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As you've been preparing to start college, you've likely been thinking of the ways -- both good and bad -- that it is going to be different than high school.
Though the size of your college classes will vary greatly depending on what school you attend and what courses you elect to take, chances are you will have a few classes filled with more students than you used to see in a full day at high school. Don't be alarmed if you see not one familiar face when you walk into the room on the first day. As the semester progresses and you get to know your lovely peers, you can mimic the tight-knit community of a high school class by studying in groups. If by the end of your first semester you realize that big classes are really not for you, talk to your advisor about finding smaller courses, such as seminars or discussions, that better cater to your needs.
In the land of high school, laptops are usually not the norm (or allowed) and you are instead forced to rely on the good old-fashioned pencil and notebook system. You don't want to risk scratching or damaging that precious piece of merchandise by letting it fly solo in your bag. Before you get too excited about toting that sleek computer to class, understand that this privilege has its drawbacks.
Gone are the glory days when your school gave or lent you the textbooks you needed each year. If there is more than one bookstore on campus, make sure to compare prices and rental options. Once you've compared bookstore prices, check online to see if sites like Chegg, Amazon, or eBay have any better offers. Whenever you're talking to a professor, whether in person or via email, always present yourself as politely and professionally as possible -- there's lots of alliteration in that sentence, so you know it's good advice. All professors will have office hours, or scheduled slots of time when you can come see them outside of class to ask questions or talk. You will have TAs (teaching assistants) or another form of instructor who will lead the smaller discussion sections of your big lectures.
To read one final way college classes differ from high school classes, be sure to check out the full article here.
I often hear people ask the question: Are online college classes harder than the traditional in-person classes that can be taken on physical campuses? I can see why this argument is often made – In-person classes require students to attend regularly, take closed book tests, and complete group projects that involve giving a lengthy presentation at the end of the semester. Although I can’t disagree that the multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank exams are much more difficult when you attend an in-person class, I have to say that online college classes are a lot more challenging that people think. Life took some interesting turns after that and I found myself taking a year off before jumping back into the education world to complete my bachelor’s degree. Of course there were critics who told me that I wasn’t going to get as good of an education online and that I was missing out on the college experience. I think a lot of online college classes get a bad reputation because of for-profit schools that cost an arm and a leg and have somewhat sketchy accreditations attached to them (I feel like I can say that after working for one for a couple months). I decided to steer clear of those and stick with the nonprofit schools that had an actual physical campus.
After completing the enrollment process and signing up for my classes, I was ready to jump in and get my degree finished. I have to admit that I got by without reading all of my required materials when I went to the on-campus courses. Not only did I have a weekly discussion question that was straight from the reading (and required at least a few citations), but I also had papers almost every week that required a strong knowledge of the information that was being covered. On top of my discussions and papers, I had final projects and other assignments that required a lot of work. Although online college classes have professors assigned to them, the reality is that you are doing a lot of the learning on your own.
That’s probably why I had to completely change my study habits when I changed to online college classes. I could no longer rely on the professor to teach me the key points and give me hints at what was going to be on the test.
In fact, most of the exams for my online college classes were in essay format, meaning that I had to apply the concepts I was learning. I know that there are still plenty of skeptics and critics out there who think that online college classes are not as hard as those you take in-person and on-campus, but I have to say that I disagree.
After having experienced both learning environments, I’ve noticed myself pushing even harder to be a good student in the online classroom because I’m the only one at fault if I perform badly.
So my question is: Why are so many people skeptical and critical about online college classes, and what can be done to give people a better view of them?
At CCV you can apply classroom learning to real-world experiences: you can travel with a study abroad class, volunteer in your community on service-learning projects, or work as an intern in a local business. That powerful quote was used by Karen Sweeney (’80 AE) to close out the 2014 Henry C. Sweeney, Senior Vice President: Diversity, Inclusion and Community at Turner Construction, served as moderator of the panel discussion after the Penn State Department of Architectural Engineering was recognized for bringing together students, educators, researchers, government entities, and industry to build efficiencies in the building industry and encourage energy-efficient building solutions. The award committee specifically cited architectural engineering’s GridSTAR Center efforts at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia as one of the reasons for honoring Penn State with this year’s prize.
One area of opportunity, Lynch said, is for industry and higher education to collaborate in the research areas that would help address the many issues and challenges facing the industry.
Another panelist and former under-secretary at the United States Department of Education, Martha Kanter, said that other universities should look at Penn State architectural engineering’s track record of preparing students for success and scale it to help solve the nationwide issue of students being underprepared for the work force.
Karen Sweeney, left, moderates a conversation on innovation, education, and collaboration as driving forces in economic development and a 21st-century workforce. On Wednesday March 19, Penn State held Energy and Sustainability Day at The Navy Yard in Philadelphia, as part of the Schreyer Honors College Shaping the Future Summit. The event was hosted by Penn State’s Grid Smart Training and Application Resource (GridSTAR) Center, an innovative learning and research environment focused on energy efficiency, renewable energy and smart grid technologies.


