Differences Between School and College

Sterling College Student Life

High School

• Teacher/Student Contact:
Teacher/student contact is closer and more frequent (5 days per week). Very little responsibility is placed on the student to attend class – they will attend class because they are already at school.

• Competition and Grades:
Academic competition is not as strong: good grades can be obtained with minimum effort.

• Status:
Students establish a personal status in academic and social activities based on family and community factors.

• Counseling and Dependence:
Students can rely on parents, teachers and counselors to help make decisions and give advice. Students must abide by parents’ boundaries and restrictions.

• Motivation:
Students get stimulation to achieve or participate from parents, teachers, and counselors.

• Freedom:
Students’ freedom is limited. Parents will often help students out of crisis, if one occurs.

• Value Judgments:
Students often make value judgments based on parental values. Many of their value judgments are made for them.

College

• Teacher/Student Contact:
Faculty members are available during their office hours or by appointment to address concerns. Students are responsible for meeting with their professors. Students must choose to attend class.

• Competition and Grades:
Academic competition is much stronger, minimum effort may produce poor grades. The student’s perception that he/she is giving maximum effort may not result in a top grade.

• Status:
Students can build their status as they wish; high school status can be repeated or changed.

• Counseling and Dependence:
Students rely on themselves; they see the results of making their own decisions. It is their responsibility to seek advice as needed. Students set their own restrictions.

• Motivation:
Students supply their own motivation to their work and activities.

• Freedom:
Students have much more freedom. Students must accept responsibility for their own actions.

• Value Judgments:
Students have the opportunity to develop their own opinions and values. To be successful, students must be willing to learn about and respect differences.