Basics to obtaining a college degree
The college experience can provide incredible experiences, both enjoyable and not-so enjoyable. It is a life-changing journey that will always remain in the mind. Of course, do not forget why you're there: to get a college degree. Enjoying the “experience" is important, but the emphasis needs to be on completing your courses and making the best the grades possible in those courses.
Here is some basic information you'll need to know in order to obtain your college degree:
1. )Follow the 3-step process to fulfilling the requirements of a degree. First you have the General Education requirements. These usually include Intro English, Math, and Science courses in addition to a few other necessary courses that are broad in nature and may not apply at all to your major (i. e. Philosophy). If you're pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree, you will more than likely have to take 2-years of a foreign language. If you're pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree focusing on Engineering or Business, then you'll usually be exempt of this requirement, but more Math and Science courses will be necessary. Second, you will have your Foundation courses. These will focus more on the skills required in your particular major. For example, if you're majoring in English, taking Shakespeare and British Literature will be mandatory in the Foundation portion of your degree. Finally, there are the Advanced courses. These are usually designated as 300-400 level courses (essentially, Junior and Senior level courses). They will focus exclusively on the primary elements of your major and are usually the most demanding in terms of time and study. This 3-step process is usually viewed as beginner, intermediate, and advanced. You should take each step gradually and try not to jump too early into the advanced courses.
2. )Check your school's website regularly. In today's ever-expanding reliance on the internet and technology, college courses usually have an online component that students must check. This might be called “Blackboard" or some other name. You must check this feature regularly. Why? Because if you don't, there is a risk you'll miss a major announcement by the professor or an online assignment such as a discussion board post.
3. )Stay on top of your completed courses and what you MUST take in order to obtain your college degree. Completing this step requires you to meet with a guidance counselor at least once a semester in order to keep all of your completed coursework organized and assist you in staying on track with your respective major. I've seen too many students neglect meeting with a guidance counselor and not reviewing their major's curriculum sheet. The result was not graduating on time and taking courses that were not needed (a. k. a. money down the drain).
Summary: If you follow these 3 simple steps, you should obtain your college degree within the average 4-year period, or even sooner if you decide to take additional courses in a semester or go to summer school. But remember to stay on top of things so it is not overwhelming.
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