After lunch, participants visited the GridSTAR Center for demonstrations of cutting edge technologies in the Smart Grid Demonstration Residence, including energy storage systems, solar modules, sustainable construction methods and electric vehicle charging stations.
Though some were unaware of Penn State’s presence at The Navy Yard, many were impressed with the progress that has been made. Girls from two area middle schools teamed with Penn State engineering students to program robotic dance routines as part of their field trip to campus.
The girls, from Philipsburg-Osceola Junior High School and Park Forest Middle School, spent the day at the College of Engineering. The event, hosted by the Women in Engineering Program (WEP), provides the girls with hands-on engineering activities and the opportunity to work with current Penn State engineering students.
The field trip included collaborating with first-year students from ME 102 LEGO Robotics to program robots with a choreographed dance routine, a tour of the Department of Architectural Engineering’s Immersive Construction Laboratory, a pizza lunch with engineering students, a presentation by the Engineering Ambassadors and an amusement park design project. Cheryl Knobloch, WEP director and coordinator of the program, said the field trips is meant to encourage 7th and 8th grade girls to consider pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The University’s undergraduate programs in biological engineering, bioengineering, computer engineering and electrical engineering were not ranked. A Godzilla-inspired robot and a lovesick mechanical mouse were among the highlights for two dozen middle school girls visiting Penn State’s College of Engineering on Thursday.
The trip, part of the Women in Engineering Program Outreach Workshop, gave the students a glimpse into what it’s like to be an engineer. The Gozilla robot gets a helping hand from a student as she steers her creation to knock down a series of buildings during its dance.
Seventh-graders from Philisburg-Osceola Junior High School, eighth-graders from the Grier School and eighth-graders from Park Forest Middle School spent an entire day meeting Penn State engineering students, touring laboratories and working on hands-on projects.
The middle schoolers kicked off the day by teaming with students in the first-year robotics seminar ME 102.
Constructed of Lego Mindstorms NXT robotics kits, the machines’ movements were choreographed with music and in some cases customized to look like a character, such as Godzilla, a mouse or a fish. During their visit, the students toured the architectural engineering department’s Immersive Construction Laboratory, enjoyed a presentation by the Engineering Ambassadors, took in a pizza lunch with engineering students and designed their own amusement park ride. You're going to be living in a new place with a roommate who you've stalked so hard on Facebook that you know where she spent Christmas vacation in 2002. At bigger schools, intro-level lectures often seat hundreds of students (assuming they all actually make it to class). Not only will this opportunity to discuss the material with others feel like a small class, but it will likely boost your grade too.
Unfortunately, intro-level courses are almost always big, so you may just have to stick it out until you get to more advanced courses as an upperclassman.
Whether you dig Roman numerals or bullet points, Times New Roman or Arial, your life will be a lot easier if you find a system that works best for you and make a template so that you don't have to fuss with that formatting palette during class. These veteran sources will know of the best locations on campus as well as online resources to buy or rent books. Used books will always be cheaper than new ones, so unless it's in utterly unusable condition, opt for the sloppy seconds.
For the first meeting, think of a question you had on the material from a recent lecture, or pinpoint a topic you are especially curious about or have a strong opinion on, and go introduce yourself. They may be lower on the totem pole, but they are important too, especially if they are the ones reading and grading your assignments. Additionally, these courses typically last 16 weeks, the normal timeframe for a college semester. I originally went to a four-year university in which I completed three of those years on-campus, meaning I sat in an actual classroom with a professor who was physically in the same room (10 points goes to whoever can figure out which school I went to – other articles on this site should give you hints). I spent a lot of time researching schools and I honestly hadn’t given much thought to enrolling in online college classes, but I finally decided that it was the best option for me. Well, I had already spent three years in the so-called “college experience” so I didn’t feel like I was missing out on much. There are plenty of them in existence today (think Kansas State, North Carolina State, Boston University, and more), so much so that I was surprised I had never considered taking online college classes before.
I still had the books and skimmed over them, but I didn’t always sit down every day like I should have to read the assigned chapters that were in big bold letters on my syllabus. Now, I consider myself a pretty decent academic paper writer, but I had never dug so deep into a text as I did with my online college classes. Honestly, I feel like I actually gained a lot more knowledge this way because I was forced to focus and understand the information – that was the only way I could actually get the information I needed for my papers and discussion questions. There was no regurgitating information here … you either knew what you were talking about or the paper was going to turn out terribly. There are no weirdly written questions to throw me off – It’s just me, my reading comprehension, and the words that I type in my discussions and projects. I'm Tori and I'm here to help college students and millennials conquer their goals and chase their dreams.
