The word student may have two different meanings, depending on the context in which it is used. In some contexts, the word student refers to a person enrolled in a classroom. A student in a classroom may be viewed as an adult learner who is being taught about a particular subject by another adult. At other times, the term student refers to a person learning in a home setting. An example of this is a teenager taking classes in high school.
Typically, a student body represents the interests of the students in a classroom, but also includes other adult learners, whether students are in school or not. There are many ways in which student governments at educational institutions represent the needs of students and help provide structure to the democratic society. In the United States, student leaders usually elect or appoint a Student Representative to the General Parents Committee, which has authority to formulate and recommend policies for the students’ benefit. In most school communities, the student representatives serve as the chief representatives for their peers on all matters of student government and are responsible for making student policy decisions in accord with their constituents.
It is common for parents to be elected to represent their children on the Student Representative Council, but sometimes the community school board will appoint them. In these instances, the elected student leader serves as the primary school board chairperson and is responsible for all matters affecting the school community, such as budgeting and student curriculum. The student board chairperson may have several responsibilities, including oversight of the academic board, student activities, and extracurricular and athletic programs. She is also responsible for overseeing the college admissions process and may have final say on admissions to the school.
At some universities, students may elect to be self-admitted students, which means that they will be admitted to the school without applying for admission to the university first. Self-admitted students must meet certain criteria set forth by their university. At the time of application for enrollment, first-year students must declare their major, and students who wish to participate in intercollegiate athletics must declare their sport’s major. Students applying to the university of their choice also must complete the Undergraduate Admissions Test (UAT), and must also complete the Graduate Admissions Test (GAT) within five years of their date of matriculation at an accredited university.
Freshman year is the “freshman year” at many universities. At most universities, first-year students will take their first courses at the college or university of their choice. Many universities require students to complete a minimum of two years at an institution of higher education before they can enroll in their first-year coursework. Some colleges and universities have special educational needs, such as small classes with small group work, a need for student organizations, and so on. At these institutions, students will complete their first two years of college at the university.
After completing the primary school year, new students may choose to attend a university-level institute for their degree. At the university level, students enroll in a physical college or university that has its own degree program. A physical college may be a separate school that is part of the same system as the primary school, a state college, or a junior or community college. At the university level, students choose a specific area of study and then pursue a degree in that area of study. At some universities, students may also choose to enter the teaching profession after graduation, but this usually requires several years of school in a teaching position.
At the secondary school level, students choose either a public or private school. Public schools are generally the local university or one within the state. Private schools are usually much smaller than public ones and are often based at home. When students opt for a public or private school, they must often join the military or serve in the Peace Corps prior to or after completion of their degree program.
Students who wish to go on to college and earn a Bachelor’s degree will have to wait until their sophomore and junior years of high school if they choose to attend a traditional university. Students can also choose to attend a vocational school for two years or pursue a two-year college degree through the Air Force or the Navy or the Marines. In order to complete their degree, students must still be in high school. Some colleges require two years of community service after high school before graduation. At any time after that, a student can transfer to another four-year college or university, but he or she must wait to apply for admission.