Many parents want to know what their child is learning at the Sudbury School of Atlanta. “Sudbury Assignment:” is a series of articles that help parents recognize what sorts of things their children are learning and the depth of experience their child gets at our Sudbury school.
Sudbury Assignment #2: Prepare for College
How does the Sudbury School of Atlanta prepare students for college? SSA immerses students in a college-like environment where personal responsibility and self-direction are of primary importance.
The University of Delaware’s Office of Academic Enrichment actively tries to educate parents and students that the environment of college is very different from the traditional K-12 environment. Their article “Not Grade 13… What’s the Difference?” says “Many students begin their freshman year in college carrying with them old habits that may not be useful in this new environment. If you don’t recognize the differences, you may receive an unpleasant surprise when your first exams roll around.” U. Delaware is not the only one. Other universities like Purdue, Boston College, Southern Methodist University and the University of California all have similar lists.
The “old habits” are the expectations and structures of a traditional K-12 environment. U. Delaware and others have identified a fundamental disconnect between traditional K-12 and college that leads to difficulty and potential failure of students in higher education. Students coming from traditional educational systems are like fish out of water struggling to survive because the two environments are so different. Let’s look at key differences that U. Delware identifies along side the Sudbury model:
In high school, your time is planned by others, your classes are planned by others and your priorities are set by parents and teachers. In college and at Sudbury, you manage your own time, you choose your own course of study and you set your own priorities.
In high school, teachers lead you through the thinking process and make connections for you. In college and Sudbury, you are expected to think for yourself and make connections on your own.
At the Sudbury School of Atlanta, preparing for college is not something you do when you turn 17 or 18. It is part of the structure of the school and students prepare for college every day starting at age 5.