You will explore subjects in depth, guided by instructors who live in your community and are experts in their fields. You’ll encounter college-aged students who recognize the value of starting their studies at CCV before transferring to keep their college costs low, mid-career adults finishing their degree to enhance their job opportunities, military veterans making the transition to civilian life, and a cross-section of students taking classes for personal enrichment. Turner Prize for Innovation in Construction event on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Over fifty students and faculty members from a variety of educational backgrounds were welcomed from Penn State’s University Park, Abington and Berks campuses. Students were then taken on a bus tour of The Navy Yard, led by Will Agate, with a variety of stops including GlaxoSmithKline headquarters, the Courtyard Marriot and Penn State’s new facilities, The Center for Building Energy Science and Engineering and The Center for Building Energy Education and Innovation. Students also had the opportunity to learn from our industry partners at Solar Grid Storage about what it is like to work for a start-up in the energy sector. After their visit, students and faculty from a variety of academic backgrounds recognized the growing importance of interdisciplinary sustainability and left feeling energized about the potential of Penn State’s initiatives in Philadelphia.


News, the undergraduate results are based solely on the peer judgments of deans and senior faculty who rated each program using a scale of 1 to 5 in a mail survey. News does not include the disciplines of architectural engineering, computer science and nuclear engineering as part of its survey.
The annual event is designed to encourage young girls to consider career opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. You're going to be around all new people and have to make an entirely new group of friends. Bigger classes, especially lectures, are all about listening and taking notes, so there will be minimal time to talk to your neighbors anyway. Strategies for Success, a resource compiled by the University of Michigan advising center, explains that studying with others is helpful for sharing the workload, solving complex problems, increasing motivation, and preparing for the real world. If you're too busy Facebooking, Tweeting, and Pinning, there is no way you are going to absorb all that the professor says.
Many schools have online forums or Facebook groups for students selling their old textbooks to post on, and these offers will often be cheaper than a bookstore. If you are not bent on highlighting, renting is a cheap alternative to buying, and you won't have to worry about selling your books at the end of the course. In high school, your teachers knew--at the very least -- your name, what you looked like, how you learned, and how you performed academically within the first few weeks of the year. Aim for one or two follow-up meetings throughout the semester about other topics or assignments.
Seek help from them on papers or practice tests to show that you care and are working hard. With a weekly deadline staring me in the face every Sunday, I knew that I was under a constant time crunch to get everything done.
When I sat in my on-campus courses, I simply listened to the professor, watched a PowerPoint, and regurgitated the information they fed me. Regardless of who you are, your voice will add to the learning of your classmates, and you will learn from them.
The tour concluded at the Urban Outfitters headquarters where students enjoyed lunch at the Shop 543 food court. The demonstrations and workshops within the GridSTAR Center were most popular among participants.
Your parents aren't going to be watching over your shoulder and nagging you to clean your room, but they also won't be there to cook for you or do you laundry.
Also, determine a specific way to label and file all your notes so that you're computer desktop is just as organized as you'll be. You may think you can just rely on the textbook or notes and lecture slides posted online, but often tests will include material taught only in class. Most of your classes will require several textbooks and books for the semester (your professor will post this information online or in the syllabus), and you will be responsible for hunting down these pricy publications.
Find older students who have taken the class in question -- they might still have their books lying around and even if they don't, they'll be able to give you great insight into your future workload. Your professors, who teach hundreds of students per day and sometimes aren't the ones who grade your work, might not even be aware of your existence on Earth by the end of the semester (or ever). This is not meant to scare you; it is just necessary to understand that professors a bit higher up on the totem pole, and it can be nerve-racking to approach them.
I was also working at that time and some days it felt like I had much more to do than was actually possible. A student from Penn State Berks said, “All of my classes are based on micro grids, solar power and electricity, so being able to see it in action brings life to it. You'll finally get to go to parties that aren't constantly busted by your neighborhood cops (but beware of RAs). If you don't think you keep yourself from surfing the World Wide Web, try installing a program like Self Control that will block you out of sites for a certain period of time.
That way, when cultivating a strong relationship with a professor becomes crucial (for recommendations), it'll be no sweat," Alexandra says.
Asking or answering questions in class is the easiest way to boost your participation grade and show interest.
With all of these major changes ahead, you may have completely forgotten that college is school and you'll actually have to go to class while adjusting to your new lifestyle. Ideally, cap the group at five or six people so it doesn't get too rowdy, and choose students that actually go to class. Forming a relationship with a professor (note: not the kind that Aria and Ezra have on PLL) can be incredibly helpful in your future, whether for research opportunities or recommendations.
During her freshman year, she found that professors genuinely appreciate when students make the effort to come to office hours.
Whether you're coming from a small, private prep school or a huge, public high school, your college courses will differ from your high school ones. If you don't know really know anyone in your lecture, you can email your class's list-serv asking if anyone is interested -- it'll be a great way to meet new people. Some students stick to notebooks from the beginning or deter to them after their laptops fail them, so you won't be the odd one out. They are not only teaching you, as in high school, but they're much more interested in your take on the material, your thoughts, what you want to do after college, and such." she explains.
We've compiled five ways that your college classes will differ from your high school ones and how you can successfully adapt from the get-go.



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