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MarkT

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For my kids, it was biology, chemistry, and physics.  The teachers didn't come anywhere near covering the material on the syllabus and/or the syllabus skipped over key areas and just didn't go into the depth required.  It wasn't a question of them doing all kinds of other cool things instead of this.  They are slowing down because kids can't handle the material, they are watching "Planet Earth" videos in place of bio labs (repeatedly -- I kid you not), etc.  

 

My dd has a friend who got As in chemistry 101 and 102 who walked into the AP exam without any extra prep and got a 1.  She's a bright kid and usually did fine testing.  She thought she was well prepared and she just wasn't.

 

You might wonder why we did DE at all.  We wanted our kids to have the classroom experience, the labs are (mostly) valuable, and they have been able to get recommendations from their professors.

 

Watching Planet Earth sounds more like remedial high school bio.  That's sad. 

 

I agree that CC is beneficial for the classroom experience even if the teaching level is so low.  It's just a shame that your CC doesn't choose to bring students up to the level they should be at rather than lowering their standards.

 

I noticed that the bio your daughter's friend took was 100 level.  Do they also offer a 200 level?  I would think that this is the one which is considered college level for those pursuing a biology degree.  Usually the 100 level biology class is for those who are not pre-med or majoring in life or natural sciences.  It would likely be more comparable to a standard high school biology course.

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Do they also offer a 200 level?  I would think that this is the one which is considered college level for those pursuing a biology degree.  Usually the 100 level biology class is for those who are not pre-med or majoring in life or natural sciences.  It would likely be more comparable to a standard high school biology course.

 

Not in my pre-med guy's experience.  A course that starts with a 1 is generally a (or the) first college level Bio course offered by the college/university.  Both his regular Bio class (that the majority of the pre-meds take) and the Honors version both start with a 1.  Those starting with 0 are the remedial courses.  Not all colleges offer those.

 

Courses starting with a 2 are generally considered sophomore level courses and usually require a 1 course as a pre-req.  Middle son as a DE student took a 2 level Microbio course at his cc.  He needed to have enough Bio as a pre-req first.  Even though he hadn't officially had a college level Bio, they considered his high test scores and let him start the class.  His prof quickly found out he was capable - and was super surprised he was a junior in high school.  I have no idea how that class would compare to a 4 year counterpart class, but his current college did not allow the credit to transfer.

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Not in my pre-med guy's experience.  A course that starts with a 1 is generally a (or the) first college level Bio course offered by the college/university.  Both his regular Bio class (that the majority of the pre-meds take) and the Honors version both start with a 1.  Those starting with 0 are the remedial courses.  Not all colleges offer those.

 

Courses starting with a 2 are generally considered sophomore level courses and usually require a 1 course as a pre-req.  Middle son as a DE student took a 2 level Microbio course at his cc.  He needed to have enough Bio as a pre-req first.  Even though he hadn't officially had a college level Bio, they considered his high test scores and let him start the class.  His prof quickly found out he was capable - and was super surprised he was a junior in high school.  I have no idea how that class would compare to a 4 year counterpart class, but his current college did not allow the credit to transfer.

 

Creekland I'm not referring to the numbers used at a 4-year; I am referring to community college numbering of courses.   For the sciences, 100 level is not for those majoring in that field and is more equivalent to high school level.  For example, 100 level physics is algebra based.  It does not count towards the requirements for someone pursuing STEM fields.  The 200 level is the first class these students would take for credit and it is calculus based.

 

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Sebastian why do you think that the education of graduates (especially non-STEM) of the elite schools is lacking?  In what way is it lacking?

 

 

What I'm thinking of are schools where there are few required history or literature survey courses, but lots of very particular, detailed special topics courses.  I'm not thinking of a situation where Literature of the Renaissance and Reformation or a class on Shakespeare covers a humanities credit.  I'm thinking of students who are taking classes on pop culture topics or a very specific slice of experience in literature or history - not as an upper level course that is one of many within their major, but in place of more general coverage - at the college level - of literature and history.

 

My own undergraduate experience had a rather rigid core requirement.  I took as many math, science and engineering courses outside my major as I took courses within my major.  Time and again I've been really happy that I had such a broad exposure to things. 

 

My concern with some of the more selective schools is my perception that they bring in really strong students, but then the college experience seems to be more focused on this extra-curricular group, or that protest movement or this other attempt to raise awareness.  Some of which may be good things, but I get the impression that they come at the expense of solid grounding in more fundamental academic understandings. 

 

Obviously, YMMV.

