Noticing that nearly 150,000 edX learners (in 2014) were high school students, edX announced its high school initiative addressing the crucial need of college readiness gap.
Studies show that nearly 60 percent of first-year U.S. college students are unprepared for postsecondary studies. This readiness gap between college eligibility and preparedness is costly not only to students, but also to families and institutions.
MOOCs are offering courses from top high schools, secondary schools and universities to help students prepare for Advanced Placement (AP®) Exams and CLEP® Exams, as well as introductory-level courses to help you get ahead of the game. Examples are edX specially designed courses and FutureLearn's special collection of courses targeted to help students prepare for university.
How can MOOCs help you?
1. Prepare for AP exams
There over 35 Advanced Placement (AP) exams that high-schoolers can take to gain college credit. Getting AP college credit can save a lot of money and possibly shorten time to graduation.
2. Feel for potential schools
Which school is a great fit for me? Students do not know and cannot know for sure without getting a feel for the school. Often, even visiting a school does not give students a sense of how professors teach and what it is like to learn there. MOOC classes can help you get a feel for professors, the learning environment and quality of classes. Remember though that it is usually the best professors who teach online, and many professors do not like to teach, so don't assume that the MOOC experience is applicable to every class. However, it will give a feel for differences between schools, their support for educations, etc.
3. Exploring majors
What major should I pick? Many students have no clue and an estimated 80% end up changing their major. Explore classes and see what sparks your interest. Do it right from your house by taking some MOOC classes.
4. College application
Another advantage of taking MOOC classes is to show your passion and commitment in your personal statement. You can even get certificates to show your commitment and academic ability.
5. Content and mastery
What courses should you take? We suggest to address two key issues: content and mastery.
For content, we recommend taking classes to refine your writing and language skill, getting ahead in computer science, refreshing your math knowledge, and training your brain to think critically. There are many MOOC courses available to address the above.
For mastery, we recommend 1:1 tutoring. Did you know that Mark Zuckerberg had a computer science tutor at age 11? At Hillview Prep, we can help you with your AP and CLEP exams. We can also speed up your learning MOOC classes. The MOOC classes can give you a good structure to follow and our tutors can help you master the material. Contact us and let us know how we can help you get ahead in college.