How is the process of learning in American universities
• How the learning process takes place in an American high school
Today I will talk about the process of learning in the United States and try to touch on most aspects of university studies.
I want to say in advance that everything about what I write is based on my own experience. All of the text below - this is my opinion and my experience, which refers exclusively to the Faculty of Engineering. If you do not agree with something or feel that something is not true of the writing - alas, you have to live with it and put up with this injustice.
First, unlike the Russian universities it is that there is no fixed timetable. Each enrolled issued sheet items that you want to listen for a diploma. In subjects or classes, as they are called here, there is a certain order of study. Typically, a student himself generates a schedule of classes as it is convenient, with restrictions only for priority classes, that is, you can not take the mathematics of the second level, there is not passed the first level..; "Chemical process" can not be studied until it passed two general chemistry, etc. But if a student takes a class "History" in the first semester or the last -.. Does not matter.
Come on. Each object has a number of credits (or hours), which are considered Weekly. For example, 3 credits - courses twice a week for 1.5 hours, a total of 3 hours per week. The student was considered a full-time (regular enrollment), it must have a minimum of 12 credits per semester, or regular enrollment status changes to external students. In this case, if the student has financial support from the government or the state, then it will have problems. Load tuition depends on the complexity of the subject and the student's ability: to have 16 hours is no problem, but when added to laboratory work - does not begin to keep up with time. More than 17 hours a week, it is difficult for even the most capable and not a student,. The minimum number of credits is not, you can take at least one class per semester, but nevertheless, you will play a certain period of time to study, for the engineers - it is 6 years to get a bachelor degree (including previous college tuition, if any exist). After this period, if you do not protect, then all of your classes will be canceled (except for good cause).
Two other differences are that you can learn in the summer, that is. E. A year can be completed 3 semesters, rather than two, as in Russia. This greatly speeds up the learning process. Of course, summer is not taught in all classes, but can be trained less important subjects, such as history or English. Students usually learn the first two courses in the summer, on the third and fourth years, as a rule, do not learn, t. To. The work part time in companies, gaining experience. Another difference - admission to the university is possible during any semester during the year of study.
All study subjects (classes) are divided into two groups: the main or related to the profession, and background. Each student is required to take two courses of English, two courses in American history, two courses of the government apparatus, and another class of art and sociology (a la psychology, philosophy, history of art, or something like that you can choose from a large sheet of proposed classes ).
Yeah, so the United States has "left" classes exclaim trolls! But this is not the case. Firstly, these classes are very small in comparison with the relevant classes. Second, all of these items are available for training in the last two years of school, and the university, as a rule, is likely to take 1-2 classes in order to complete all minor items. Moreover, many students still studying at school, gaining two classes of physics, chemistry and mathematics three, thereby facilitating and speeding up the training himself in high school. Another way to get rid of non-principal items - pass them in college after high school, so do many: first it is much cheaper, and secondly, to study in college yet easier. After 2-4 semesters of successful studies in college, you can try to go to university, with good grades you will be transferred without any problems. Incidentally discharged from college is not necessarily, you can just make a transfer to the university.
Professional classes are divided into three groups, too - preparatory, specialized and specific. Are preparatory classes that will be needed in the future, for example, the basic physics or chemistry. Specialized classes are directly related to function, e.g., chemical processes or organic chemistry. In addition, last semester have selective classes (specific profile classes) that the student chooses, taking into account their specialty. For example, if you want to work at an oil refinery, it is best to study subjects related to refinery processes, for those who want to work at sea is better to choose something from the world of crude oil and the process of cleaning. Classes you can take and more than is required, it is not prohibited, it is possible to take classes from the graduate program.
Now let's talk about studying for a semester.
There is no "examination session" concept. Continuous session here, you need to work constantly at 100%, it is good to take each item. Each piece has a specific assessment of the structure, and it looks like this:.. During the semester you will have 3 exams, which are estimated at 15% of the total assessment, examinations are held each month (that in an average semester lasts for 3 months, then we exam every month). These exams cover a certain part of the study material on the subject within a month. At the end of the semester there are so-called "final week", usually a half or two weeks with final exams. Final exam - this is the result of your study of the subject for an entire semester. Generally, it is rated as 30% of the total evaluation. In addition to this are taken into account and homework, all of 11, as the 10% of the total assessment, and still have tests, they, too, 11 and it is the remaining 15% of the score.
As a rule, the teacher makes it possible to replace the final exam is one of the worst semester examinations, replacing an assessment of the worst test score of the final exam, of course, provided that the final exam score is higher. The same thing happens with homework and test, one of the worst points falls and is considered only 10 jobs instead of 11.
The structure of interest and the number of tests, homework and control may vary, may be added to the presentation, laboratory work, projects and additional tasks for further evaluation. Something may be completely absent (domestic work, for example, or control). The essence of the structure remains unchanged - the entire semester to work conscientiously in the learning process, there is only entitled to one mistake. To the final situation is slightly changed, especially for sample profile classes: the lion's share assessment is formed of a semester project, individual or group.
At the end of the course the student must pass a state exam, which is called the "fundamental engineering base", this test costs about $ 200, and given it twice a year, it lasts 8 hours and covers a large number of classes related to the job as general and specialized. Without this examination, many companies hire you do not take, t. To. After 5 years, you can take the exam for the title of professional engineer and get howl license, but without fundamental bases you to prof. exam will not allow. And if you do not have a license, you will not be able to sign their own any project or design, such an engineer at some point becomes useless for the company.
All the classes that you have studied during the semester, are formed into a single assessment, which is called the grade point average, or GPA (Grade Point Average). Then I will not write about the average score, ie. To. The mechanism is quite complicated and the Internet can find a lot of material on the subject, as it is considered. The average score varies between 0.00 and 4.00. As a rule, if the student's score above 3.5, it is considered a good student, above 3.7 - an excellent pupil, although these figures are different for each student.