 

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Creekland I'm not referring to the numbers used at a 4-year; I am referring to community college numbering of courses.   For the sciences, 100 level is not for those majoring in that field and is more equivalent to high school level.  For example, 100 level physics is algebra based.  It does not count towards the requirements for someone pursuing STEM fields.  The 200 level is the first class these students would take for credit and it is calculus based.

 

 

Our community college appears to be similar with the 0, 1, and 2 numbers.  Calc III and Stats start with 2.  Calc I and II + Discrete Math and College Alg, etc, all start with 1.  Even Pre-Calc starts with 1.   :glare:  Beginning Alg and Intermediate Alg start with 0.

 

All basic Bios - even a basic Microbio - start with 1.  There is no "basic" Bio that starts with 2.  All of those are specifics (Zoology, Ecology, Botany, Genetics, Microbio, etc) and all have pre-reqs of a 1 Bio.

 

Again, different areas can work differently.

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Creekland, yes, each college numbers and labels them differently and it may be that the Bio 101 that Muttichen's dd's friend took was the biology intended for science majors.

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Creekland, yes, each college numbers and labels them differently and it may be that the Bio 101 that Muttichen's dd's friend took was the biology intended for science majors.

 

I just looked again.  Interestingly enough, Bio 101 and 102 are the "normal" courses.  The class designed for non science majors as a "review of contemporary and historical advances in biology" is Bio 108 (one course).  

 

If I had to play a matching game I'd have figured the higher number was the higher level course.  I'd have been incorrect.  I guess that course was just added later and got a higher number.

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What I'm thinking of are schools where there are few required history or literature survey courses, but lots of very particular, detailed special topics courses.  I'm not thinking of a situation where Literature of the Renaissance and Reformation or a class on Shakespeare covers a humanities credit.  I'm thinking of students who are taking classes on pop culture topics or a very specific slice of experience in literature or history - not as an upper level course that is one of many within their major, but in place of more general coverage - at the college level - of literature and history.

 

My own undergraduate experience had a rather rigid core requirement.  I took as many math, science and engineering courses outside my major as I took courses within my major.  Time and again I've been really happy that I had such a broad exposure to things. 

 

My concern with some of the more selective schools is my perception that they bring in really strong students, but then the college experience seems to be more focused on this extra-curricular group, or that protest movement or this other attempt to raise awareness.  Some of which may be good things, but I get the impression that they come at the expense of solid grounding in more fundamental academic understandings. 

 

Obviously, YMMV.

 

That's interesting.  Some students actually avoid colleges with strong cores if they have diverse interests and don't want to spend the  first year or two on courses which may not be of particular interest.  So for some STEM oriented students, this type of open curriculum may be ideal.  It's also what makes the courses seem so much more interesting IMO.  If a topic, such as American history was well covered in high school, it would be a shame to have to take time out for another course on that same topic, unless that is of particular interest  It would be different if it was on a specific area, maybe something often glanced over in high school.  Even what's current events today will be taught as history when the newest textbook edition is published.

 

Some of the elite schools do have heavy cores such as Columbia, while schools like Brown and others have very open curriculum.  It is a matter of preference and thankfully there's both types so students can make that one of the criteria when choosing their 4-year.  Even at dd's CC they gave the students a lot of choices in how to fulfill the area requirements.

 

Some of the elites do put more focus on extracurricular activities than others.  In some there's just not enough time to get involved in many areas as the academics are extremely rigorous.  Again, I think both types can appeal to different students.  I don't think Malala's academics have suffered at all for all her raising awareness, and she's not even out of high school yet!  IMO out of our college grads we need academics, and educators, and leaders, and inventors, and people who want to change the world, and even those who want to teach their own children.

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Creekland, yes, each college numbers and labels them differently and it may be that the Bio 101 that Muttichen's dd's friend took was the biology intended for science majors.

At our CC, Biology 100 is for nonscience majors.  Bio 101/102 is the intro sequence for science majors that should be equivalent to AP Bio.

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I just looked again.  Interestingly enough, Bio 101 and 102 are the "normal" courses.  The class designed for non science majors as an "review of contemporary and historical advances in biology" is Bio 108 (one course).  

 

If I had to play a matching game I'd have figured the higher number was the higher level course.  I'd have been incorrect.  I guess that course was just added later and got a higher number.

 

This whole topic of how courses are numbered and listed is a good reminder for those who are considering DE to look very carefully at course descriptions and to talk with professors when needed for clarification. 

