What Is The Early College Program?

What Is The Early College Program?

The early college program is not dual enrollment.
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Not many people know about the early college program even though there are a lot of early college students. Many people don't even understand the program thinking it's dual enrollment. The early college program is not dual enrollment. The college that the students attend is their “high school,” the high school that the students came from is their home school. Some of the students' home schools allow them to do sports and attend dances and etc., but other students have to transfer to a Windover school that allows them to join the program.

High school students can't start the program until they are a sophomore in high school. Once they get accepted into the program, they still have to take high school classes for their first semester. It isn't until the second or even third semester that they are allowed to take college classes.

The high school classes are used by the director and teachers of the program to see if the students are responsible enough to take college level classes. The high school classes the students take are the four main courses: English, Math, Science, and History. Out of those four classes, they need to have a C or higher to take a college level class for that subject. For example, my first semester I had D's and E's in all my classes so I didn't get to take any college courses my second semester. I stayed in those high school classes for another semester. After the second semester, everyone takes college classes.

In the program, you have a mentor that you have to make a meeting with during their office hours. This mentor is your counselor. You have to meet with your mentor once a week. The mentor you have helps you choose the classes you need to take to finish your high school credits. High school credits have to be done before you start general requirement classes.

The early college program pays for everything including books and classes. The only thing you have to pay for is lunch.

After your senior year, you can choose to stay another year in the early college program or officially go to college. They call it a plus one year. It's a really good thing to do because you get a year of college for free. After you finish the program whether you did the plus one year or not, you only need two or fewer years in college to get your bachelor's degree.

The early college program is a great way to know what to expect in college. In high school, teachers say they are not going to give you the notes from the class you miss but they end up doing it anyway. But in college, if you miss a class, your professor will not care. This is a great upside to the early college program, they make sure that you have the responsibility to get the notes from someone else in your class.

This program teaches responsibility to be able to pass classes.

You have to have the responsibility to get yourself up in the morning and get to class on time. To be able to email your professors when you can't make it to class. And you need to be able to turn in your work on time by using time management skills.

The early college program is an amazing choice for people that want to challenge themselves or for the people that feel like high school classes are too easy for them.
Cover Image Credit: Unspalsh.com

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To All Incoming Freshmen, When You Get To College, Please Don't Be THAT Freshman

I am pretty sure we all know who I'm talking about.

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As we are all counting down the days to return to campus, students are looking forward to meeting new people and reuniting with old friends. And then, there is the freshman.

We have all been there. The eagerness and excitement have been slowly building up through months of summer vacation, all waiting for this moment. I understand the anxiousness, enthusiasm, and insecurities. The opportunity to meet new people and explore a new area is very intriguing. But let's be real, you are here to make memories and get an education. So here are a few pieces of advice from a former college freshman.

1. Don't be that freshman who follows their significant other to college

This is the boy or girl who simply can not think for themselves. The 17-year-old puts their own personal goals and interests aside to sacrifice for a six-month high school relationship. This will more than likely end at an end of semester transfer after the relationship has been tested for a month or two in college life. So if you want to really enjoy your freshman year, make your own decisions and do what is best for you.

2. Don't be that freshman who lets their parents pick their major

"You are not going to school just to waste my money."

This is a statement you might have heard from your parents. As true as it might seem, this is definitely not a good way to start your college years. If you are not majoring in something you can see yourself doing, you are wasting your time. You can major in biology, go to medical school, and make the best grades. But if deep down you don't want to be a doctor, you will NOT end up being a good doctor. When it comes to picking your major, you really have to follow your heart.

3. Don't be that freshman who gets overwhelmed with the first taste of freedom

Yes. It is all very exciting. You don't have a curfew, you don't have rules, you don't have anyone constantly nagging you, but let's not get carried away. Don't be the freshman who gets a tattoo on the first night of living on your own. Don't be the freshman who tries to drink every liquor behind the bar. Don't be the freshman who gets caught up being someone that they aren't. My best advice would be to take things slow.

4. Don't be that freshman who starts school isolated in a relationship

I'm not telling you not to date anyone during your freshman year. I am saying to not cut yourself off from the rest of the world while you date someone. Your first year on campus is such an amazing opportunity to meet people, but people are constantly eager to start dating someone and then only spend time with that person.

Be the freshman who can manage time between friends and relationships.

5. Don't be that freshman who can't handle things on their own

It is your first year on your own. Yes, you still need help from your parents. But at this point, they should not be ordering your textbooks or buying your parking pass. If you need something for a club or for class, YOU should handle it. If you're having roommate problems, YOU should handle it, not your parents. This is the real world and college is a great time for you to start building up to be the person you want to be in the future, but you can't successfully do that if your parents still deal with every minor inconvenience for you.

6. Don't be that freshman who only talks to their high school friends

I know your high school was probably amazing, and you probably had the coolest people go there. However, I believe that college is a great time to be on your own and experience new things. Meeting new people and going to new places will allow you to grow into a more mature person. There is a way to balance meeting new friends and maintaining friendships with childhood friends, and I am sure you will find that balance.

