Every student interested in participating in the College Credit Plus must meet certain academic criteria. There are other things for students to consider when determining whether they are ready for college coursework, however. The first step is to understand the difference between high school and college.

What is the difference between high school and college?

High School


Structured Environment

  • Daily schedule is routine
  • Day begins and ends as a school group
  • Attend five days a week
  • Few course choices
  • Mandatory attendance
Manage Your Own Time

  • Routine changes every day
  • Classes may be online, face-to-face or combination
  • Not all instructors take attendance
  • It may appear that you have “free time”
Parents & Teachers as Guides

  • Direct interventions from parents
  • Teachers hold students accountable
  • Expectations are repeated often and reminders are issued
Student Balances Responsibilities

  • Students are treated as adults
  • Students are expected to initiate contact with their instructor if assistance is needed
  • Students are expected to follow the course syllabus on their own
Homework Counts

  • Grades are given for most assigned work
  • Consistent good homework may raise your grade
  • Testing is frequent over small sections
Tests & Major Papers Count

  • Tests are infrequent and often cover large amounts of material
  • Review sessions are rare
  • Students must organize their study topics and prepare to be tested
  • Make-up tests may not be available
Minimal Outside Classroom Work

  • Assigned readings are often done in class
  • Discussion is teacher led
  • Listening in class is enough
  • Lessons are read and reviewed
Significant Outside Classroom Work

  • For every hour you spend in class, you should plan on three hours of outside studying and assignments.
    (For a 3 credit hour class, you are in class for about 2.5 hours, which equals 7.5 hours of studying.)
Effort Counts

  • You can improve your grades with perfect attendance and extra credit
Results Count

  • Your grade is the result of your performance on tests and papers

Other things to consider:

  • You are responsible for getting to and from campus. Make sure that you have reliable transportation and budget for gas money.
  • College classes are more difficult, and the grades you earn in those classes count toward graduation. How might this effect your GPA and class rank?
  • Even if your high school delays or cancels, you are still expected to show up for your college classes. NSCC only cancels when there are level 3 snow emergencies across the five-county area.