Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Prerequisites: Get a head start on college today
What are Prerequisites?
These are the "stepping stones" every major forces you to take before you can actually get around to taking courses you'll use. For engineers these are classes like the chem series, mathematics, that one english course everyone has to take, etc.
What most people don't realize when first applying to colleges or transferring is what a benefit it is to have most of them finished before entering your university of choice.
Between community college courses and AP tests I got to knock out a whole two years worth of credits when I first came to Davis and therefore entered as a "junior" in credits. In addition I had most of my engineering prereq's done and therefore got to jump straight into courses that interested me without having my GPA murdered by the 21and 22 series (the math courses up to Differentials here at Davis required for engineering).
So for you high school students or even students planning on transferring, try to get these out of the way ahead of time. High schoolers-take AP tests. You don't need the class to take them, there are plenty of books out there to help. I'm not suggesting you sign up for them all and take them like M &M's; take the ones you feel confident that you will score high in because ultimately the scores will determine if it will be accepted as course credit or not.
For transfer or high school students community college classes are your friends. They will generally be less difficult than courses you take at the university and you have an entire semester to learn them. Take advantage of this. Simply through taking a course on top of high school every few semesters, I knocked out all but 2 class of my GE and then some.
So get those prereq's knocked out as soon as you can. You'll appreciate it when you actually get to do engineering when you get to university rather than sitting in GE's and intro courses your first two years.
Note: Make sure to double check with the community colleges transfer center to make sure that the courses you are taking will transfer. or just check assist.org
Photo courtesy of Microsoft Office Images