Now about themselves examinations. All written exams, problems are solved in writing tests is only on the "left" class at the beginning of training. Tickets are not here, and the questions are not known prior to the examination. Professor gives the approximate reference and tutorial before the exam, but what will be on the exam, it is not known. I came, I got a job, so sit down and perform. Typically, the test contains 3-4 tasks from easy to difficult, the latter a very complex task, and decide its small number of students. There are tests with only one task.
After the exam is a detailed analysis of the examination and solution of all problems together, so there was no one questions and misunderstandings.
Of course, there are always exceptions. Some teachers are sometimes repeated questions or give a similar problem, but teachers clearly understand that students have a lot of old tests. In the history of my studies, I knew of only one teacher, whose tests were the same, only the numbers have changed, everyone was very pleased, because the passed one of the most important things of life - Statistics. I did this teacher because well aware, none of us do not need it, except those who will go to the designers, but these students need to learn a few more statistics, so we had a compromise and everyone was sleeping peacefully. For all other subjects with our exams flogged three skins.
What to do if you have not passed the subject in some circumstances, such as illness or family circumstances? Do not worry, everyone understands that something can happen, for it is an estimate of the W, or withdraw. In this case, the class is fully "drops" (you refuse to continue teaching in this class); you no longer go to school, and the next semester class should take over. Teachers with the understanding part of the position. I know the story, when the student has had an accident and she lowered all the objects, in spite of the final week and brought back all the money for the semester, thereby allowing her to pass all subjects again for the next semester.
If you do drop the object, the money you get back, and you will suffer slightly GPA. What to do if you are not sure that will cope with the study of the subject? Nothing special, take a class and see what and how. During the first two weeks of training class can also be omitted, but you get all the money back and not get any estimates at all, t. E. The average score of such an attempt will not be affected.
PySy: drop the items can not be permanently, ie to the entire school history since the release of school is allowed only six W assessments should then expulsion for academic failure...
What help students have? Help much. Firstly, the educational profile groups that are candidates for a doctor. At these sessions, students perform additional tasks, find out any issues. Secondly, there is a teacher himself, and there is a special support center, where you can always find the professor and with him cope with the task. In addition, there are students anonymous sites where you can read reviews and evaluation of teachers themselves. Such sites are better read, there is not very good teachers, and better items they did not take. Well, in general, it is accepted to study at the companies in the library with sorting out problems.
Can I be blamed on exams? Of course you can, but there is one thing. This "but" is not that difficult to write off very, t. To. The teachers kept a sharp watch on the students, and when copying mercilessly expelled immediately. "But" is it cheating you can not hide from classmates, and you immediately believe the stigma of "cheater". You will lose the respect of friends and other students.
Also pay attention to the fact that if all the exams in the "left" and preparatory classes were closed books, almost all the exams in the specialized classes are open books, as well as abstracts, laptop, internet, and lo and behold, Google. Is it impossible to work in groups and write off a neighbor. Just at this level given such tasks, if you have not studied, no internet, no notes, no tutorial will not help you. Personally, I was preparing some scripts in Excel and Matlab to accelerate routine steps that I knew to be in any task. It saves me a lot of time. The exam usually lasts 3 hours and a lot of students do not have time to solve all so similar time saving me time and again saved.
Now, let's talk about payment. All high schools in the US are paid, at first glance, it's bad, but only at first. Paid training forces students to study in full force, thereby opening him great prospects in the upcoming career. Even millionaire dad will not invest money in his son-loafer, everything is able to count money.
If a student does not have money for education? You can serve in the US Army and then the government will pay you to study, accommodation and textbooks in any US university. You can take a loan from a bank or get a student aid from the government. You can get help from companies that provide grants to students, for example, I paid half of study grants, which are received from the Shell Company, Chevron, Halliburton, and a couple of other reputable companies. Such grants - it is absolutely free money to anything you do not oblige, I got them just for being a good student. The university itself also has a good budget aid to students. Company giants are well aware that it is necessary to select the most intelligent students in the fierce competition, the competition and create universities. All lazy or brake students are expelled or change the specialty, are the best, that's it-the company and the job offer. Received from the engineering department 120 students, we released the 32. The rest were expelled, others have gone themselves or transferred to another specialty.
How much is the study? It depends on the university, if you are going to do, then we can easily find out the approximate cost of training on the site of any educational institution.
Well, the last - employment. In any institution there is an internal website where students can submit their resumes. In the same companies publish vacancies. Students looking job, send them your resume, and the company, if you come to them, call you for an interview. The better your GPA, the higher salary offers, and the more companies will follow you "hunt". In turn, if you learn something as you will, alas, does not shine very big company such as BP or Shell just write, do not send resume with an average score of less than 3.75. The fight for the good of students takes place in the serious companies all want to get the very best. Medium and small companies of the remaining selected.
The strongest students receive a job offer for 3-4 semesters prior to the release, they know where they will work and what to do. In our university salary for top students began by $ 100k and the arena stood in the face of oil, Shell, BP, Chevron, Exxon, Halliburton, Schlumberger, average performance offered by $ 70k more than small companies. Other students received job offers within 1-2 semester before graduation. I should add that I am writing here about the students who have American citizenship or a green card. Even the good students of foreign students who wish to work in the United States, had a problem with employment. Americans provide employment in the first place of its citizens, and the rest are second stream. In addition, the university has a special association that will help you write a good resume, as well as pre-teach correct behavior on interviews with employers, to help avoid errors in conversation and behavior during the interview.
In addition to its sites, company employers is carried out in the university open days. At these events, they talk with the students, who wish to take on a resume and filling up its database for future workers.