Online College Prep Courses to Take Advantage Of
Congratulations! If you are reading this, you’ve taken an important step: deciding to pursue a college education. You already know that receiving your higher education is a key step towards career success and higher earning potential in your chosen field. Now that you’re getting ready to start college, it’s important to think about what preparations you need to make beforehand.
There are a wide variety of preparatory courses that are available to prospective college students, all offering various benefits depending on the student’s background and skills, as well as academic and professional goals. The following is an explanation of several types of online college preparatory courses and online resources that may be useful for you before you begin your higher education, however, none of them are mandatory.
Refresh Your Skills to Prepare for College
The Postsecondary Education Readiness Test (P.E.R.T.) is Florida’s customized common placement test. The purpose of the P.E.R.T. is to provide accurate course placement based on the student’s skills and abilities. The P.E.R.T. is aligned with the Postsecondary Readiness Competencies, identified by Florida faculty, as being the tools and skills necessary for success in entry-level college credit coursework. The P.E.R.T. assessment system includes placement and diagnostic tests in mathematics, reading and writing.
It is important to point out that a student cannot fail the P.E.R.T. The test scores are used simply to determine whether a student is ready for college level coursework. If a student does not meet the state established cut score, then it indicates that additional preparation is necessary before entering college level courses. For high school students who do not meet the college-ready cut score on the P.E.R.T., the high school must offer those students postsecondary preparatory instruction.
There are numerous academic resources on the internet for refreshing skills, such as math and reading comprehension among others, that are tested in the P.E.R.T test. These can be done before or after taking the P.E.R.T. Such resources are excellent for raising competency in order to start off college on the right foot. They are also useful for students who may have been outside the classroom for an extended period of time by helping them brush up on academic skill sets before beginning college.
Prepare for College Early with High School Honors Courses
For students in high school who are already looking towards getting ready for college, taking Honors courses in high school is a great way to prepare for college. According to The College Board, “studies have shown that the rigor of a student’s high school curriculum is the single best predictor of success in college.” These advanced courses prepare students for the academic challenges they will face down the line in the university setting, by practicing their critical thinking skills, written and verbal language competencies, and study skills in general.
ESL Certificate Programs – Excellent Preparation for College
For non-native English speakers wishing to acquire competency in the English language in order to attend college in the United States, there are numerous English as a Second Language (ESL) programs available. These programs are designed to give the student, regardless of his or her age, a competent grasp of English that will allow him or her to feel comfortable interacting in English-speaking social, academic, and professional settings.
If you are not entirely comfortable with your English skills and you want to go to college in the US, these ESL certificate programs are also an excellent way to prepare. Whether you choose to pursue higher education in the form of a professional certification program, an Associate’s degree, a Bachelor’s degree, or graduate programs, an ESL program is an ideal way to become fluent and comfortable using English at a professional level.
Such courses provide students with opportunities to enlarge their vocabulary and manage more complex grammatical structures, as well as develop communication strategies that will be useful in more formal linguistic contexts, which demand more efficient language management.
Getting a GED: How Can It Prepare Me for College?
If you did not graduate from high school, or perhaps you graduated from high school in another country but that diploma is not recognized in the US, you may want to consider getting a GED.”GED” stands for “General Educational Development”, and it is a test developed by the American Council on Education (ACE). The GED is useful both for people interested in higher education and for people wishing to advance immediately in the workforce. The GED consists of 5 tests in areas of Language Arts – Writing, Social Studies, Science, Language Arts – Reading, and Mathematics.
Taken as a college preparatory course, the preparation involved in studying for and successfully passing the GED ensures that you will have the required level of general education to competently begin coursework at a college or university. In addition, since nearly all colleges and universities require applicants to have completed high school, earning your GED will allow you to fulfill that admissions requirement at nearly any university across the country.
If you are concerned that the GED diploma is not recognized down the line, consider this: according to the ACE, “more than 95 percent of U.S. employers consider GED graduates the same as traditional high school graduates in regard to hiring, salary, and opportunity for advancement.”
It is also important to keep in mind that the GED tests are available not just in English, but also in Spanish, French, large print, audio format, or braille for the visually impaired. GED tests and test preparation are also offered to persons incarcerated and on military bases in addition to more traditional settings. There are some very useful online resources that offer practice tests, preparation courses, and information on taking the test.
The SATs and ACTs: Are They Necessary?
The SAT is a standardized test required by many US colleges and universities as part of their admission process. The score a student gets on the SAT is often used as a predictor of how a student is likely to perform in college-level studies. Because of this, many colleges use SAT scores as part of the decision in the admissions process, along with high school grades, recommendations, essays and other relevant information. The ACT college readiness assessment is a curriculum – and standards-based educational and career planning tool that assesses students’ academic readiness for college.
There are numerous SAT and ACT preparatory resources online that can be extremely helpful in building your test-taking skills. Keep in mind that some institutions require only one of these tests, some require both – so check the websites of individual colleges for up-to-date information on their requirements.
Look Towards Your Future at FNU
College admissions counselors at Florida National University (FNU) are available today to speak with you about how to move towards a brighter future. Contact us today to help plan your road map to career success!