Preparing Middle School Students for College
Courses to Take in Middle School
If you are a middle school student, then this is the right time for you and your family to begin thinking about college. You should begin planning to reach this goal by choosing the classes that will lead to college preparatory courses in high school. Now is also the time to be getting information on paying for college and to start saving for college, if you and your family are not already doing so.
It is important that you take courses that challenge your abilities. For example, studies have shown that students who take algebra in the eighth grade and geometry in the ninth grade are more likely to attend college than students who do not. By taking these courses now, you will be able to take challenging and interesting science and mathematics electives in high school.
The following academic subjects make up the important courses that you should take in middle school. Examples of specific classes are listed next to the name of the subject; the names used at your school may differ.
- Algebra I (in eighth grade) and Geometry (in ninth grade) or other challenging math courses that expect students to master the essentials of these subjects.
- English, Science and History or Geography. Together with math, these courses make up the “core” or basic academic classes. Every student should take English every year in middle school and in high school.
- Foreign Language. Many colleges require their students to study a foreign language for at least two years, and some prefer three or four years of one language.
- Computer Science. Basic computer skills are now essential, and more and more jobs require at least a basic knowledge of computers.
- The Arts. Many colleges view participation in the arts and music as a valuable experience that broadens students’ understanding and appreciation of the world around them.
Adapted from the article “Thinking Ahead about College.” © 2006 www.ribghe.org. Reprinted with permission. Visit http://www.ribghe.org/courseshs.htm to read the full text.