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Year-Round Schooling Is Voted In Los Angeles

HIGHER EDUCATION IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

 

TOPICAL VOCABULARY

 

1. Who is who: applicant/prospective student; freshman; sophomore, junior, senior, undergraduate student; graduate (grad) student; part-time student; .transfer student; night stu­dent; faculty:1 teaching assistant, assistant professor, associate professor, (full) professor; counselor.2

2. Administration: dean, assistant dean, department chair­man; President of the University; academic vice-president; stu­dent government; board of trustees.

3. Structure: college (college of Arts anil Sciences); school (school of Education), evening school;'grad school; summer school;3 college of continuing education;4 department; career development and job placement office.2

4. Academic calendar: fall spring term/semester; fall, winter, spring, summer quarter; school/academic year; exam period/days — reading days/period;5 break/recess; deadline6 (fall term break; whiter recess or winter holidays, summer vaca­tion).

5. Academic programs:course (a one / three credit course); to take a course, to give a lecture; pass-fail course;1 elective, a major/to major (what's your major?); a minor (second in importance); discussion session; seminars; a more academic class, usually with grad students; a student-teacher.

6. Grades: to get/to give a grade; pass-fail grading (e. g.: to take grammar pass-fail); grades A, B, C, D, E; A-student; to graduate with straight A; a credit, to earn a credit; education record.2

7. Tests: quiz; to take/to give an exam; to retake an exam (a retake); to flunk a course; to flunk smb; to drop out/to with­draw; a pass-fail test; multiple choice test; essay test; SAT, PSAT (preliminary SAT) ACT; GPA.3

8. Red Tape: to register (academically and financially); to enroll for admission; to interview; to sign up for a course; to select classes/courses; to drop a course, to add a course,4 a student I.D.,5 library card; transcript; degrees: B.A., M.A., Ph.D.; to confer a degree; to confer tenure, thesis, paper, dissertation.

9. Financing:full-time fees; part-time fees; graiits; student financial aid; to apply for financial aid; to be eligible for finan­cial assistance; scholarship; academic fees; housing fees; a col­lege work-study job.

 

Higher Education

 

Out of more than three million students who graduate from high school each year, about one million go on for higher edu­cation. A college at a leading university might receive applica­tions from two percent of these high school graduates, and then accept only one out of every ten who apply. Successful applicants at such colleges are usually chosen on the basis of a) their high school records; b) recommendations from their

high school teachers; c) their scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SATs).

The system of higher education in the United States com­prises three categories Of institutions: 1) the university, which may contain a) several colleges for undergraduate students seeking a bachelor's (four-year) degree and b) one or more graduate schools for those continuing in specialized studies beyond the bachelor's degree to obtain a master's or a doctoral degree, 2) the technical training institutions at which high school graduates may take courses ranging from six months to four years in duration and learn a wide variety of technical skills, from hair styling through business accounting to com­puter programming; and 3) the two-year, or community col­lege, from which students may enter many professions or may transfer to four-year colleges.



Any of these institutions, in any category, might be either public or private, depending on the source of its funding. Some universities and colleges have, over time, gained reputa­tions for offering particularly challenging courses and for pro­viding their students with a higher quality of education. The factors determining whether an institution is one of the best or one of the lower prestige are quality of the teaching faculty; quality of research, facilities; amount of funding available for libraries, special programs, etc.; and the competence and num­ber of applicants for admission, i. e. how selective the institu­tion can be in choosing its students.

The most selective are the old private north-eastern univer­sities, commonly known as the Ivy League, include Harvard Radcliffe, (Cambridge, Mass., in the urban area of Boston), Yale University (New Haven, Conn. between Boston and New York), Columbia College (New York), Princeton University (New Jersey), Brown University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, University of Pennsylvania. With their traditions and long established reputations they occupy a position in Ameri­can university life rather like Oxford and Cambridge in Eng­land, particularly Harvard and Yale. The Ivy League Universi­ties are famous for their graduate schools, which have become intellectual elite centers.

In defence of using the examinations as criteria for admis­sion, administrators say that the SATs provide a fair way for deciding whom to admit when they have ten or twelve appli­cants for every first-year student seat.

In addition, to learning about a college/university's entrance requirements and the fees, Americans must also know the fol­lowing:

Professional degrees such as a Bachelor of Law (LL.A.) or a Bachelor of Divinity (B.D.) take additional three years of study and require first a B.A. or B.S. to be earned by a student.

Graduate schools in America award Master's and Doctor's degrees in both the arts and sciences. Tuition for these programs is high. The courses for most graduate degrees can be completed in two or four years. A thesis is required for a Master's degree; a Doctor's degree requires a minimum of two years of course work beyond the Master's degree level, success in a qualifying examination, proficiency in one or two foreign languages and/or in a research tool (such as statistics) and completion of a doctoral dissertation.

The number of credits awarded for each course relates to the number of hours of work involved. At the undergraduate level a student generally takes about five three-hour-a week courses every semester. (Semesters usually run from September to early January and late January to late May.) Credits are earned by attending lectures (or lab classes) and by successful­ly completing assignments and examinations. One credit usual­ly equals one hour of class per week in a single course. A three-credit course in Linguistics, for example, could involve one hour of lectures plus two hours of seminars every week. Most students complete 10 courses per an academic year and it usually takes them four years to complete a bachelor's degree requirement of about 40 three-hour courses or 120 credits.

In the American higher education system credits for the academic work are transferable among universities. A student can accumulate credits at one university, transfer them to a second and ultimately receive a degree from there or a third university.

 

Year-Round Schooling Is Voted In Los Angeles

 

The L.A. board of education, has voted to put all its schools on a year-round schedule. This decision does not necessarily increase the number of school days, but it is expected to save money on new construction and allow more efficient use of ex­isting school facilities. Students would go to school for the same total 180 days a year, but they would have more, shorter vacations. In crowded schools, vacations would be staggered to ease the demand for space. Educational experts would study closely whether the benefits of a year-round program are worth the sacrifice of the traditional summer vacation. If it is proven that test scores of students are improved and performance is up, other cities win emulate the program.

The supporters of year-round education believe educators simply cannot justify that long three-month summer vacation any more. The nine-month schedule was never designed for education. It is a 19th century agricultural-economic schedule. Supporters, many from Hispanic and black inner-city areas, contend that the year-round schedules are the only economi­cally practical way to cope with continuing influx of new stu­dents into schools that are already strained beyond capacity.

But there is a lot of opposition simply because it's a change. It's a deep-seated tradition that kids don't go to school in the summer and teachers don't teach.

 

The decision in Los Angeles was driven primarily by a need to alleviate overcrowding in the schools. Besides many educa­tors also back the theory that children learn and retain more when breaks from class-room work are shorter and academic performance often ijhpcoves in year-round schools. The exact calendar to be used is still under study, but most students will either go to school on a cycle of 60 weekdays of class followed by 20 weekdays of vacation, or 90 weekdays of class followed by 30 weekdays of vacation. For example students would have one-month vacation in August, December and April. In most crowded schools students would be broken into "tracks", or groups that would follow overlapping schedules to ensure that school facilities are in constant use with a minimum of over­crowding.

Parents in Los Angeles had jammed hearing on the issue for several years with many protesting that vacations would be hard to coordinate, especially if children in different schools were in different schedules, and that it would be difficult for older children to find summer jobs. Others say that they would just as soon have vacation time to ski in the winter as they would have time off in the summer.

 

APPENDIX

 


Date: 2016-03-03; view: 210


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