Project Based Learning and College Prep

Everyone knows that getting into college is competitive, so it is no wonder that parents can be skeptical about sending their kids to a school that uses teaching methods that skew away from the mainstream. 

But colleges are not as quick to turn their heads at alternative education as one might think. Many students thrive at project based high schools, and colleges want students who thrive. 

The proof is in the results. One project based learning school in San Diego boasts a 99 percent matriculation into higher education, and that is without a conventional AP curriculum or traditional testing.

If you are concerned about what a project based learning high school would mean for your child's college process, there are many reasons why it might actually be in your child's best interest, both for getting into college and transitioning into adulthood. 

There are several ways a project-based learning high school can help your child with the college-application process: 

  • Now more than ever, colleges seek diversity of all kinds. Part of that comes from gathering a student body from various racial and socio-economic backgrounds, but diverse educational backgrounds are also crucial. Students taught in non-traditional methods bring a fresh perspective. 
  • High school students today use memorization as their go-to technique for getting the best grades. When conventional testing is out of the picture, memorization is not even an option. Project based learning students learn to be thinkers and problem solvers, and it shows when it comes time to submit personal essays and maintain discussions in interviews.  
  • Small classrooms allow students to get noticed when college representatives visit. Many project based learning schools develop strong relationships with colleges and are able to show their students in the best light. 

Beyond getting into college, the project based learning system is about preparing students for adulthood: 

  • Students are taught to value their own learning process. The conventional division between AP students and non-AP students sends a "they're smarter" message, and each group is isolated from the other. Project based learning is about finding the best way each student learns, and encouraging students to learn from each other.
  • In many cases, honor students are in the same classes as non-honor students. Isolation and competition evaporates. As in the real world, students work at different rates and on different projects, but everyone shares a space and discusses ideas. 
  • Because students are expected to present their work, there is a real pressure to go about their work with care. Students ask themselves if they are truly doing their best work. They have room to discover which aspects of the project they love and which aspects they find tedious. In other words, they begin to learn what they are passionate about. 
  • Students are expected to have a strong command of their content when presenting to their peers. This means that they are constantly internalizing ideas and forming perspectives that will guide them through adulthood.

Project based learning high schools stay grounded in a world obsessed with results and numbers, while maintaining focus on the college process. It is a tough balance to strike, but well worth it. The project based learning system is about the big picture: "The traditional learning environment prepares kids for the first year of college. The [project based learning] experience prepares students for the last years of college and beyond."

Ultimately, the goal is to send your child to the school that is best for his or her learning style and personal growth. If project based learning is the best fit for you student, then there is no need to worry about what it means for getting into college. 

Comments
Try to use a testimonial with specific claims about your organization, services, or products. Make sure it's a real quote that sounds real. Here are a few tips on writing great testimonials.
Eric Johnson
Director, Client Services
Try to use a testimonial with specific claims about your organization, services, or products. Make sure it's a real quote that sounds real. Here are a few tips on writing great testimonials.
Eric Johnson
Director, Client Services
Try to use a testimonial with specific claims about your organization, services, or products. Make sure it's a real quote that sounds real. Here are a few tips on writing great testimonials.
Eric Johnson
Director, Client Services

Most Popular Posts

Get Free Widget