 

Regarding the microbiology and other courses which students might want to get transfer credit for, one of the things I check to see the level is the required courses.  For a true 200 level course I would expect that the college Bio 101 would be a prerequiste and not just high school biology.  There is huge variation in this depending on the college providing the course.  

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At our CC, Biology 100 is for nonscience majors.  Bio 101/102 is the intro sequence for science majors that should be equivalent to AP Bio.

 

Wow.  

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Wow.  

Yup.

 

It was Biology 102 that they watched the Planet Earth videos in...

 

(For the record, it was chemistry that dd's friend took the AP in.  I didn't correct you on that before because, as you can see, it might as well have been bio!)

 

You can see why we decided it was important to back our kids' CC courses up with AP level work and test scores.  They were aiming for schools that don't give credit for APs or DE, so that was never an issue.  We just wanted to show admissions people, who know very well that all CCs are not equal, that our kids had learned these subjects as well as the best high school kids.  APs let us do that.

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This is also the numbering sequence where I teach, where I got my undergrad degree, and the undergrad sequence where I got my graduate degree.  Seems pretty common.

At our CC, Biology 100 is for nonscience majors.  Bio 101/102 is the intro sequence for science majors that should be equivalent to AP Bio.

 

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For my kids, it was biology, chemistry, and physics.  The teachers didn't come anywhere near covering the material on the syllabus and/or the syllabus skipped over key areas and just didn't go into the depth required.  It wasn't a question of them doing all kinds of other cool things instead of this.  They are slowing down because kids can't handle the material, they are watching "Planet Earth" videos in place of bio labs (repeatedly -- I kid you not), etc.  

 

My dd has a friend who got As in chemistry 101 and 102 who walked into the AP exam without any extra prep and got a 1.  She's a bright kid and usually did fine testing.  She thought she was well prepared and she just wasn't.

 

You might wonder why we did DE at all.  We wanted our kids to have the classroom experience, the labs are (mostly) valuable, and they have been able to get recommendations from their professors.

I think this is quite variable, even *within* a given CC.  When my son took DE courses, he found physics, even non-calc-based, and chemistry, quite challenging.  College writing and Chinese at the same school were so watered down that they were nearly worthless.  What I just recently learned about this situation is that the CC has a co-operative agreement with the state university engineering program, which is well-regarded nationally.  Student with an AA from this CC are accepted without further application into the state U's engineering program as juniors.  I think that fact has to explain why ds reports the non-calc physics he took at this CC was just as hard as the calculus based engineering physics course he took as a sophomore at a decent 4 year school. 

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Creekland I'm not referring to the numbers used at a 4-year; I am referring to community college numbering of courses.   For the sciences, 100 level is not for those majoring in that field and is more equivalent to high school level.  For example, 100 level physics is algebra based.  It does not count towards the requirements for someone pursuing STEM fields.  The 200 level is the first class these students would take for credit and it is calculus based.

 

 

Not sure why CCs can't use the standard number sequencing.  

 

Ours has College Algebra as Math 151 with these remedial courses also at 1xx level:

MAT108 Practical Geometry and Trigonometry

MAT122 Intermediate Algebra

 

with

MAT220 Calculus I -  should be 1xx level.

==========================

The state U has College Algebra as Math 112.

 

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Not sure why CCs can't use the standard number sequencing.  

 

Or perhaps, even standard courses?

 

 

 

Could be worse.

 

The local community college around here  CANCELLED ALL FALL CLASSES!  All.  

 

Supposedly, it is still a "testing center" but who knows how long that will last.

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Just one of the many things which isn't standardized from college to college.

So confusing! I don't know why, at least, the CA community colleges and the Cal States and UCs (with whom they have well-documented articulation agreements) can't be standardized. But then, some Cal States and UCs are semester and quite a few (UCs, in particular) are quarter-system ...

 

My son took DE at several local CCs and a Cal State. Just for fun, here are the (3-semester) calculus series numbers at several Bay Area CCs:

 

Math 1, 2, 3 (3 is multivariable); 20 is precalc

 

Math 251, 252, 253; 222 is precalc

 

Math 192 (!), 193, 194; 191 is precalc

 

These CCs are all within 20 miles of each other.

 

The sequence at the local Cal State (quarter system) is Math 1304, 1305, 2304, 2305; precalc is 1300. This is more like the (4-digit) system used by the college my son in Utah attends -- 1000 is freshman level; 2000 sophomore; etc.; 5000 is graduate level. Or the 3-digit version may be the most common (?) -- the classic "Econ 101" in which 100 is first-year; 200, second; etc.

