High School vs. College: A Comparison of What to Expect Part II: Classes and Instructors Classes High School College Students follow a school-directed schedule and are told how to spend their time. Students (along with their advisors) create their own schedules and manage their own time. High School College Classes are determined by state/district requirements. Classes are determined by field of study. All students follow a similar curriculum. Requirements may vary widely among majors. High School College Class attendance is mandatory and monitored. Attendance policies vary by professor. High School College Classes may have Classes usually do anywhere from 5 to not have more than more than 100 30–35 students. students. High School College Textbooks are usually free or provided at little expense. Students must buy textbooks, which can be expensive. (Average cost is $200–$400 per semester) High School College Students spend Students spend only approximately 6 12–16 hours per hours per day week in class and (30 hours per week) often have several in class and proceed hours between directly from one classes. class to the next. Instructors High School College Professors seldom check or grade homework but Teachers check and assume that grade completed students have homework. completed it and are able to perform the same tasks on a test. High School Teachers may remind students of incomplete assignments. College Professors usually do not remind students of incomplete work. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure requirements are being met. High School College Professors may lecture nonstop and Teachers often write write on the board information on the only to support the board or overhead lecture, not to projector to be summarize it. copied for notes. Good note-taking skills are essential. High School College Teachers often take Professors expect class time to remind students to read, students of test save, and refer back dates and to the course assignments. syllabus. High School College Teachers have been trained in teaching methods to assist in imparting knowledge to students. Professors have been trained as experts in their area of research and may never have been taught “how to teach.” High School College Teachers teach Professors expect knowledge and facts, students to think drawing direct independently and connections and connect seemingly leading students unrelated through the information thinking process. on their own. High School College Teachers often approach a student if they believe the student needs help in the class. Professors expect the student to initiate contact if the student is struggling in the class. High School College Professors expect students to attend their scheduled office hours Teachers are often if they need to talk to available for them. Professors often conversations before, have somewhere else during, or after class. to be before and after class and won’t take time away from the lecture for conversations. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.