There are over 4000 colleges and universities in the United States, where incoming freshman bring a wide variety of backgrounds and expectations. As an admission counselor years ago, I interviewed hundreds of prospective students annually. Some had rigid ideas and were on a purposeful road map, others were unfocused and floating on the momentum of parental expectations, while others recognized the opportunity college would bring. Regardless of their hopes and dreams, most were unprepared for some aspect of college. Discipline, study habits and time management were obvious challenges for some. Furthermore, I noticed many students who had the basic skills, but lacked a prerequisite variety of experiences necessary to prepare them for college.
There are many discussions about what a college degree is worth since so many students get saddled with debt. Georgetown just published a study describing the value of a college degree by correlating individual majors to likely earning potential. However, I think many incoming freshman are not ready for that first year of college, and that impacts whether they take advantage of their college years. For instance, there have been many articles recently bemoaning college student’s ability to write or communicate. This Wall Street Journal Article for example.
Writing and communicating effectively transcends one’s choice of major and impacts one’s whole life. Not every college has a mission to prepare graduates for life, but as a society we expect schools to do so. One of my favorite mottos “Be prepared!’ doesn’t just apply to the Boy Scouts.
At Brown, we have crafted online precollege classes to help students prepare for the rigors of college. These online classes are taught by highly qualified Brown University instructors. The course topics vary to include:

• “So You Want to be a Doctor?”
• “Exploring Engineering”,
• “Lessons in Leadership”,
• “Writing for College and Beyond”
• “Anatomy, Physiology & Disease
• “DNA Science.”
• “Crafting a Video Essay”
Brown brings college level courses to highschool students through an online format. We want students to experience a successful transition to college level work.
Lee Maxey
[email protected]
Lee Maxey

Comments are closed.