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Yura
Major: Economics
Status: Editor

Interests include computers, music (have a huge collection from classics to rock and house), swimming, surfing the Net and chatting with my friends.

Structure of the American System of Education.
Yuriy Rogov

The main target audience, those, so to speak, the current readers of this article, are international students. Having an idea about your own educational system, one might not even imagine other ways of teaching, educational processes and certain details about other existing systems. Therefore, it is essential to give an idea of a completely different American system of education.
The moment you enter a high school or college classroom, even before that, while preparing to study in the USA, one certainly finds out that American educational system has several distinctive features.
Known for its flexibility, it gives its students three kinds of courses: general education courses designed to fulfill general education requirements for all students, regardless of their specialty; required courses within their chosen field; and electives, which students can choose from any discipline which interests them.
The American system also assesses its students continuously from the beginning, by assigning grades at regular intervals through class work and examinations given by the instructors who know each student's strengths and weaknesses. Thus, students are always informed about their own progress. Tests, quizzes, papers, problem sets, laboratory assignments, projects, exams are just some of the assessment forms.In brief, the system looks like this. Most Americans attend twelve years of primary and secondary school. With a secondary school ("high school") diploma or certificate, a student can enter college, university, vocational (job training) school, secretarial school, and other professional schools. Below is a more detailed description.
Primary and secondary school begins around age six for U.S. children. They attend five or six years of primary school. Next they go to secondary school, which consists of either two three- year programs or a three-year and a four-year program. These are called "middle school" or "junior high school" and "senior high school" (often just called "high school"). Americans call these twelve years of primary and secondary school the first through twelfth "grades." After finishing high school (twelfth grade), U.S. students may go on to college or university.
College or university study is known as "higher education."The American system of higher education measures student's progress in credit hours, of which the student must earn 124 to graduate with a Bachelor's degree, the standard U.S. university degree. There are many types of degrees students can focus on depending on what they are interested in and what career they want to pursue. A business administration degree program is quite popular, as well as engineering programs. One credit equals 15 hours of classroom instruction. For example, a student attending history class three hours a week for a full 15-week term and earning a passing grade will receive three credits for the course.Americans enter the university after twelve years of schooling at about the age of eighteen. At this point the students are called freshmen. After earning 30 credits they become sophomores, after 60, juniors, and after 90, seniors. Traditionally Americans have earned their Bachelor's degrees by attending Spring and Fall semesters for four years, spending summers at home. Increasingly, however, students today attend summer sessions as well, in order to complete their studies as quickly as possible.
Study at a college or university leading to the Bachelor's Degree is known as "undergraduate" education. Study beyond the Bachelor's Degree is known as "graduate" school, or "postgraduate" education.
Advanced or graduate degrees include law, medicine, the M.B.A., and the Ph.D. (doctorate).

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