Teachers, administrators, and school counselors face the daunting task of preparing graduating seniors for the next chapter of their lives. Thankfully, by shifting pedagogy and adopting certain forms of educational technology, schools can better prepare graduating seniors for college.

Provide a College-Like Syllabus

Many teachers already provide a syllabus at the start of the school year. However, they’re typically guides as to what topics will be discussed and to classroom policies. College syllabi differ in that they include specific due dates and lecture topics. Teachers should move towards a similarly structured syllabus to prepare students for college. Of course, most high school classes are less structured and strict when it comes to following the class schedule. Still, utilizing a similar syllabus structure will lessen the shock for students.

Utilize Online Learning Management Systems

Colleges now use online learning management systems, such as Canvas or Blackboard, to upload lecture content and additional materials for class. Grade 12 teachers can use online systems such as like Moodle or Blackboard to provide resources outside of the classroom. By using a learning management system, students enter college knowing how to interact through online systems.

Teach Various Writing Formats

High school teachers most commonly teach MLA formatting and citation. In college, however, the formatting and style varies depending on the subject area. For instance, APA format is typically used for papers within the social sciences. Likewise, MLA format is typically used for papers within the liberal arts and humanities. If they learn both APA and MLA formats, students leave with the skills they’ll need for their general education courses in college.

Structure Lesson Plans Based on College Lecture Structures

One struggle that many incoming freshman face is the fast-paced structure of college lectures. Many students don’t know how to take notes or listen for the most important details. Students typically complete their readings outside of the classroom. This means that many college lectures revolve around discussion. Grade 12 teachers can structure class discussions similarly to prepare students for the idea of reading outside of the classroom.

Emphasize Time Management

College seems less time consuming because students aren’t in class for seven hours. College instead requires a lot of work outside of the classroom. Freshman often struggle with time management. They don’t realize how much time they must dedicate to assignments and extracurricular activities. Grade 12 teachers should emphasize and teach time management skills so that students are better prepared to juggle the rigorous workload in college.

By making these simple changes to the classroom environment, teachers can better prepare graduating seniors for what lies ahead. Whether it be college or the workforce, these changes will help all students regardless.

By Jonathan Mendoza


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