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25 Things Every USF Student Needs To Know ASAP

Raw, humorous and valuable advice for new or already established students.

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Whether you are a brand new college student or you have a couple semesters under your belt, it's easy to get stuck going through the motions without allowing yourself to fully absorb everything that your school has to offer. These 25 students at the University of South Florida share some of their most valuable advice, secrets, and hacks when it comes to getting the most out of your college experience.

Going To The Football Games

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"If I could give a first-time student some advice I'd say to take off of work on Saturday and just go to the football games because they'll regret it if they don't." Ciara G.

Finding Opportunities

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"Read the Note-a-Bulls emails and flyers you see on campus. Sometimes you find a great scholarship, internship, and recreational opportunities." Abigayle R.

Gaining Friends And Losing Friends

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"Remember that some people come into your life for short periods and even though some make your life amazing while others make it awful…they're part of your story!" Ashley J.

Procrastinating

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"Always put school work as a number one priority. I know I sometimes slacked off and waited until the absolute last minute to do assignments my first year. Not only did that stress me out but that work also ended up not being as good as it could've been. Also, take as many pictures as you can because before you know it college is over." Sydney M.

Sidewalk Etiquette

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"If you walk slow, do not walk in the center of the sidewalk." Katie H.

The Squirrels

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"The squirrels get aggressive, just be careful." Alex K.

Doing Laundry On Campus

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"Always check the USF app to see if the laundry machines are in working order, and if you want your money back call, the app for the company doesn't work well…and keep in mind they'll give you a refund, but they will send a physical check even for something as small as a dollar." Megan M.

When In Florida, Do As The Floridians Do

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"Always carry an umbrella because there is a 100% chance that it will rain. Also, buy a rain jacket that can fit over your backpack in order to protect electronics." Sina W.

Dining Dollars and Beer

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"You can buy stuff that is not food from the pod with dining dollars and you can buy beer from the Beef O Brady's with dining dollars after 5 p.m." Carlin I.

Finding Parking

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"Be prepared to play musical chairs, parking lot version." Negin W.

Taking Alone Time

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"Remember to take time for yourself. Whatever that may be, always remember you deserve time for you!" Mary S.

Checking Your Emails Is Important

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"Check your email regularly. This is the only way advisors/faculty can communicate with you. Also, set your mail.usf email to forward to your personal email account if you don't want to check more than one email." Cherie D.

Letting Go Of The Past

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"Nothing from your past matters, not people or things, so don't dwell on it." Cameron H.

Sitting In Someone Else's Spot

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"Respect peoples non-assigned assigned seat. Also, people at USF are friendly so don't be afraid to talk to people and make new friends." Gaby M.

Talking In Class

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"Don't be afraid to talk in class. The class will go by so much better and will be less boring if you help the professor out and say something. Also, be sure to go to peer leading because it helps me so much." Brandon W.

Being Friendly To Your Professors And Classmates

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"Get to know professors as humans and mentors. Be the student whose smiling face they look for in class when they come in. Don't always dive for the empty table if you see others sitting alone. Maybe they need a friend too." Amanda F.

Being Involved On Campus

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"Take advantage of the stuff on campus. Like you pay for it. Do it." Leeland B.

Exercise And Finding Free Food On Campus

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"Join a sports team on campus, you'll get your exercise in and make amazing friends! Also, download the Edi-Bull app to find the free food on campus." Megan K.

Being Anti-Social

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"Go to USF events and just talk to people. That little voice that tells you 'ah people are scary, I shouldn't interact,' almost everyone has that voice in some sort of way so you already have something in common. Also, come to WOW (Week Of Welcome) and so hi to the PALS (Peer Advisor Leaders)." Ishaat Musrur H.

Not Knowing Your Purpose

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"Don't worry about figuring out everything (yourself, your major, your classes, etc) right away. It's okay to be a little unsettled as long as you are working hard along the way." Bonita H.

Sleeping, Eating, And Showing Up To Class

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"Set a structured schedule for yourself. Try to get up and go to sleep around the same time every week day-it makes waking up easier and it's healthier for your body! You don't have to live off of fast food. I know it's easier and all around on campus but try making yourself something- you'd be surprised how easy cooking can be. Also, go to class! Even if attendance isn't mandatory, you're paying for every single hour of that lecture. Better not waste it." Hannah W.

Controlling The Music In The Dining Hall

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"You can control the music in the dining hall using the Rockbox app." Nicole Y.

Figuring Out Where Your Classes Are

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"At least a day before classes start, walk around on campus to find out where they all are and go to your professor's office hours. Especially if it pertains to your grade, but even just for one little question. Get to know your professors." Demi A.

Picking The Best Classes

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"Prepare for the next semester! Try and figure out what classes you need for the coming semester ahead of time so you're ready to get them as soon as you can sign up!" Elizabeth S.

Appreciating Your RA's

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"Get to know your RA! They're here to help you get acclimated and enjoy your time on campus." Gia R.

The number one thing to remember is to have fun and appreciate each moment because these few years will fly by faster than you think. Go Bulls!

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