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Graduated high school, help with community college

  1. Apr 21, 2012 #1
    Alright, so I am 16 years old and just took the CHSPE test (California High School Proficency Exam) which is equivilant to a high school diploma (So now at the end of the schoiol year I am free to go to community college full time.)

    So as for what I want to major in I definatly want to do something physics related, I am still debating wether or not I wana do Engineering physics or physics. As for course I have taken in high school, I will have up to Algebra 2 (next courses are pre-calculus and trignometry) and I have taken a intro to physics class and Intro to bio, and intro to chemistry. I have also taken a Advanced physics course (school can't afford AP credential stuff so it isint going to get me college credits).

    So that is what I have done in high school, and this summer I would like to start by taking a course and I am not sure what course I should take. I can go a hard course like the 5 credit first semester college chemistry course, or I can take pre calculus and start getting ahead in the math so I can start taking calculus and eventually the college physics courses. Or would you recomend taking lets say a history course and getting ahead on GE stuff?

    Also does anyone have any experiance transfering from a community college to a 4 year university for physics? It doesn't appear possible to complete the 3 physics courses and calc 1-3 and Diff equations within 2 years??? Can I in 2 years just have calculus 1&2 done, and 1 physics course along with 2 semesters of college chemistry (and along with some General Ed stuff) and transfer over easily enough? Or will i need to stay a 3ed year to complete all these courses? Thank you for your help :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 21, 2012 #2
    Why only take one course in the community college?? You can surely take multiple courses, no?

    I think it's very important to get ahead in math. So try to take as much math as possible. If you come out of the community college with a knowledge of calculus 2 and possibly even 3, then you're good.
  4. Apr 21, 2012 #3
    I transferred without Phys II, III, differential equations or linear algebra. I wouldn't of stayed longer to complete them but I wish I would of restructured my schedule to take them all in two years because it's easily doable (I started in algebra II, below precalc).

    Summer I: Precalc (+ GE if you want.)

    Fall: Calc I, Gen Chem, Phys I
    Spring: Phys II, calc II, gen Chem

    Summer: GEs, maybe diff eq

    Year Two: Phys III, linear algebra, calc III

    You need to push yourself in community college if you want to get out in two years. For me, community college worked great but it's somewhere you want to get out of quickly, don't stay there three years if you can avoid that, its a transition school if you plan on getting a bachelors.
  5. Apr 21, 2012 #4
    I could take more than one course, but there are not very many courses offered at different times at my CC. I would be able to do a math and GE, but that is about it.

    Thank you very much!
    Out of curiousity, are you still able to graduate in 4 years? Or do you have to stay extra time due to CC? Unfortuantly at the CC I am at I will have to take Pre calculus over the summer and then Trig first semester next year (but I should still be able to get all 3 calculus' s done.) Oh, and with the first 2 years of CC with your course load did you still find time for free time? It isin't a big deal, but I don't want to be part of activity's and then find that I will have 0 time for them due to school.
  6. Apr 21, 2012 #5
    Yes, I graduated in 4 years while taking many more courses than required by the major. Push yourself though, if you are only taking two major courses a quarter then you won't finish in four years.

    And I had plenty of spare time really. Algebra II, precalc and calculus are mechanically pretty simple and didn't take much time. Gen Chem was the same. Physics I was pretty tough but it was my only physics course there (... I started dating a girl that semester and pretty much ruined my GPA the last semester...). GEs took zero time beyond class. But, there's a lot of time in a week, it's hard to imagine one will spend ALL their time studying like people think before going into college.

    Also, one of my favorite things I did at community college was an independent study with a professor in organic chemistry. I would just read about organic chemistry and go in and talk to him and get guidance and at the end, I presented a presentation on a particular synthesis. Get to know your professors there and take advantage of the environment. Professors at CC, in my experience, LOVE students who actually want to learn.
  7. Apr 21, 2012 #6
    It's not always easy to finish CC in 2 years, since there's the problem of actually getting into classes with large wait lists, you can sometimes do it if you want to take the worst teachers for each subject. At my school, Phys I has calc II as a corequisite, and Diff Eq has calc III as a prereq. You can get out in 2 years if you plan ahead and sometimes you will just have to bite the bullet and take the harder teacher.

    At my school it might be something like Calc I/Chem I, then Phys I, Chem II, Calc II, then Calc III/Phys II, then Diff Eq/Phys III. (Organic chem during the Calc 3/Physics 2 and Diff Eq/Phys III semesters if you do something chemistry related).

    However, if you are starting in College Algebra you will defnitely need to do summer classes if you want to get out in 2 years. Essentially, plan ahead and don't give up
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