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Preparing for College - Continues

High School Courses Recommended for College.
The chart below 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 you are interested in attending a junior college, community college, or technical college, you should take most of these courses since they provide the preparation necessary for all kinds of postsecondary education.

English - 4 years
Types of classes:
• Composition
• American literature
• English literature
• World literature
Mathematics - 3 to 4 years
Types of classes:
• Algebra I
• Algebra II
• Geometry
• Trigonometry
• Precalculus
• Calculus

History & Geography - 2 to 3
Types of classes:
• Geography
• U.S. History
• U.S. Government
• World History
• World Cultures
• Civics

Laboratory Science - 2 to 3 years
Types of classes:
• Biology
• Earth science
• Chemistry
• Physics
Foreign Language - 2 to 3 years
Types of classes:
• French
• German
• Spanish
• Latin
• Russian
• Japanese

Visual & Performing Arts - 1 year
Types of classes:
• Art
• Dance
• Drama
• Music
Appropriate Electives - 1 to 3 years
Types of classes:
• Economics
• Psychology
• Statistics
• Computer Science
• Communications

Traditional English courses such as American and English literature will help students improve their writing skills, reading comprehension, and vocabulary. History and geography will help your child better understand our society as well as societies around the world.

Mathematical and scientific concepts and skills learned in math classes are used in many disciplines outside of these courses. A recent study showed that students who take algebra and geometry in high school are much more likely to go on to college than students who do not. Research also indicates that students who take courses in the arts disciplines and who participate in the arts (performing arts and visual arts) often do better in school and on standardized tests. The arts help students to learn; they often give students a richer understanding of history, science, literature, and math.

Thirty States require students to take some art course(s) (visual or performing) before graduating from high school; six State university systems require students to take at least one unit of art (visual or performing) at the high school level before gaining admission to the university. Many college admissions staff view participation in the arts as a valuable experience that broadens students' understanding and appreciation of the world around them.

Make Sure That All Courses Meet High Standards.
It is important for you to enroll in the courses recommended for college-bound students; it is also essential that the material taught in those courses reflect high academic standards and high expectations for what students should know and be able to do. Research indicates that high expectations and high standards improve achievement and positively influence student learning.

Efforts are under way in states and communities across the country to answer the question: "What is it that our children ought to know and be able to do . . . to participate fully in today's and tomorrow's economy?" Many states and local communities have been developing or revising their standards (sometimes called "curriculum frameworks") in core subject areas such as math, science, English, history, geography, foreign languages, civics, and the arts.

These standards help provide parents with answers to questions such as:

"Is my child learning?"

"What is it that my child should know by the end of each grade?"

Many school districts are not waiting for their states to complete standards. In many local communities, groups of citizens -- parents, teachers, administrators, business leaders, clergy, representatives from colleges, curriculum experts, and other community members -- are working together to develop or revise standards. In creating their own standards, many States and local communities are drawing on model voluntary standards developed by national professional associations.

In order to make sure that the curriculum in your school meets high academic standards, ask your parent(s) to call your school to find out if State or local standards are being developed. Ask how you can get involved in the standard-setting process. Your parent(s) can join with other parents, teachers, and the school’s principal and compare your school's standards against the best schools and the best State standards.

Click here for the next page>>
How to prepare for college outside the classroom.

Credit: Preparing Your Child For College: 2000 Edition published by The U.S. Department of Education



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