 

At my undergraduate college (& at Berkeley now), 2-digit course numbers are lower division; 100-199 is upper-division; and 200+ is graduate level.

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Or perhaps, even standard courses?

 

 

 

Could be worse.

 

The local community college around here CANCELLED ALL FALL CLASSES! All.

 

Supposedly, it is still a "testing center" but who knows how long that will last.

WHAT?

 

How does that happen? Here the cc's are bursting at the seams.

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So confusing! I don't know why, at least, the CA community colleges and the Cal States and UCs (with whom they have well-documented articulation agreements) can't be standardized. But then, some Cal States and UCs are semester and quite a few (UCs, in particular) are quarter-system ...

 

My skin took DE at several local CCs and a Cal State. Just for fun, here are the (3-semester) calculus series numbers at several Bay Area CCs:

 

Math 1, 2, 3 (3 is multivariable); 20 is precalc

 

Math 251, 252, 253; 222 is precalc

 

Math 192 (!), 193, 194; 191 is precalc

 

These CCs are all within 20 miles of each other.

 

The sequence at the local Cal State (quarter system) is Math 1304, 1305, 2304, 2305; precalc is 1300. This is more like the (4-digit) system used by the college my son in Utah attends -- 1000 is freshman level; 2000 sophomore; etc.; 5000 is graduate level. Or the 3-digit version may be the most common (?) -- the classic "Econ 101" in which 100 is first-year; 200, second; etc.

 

At my undergraduate college (& at Berkeley now), 2-digit course numbers are lower division; 100-199 is upper-division; and 200+ is graduate level.

 

I think I'd go mad in the US system.  Calvin chose a particular course at a particular university because he liked the sequence.  He gets a bit of choice in his second and third year, but the curriculum for the first year is completely compulsory - he doesn't have to sign up for individual courses of study.  Most of his courses are taken with other first years, but one is with second years, because of the way that his individual chosen subject is structured.

 

L

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Wow! Was this done because of budgets or was there another reason?  I've read college enrollments are down nationwide, and we have had a 7% drop in enrollment this fall, but completely closed?!?!?

Or perhaps, even standard courses?

 

 

 

Could be worse.

 

The local community college around here  CANCELLED ALL FALL CLASSES!  All.  

 

Supposedly, it is still a "testing center" but who knows how long that will last.

 

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One thing I really like about the California CC system is that the classes that will transfer to the state's 4 year schools are specifically listed as such in the course description. So some of the courses are listed as UC/CSU, some CSU, and others are not transferable.

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One thing I really like about the California CC system is that the classes that will transfer to the state's 4 year schools are specifically listed as such in the course description. So some of the courses are listed as UC/CSU, some CSU, and others are not transferable.

 

The SUNY schools make it easy to find out transferable courses also.  But even though DE calc is transferrable, I wouldn't do it. It's not equivalent, and the student will be in the same position of catch-up as someone who took Regents Living Environment instead of Honors Bio...too much left out to skip the 4 yr U's version specific to the major if the student will be taking any subsequent courses that need calc (engineers, scientists, finance...).

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One thing I really like about the California CC system is that the classes that will transfer to the state's 4 year schools are specifically listed as such in the course description. So some of the courses are listed as UC/CSU, some CSU, and others are not transferable.

 

 

assist.org, for anyone who's interested.

 

 

The SUNY schools make it easy to find out transferable courses also.  But even though DE calc is transferrable, I wouldn't do it. It's not equivalent, and the student will be in the same position of catch-up as someone who took Regents Living Environment instead of Honors Bio...too much left out to skip the 4 yr U's version specific to the major if the student will be taking any subsequent courses that need calc (engineers, scientists, finance...).

 

 

Well, we had it both ways  :) ... My son did CC courses b/c he wanted to be out of the house, in a classroom environment, and he had excellent teachers at the two CCs and one CSU he attended DE; however, the level of most of his fellow students was pathetic, and he was strongly urged by two wonderful math professors at Berkeley to re-take their linear algebra/diff eq's course (even though he had passed these subjects in separate semesters with flying colors at the CC). He's finding that the Berkeley course is no comparison to the CC ones, even though they're listed above as transferring to UC. Since he's a freshman, not a transfer student, he can easily re-take the course, and is finding it easy, but very, very enjoyable -- b/c the level of rigor is ... well, there wasn't really any rigor in the CC course (depth of subject matter; proofs; etc.), so there really is no comparison.

 

And yes, where possible we used AP exams in addition to CC courses.

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