That is a much bigger workload than just one AP class (which is offered to sophomores), or even multiple honors classes.

With the added stress of college applications, scholarships, extracurriculars, and a social life on top of the heavy course load students are given, they barely have time to breathe. It is hard to learn time management when you’re constantly rushing to get things done. When you’re stressed out about college and getting things done for high school, it’s hard to imagine actually getting to college and trying to manage your new life.

However, these factors don’t seem to affect some people that we asked. When asked why they feel that they would not benefit from such a course, most of them just shrugged and said they didn’t really know. Though these students don’t think that they would benefit, there aren’t very many valid reasons behind their decision.

Chart by Isabelle Morris

Updated April 24th, 2019

Isabelle Morris
Isabelle Morris is a current senior and is in her first year of Journalism. She is apart of various clubs such as Prom committee, FBLA, Homecoming committee, and is currently Leo Club President and the Treasurer for the National Honor Society. She will be attending Le Moyne College in the fall of 2019 to pursue a career in business.

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