College. That big and mighty place you and your child have probably thought about, but are relieved to have a few more years before it’s actually time. Take a deep breath, because there is no need to be worried at the thought of college, as long as you and your child are prepared.
Every phase of your child’s educational journey is meant to prepare them for their next steps in life. For example, elementary school prepares students by laying the foundations for learning: the alphabet, simple math, science and the arts, and important social and coping skills. Those elementary skillsets are all built and expanded upon in middle school, to help prepare students for their next steps in adolescence. But how to prepare for college in high school? Fortunately, most high school teachers have this top-of-mind. And, there are even specific schools out there (like Connecticut River Academy) that specifically prepare students for college, starting as early as freshman year. Here are a few ways that an early college high school can help prepare you and your child for that next, not-so-scary step.
Exploring Areas of Interest:
College is all about choosing a major (and therefore curriculum) that aligns with your interests and career goals. Fortunately, early college high schools understand that student interests are an extremely important motivator in education. The more interested in a subject a teen is, the more likely he or she is to actively participate in (and enjoy) the learning process. Some early college magnet schools prepare students for college in high school through a theme-based curriculum: an interdisciplinary approach with many benefits.
At Connecticut River Academy, the curriculum is designed around the theme of sustainability which specifically includes advanced manufacturing and environmental science. This theme-based early college approach allows students to immerse themselves in relevant issues that interest them – which not only motivates them, but gives them opportunities to learn about many of the same topics they most likely will study in college.
Earning College Credits in High School:
One of the best ways that teenagers can prepare for college while still in high school is by attending an early college high school where they can immerse themselves in college life prior to becoming a college student. Connecticut River Academy prepares its students while they are in their junior and senior years by giving them the opportunity to enroll in college courses at Goodwin College. 11th and 12th graders can earn up to 35 transferrable college credits, allowing them to get a head start on their college career. Furthermore, this allows them to fully understand the structure and demands of college-level courses prior to becoming a college student.
Learning Key Skills for Future Success:
When reflecting on how to prepare for college in high school, it’s great to have many of the tangible benefits that an early college high school offers, including college course credit and a theme-based curriculum. However, it’s the experience of learning to manage and juggle college life that most people are seeking during preparation. There are many other ways to prepare high school students for college by teaching them transferrable skills they can carry throughout their college careers and beyond.
One of these important skills is time management. The shift from a high school class schedule to a college class schedule can seem overwhelming at first, because it’s not as structured. For example, college courses don’t always fall consecutively after each other or even on the same day, so it’s important for students to learn how to balance their classwork with other commitments. Parents and students can work on this together ahead of time by building in specific blocks of time that can be dedicated to school work.
Still wondering how to prepare for college in high school? Interested in a college prep high school education? Contact the Connecticut River Academy advisors today, and learn all the benefits that an early college high school could provide your child. It’s never too early to start preparing your child for this next big step. Sign up for a Parent Information Session to learn more.
Goodwin College is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin College was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.