Every year, thousands of new high school graduates attend Salt Lake Community College. Once students hit the college pavement, a new reality starts to set in.
Between homework, preparation for college exams, tuition payments and class registration, students are expected to know how to find a balance with everything that college life throws their way. The transition can be hard enough for most students, but some don’t even wait until after high school to take it on.
“I knew college was a lot harder and required more effort,” said 15-year-old Nazih Al-tigar. “I have to put in ten times more work than I do on my high school assignments and tests.”
Al-tigar is fulfilling his college general education requirements and going to high school at the same time in order to graduate college early. Some high school students choose this option in order to get through college faster and spend less money on college classes.
“I chose to come to college early because I get to finish college earlier this way and I have more of a chance to live my life at a younger age,” said Al-tigar. “It also looks good on college applications and job resumes. Plus, it saves me and my parents tons of money.”
The financial benefits of concurrent enrollment are substantial. Concurrent enrollment has a sign-up fee that is usually around $30 per class, plus the normal book expenses. This is just a fraction of most students’ tuition, which usually runs around $430 per class.
“I thought that it would be a simple adjustment, but it’s a lot harder than it may seem,” said Al-tigar, “Teachers hardly put grades up until the end of the semester. Some teachers don’t give quizzes so you don’t know what to expect on certain tests, and you get judged a lot more for being younger by the students and the teachers.”
Al-tigar said that because he is only fifteen years old, he feels that a lot of his peers and teacher’s don’t take him as seriously as a student as they do with the older students. Al-tigar said that his social life is the biggest change in his transition from high school to college.
“In high school I am very social and I would have a lot of fun because school was easy for me. In college I can’t go out as much because of homework and night classes,” said Al-tigar.
Another big change for Al-tigar was learning how to study for college classes. He got good grades in high school without having to study for any test or quizzes, but now he finds himself having to make extra time to study beforehand for tests at SLCC.
“My advice for new freshmen coming to Salt Lake Community College is to put more effort into your assignments, learn how to use your time wisely, and don’t wait until the last minute to study and do homework,” said Al-tigar.
Advisors at SLCC give similar advice for freshmen SLCC students. They say that some students’ transition from high school to college can be challenging because of the increase of work load, more challenging assignments and tests, and because many students do not use their time wisely.
‘’The most common mistake that I see students making is not planning enough study time,” said academic and career advisor Joanne Thomas. “As a rule of thumb, you should spend two hours of study time for every hour that you are in class.”
Many freshmen students underestimate the workloads and many choose not to attend class, which makes studying for tests more challenging. Advisors suggest that students take a class that they are interested in so they won’t get bored.
“Students, if you need to see an advisor, come before rush time. Rush time is two weeks before and two weeks after the semester starts,” said first year experience advisor Fenrong Liu.
During these busy periods, wait times for seeing an advisor are commonly one to two hours. Liu said that many students end up taking classes that they do not need to take to earn their degree, or they take all of the general education classes that they are not interested in.
“I go over what their goal is, if they want to get a four year degree or a two year degree. I always tell students to take a class that they have a strong interest in and to start with something fun and interesting,” said Thomas.
One example of a good general education class option for new students is LE 1020 – Essentials of College Study, which fulfills the interdisciplinary credit that is required to graduate.
“On the school website, students can find most of the answers to their questions. Students should familiarize themselves with the school website,” said Liu.
For more information go to the Salt Lake Community College website at www.slcc.edu or the Academic Advising office located at the Taylorsville Redwood Campus Student Center.