Transitioning to College

Becoming a Harford Owl

Transitioning from high school to college is an adjustment. Unlike high school, college students are able to choose their class schedule. Classes meet mornings, afternoons, evenings, Saturdays, or online. Typically, there are several sections of the same course so students can build a schedule that works best for them. Although students may not be in class for more than several hours a week, they are expected to complete two to three hours of outside study for each unit of credit. For 12 credits, that is at least 24 hours of out of class study time. If a student is attending college full time (12+ credits), we recommend they not be working a full time job as well. College is a full time job!

How Can You Help Your Student?

We encourage parents to take on the role of supporter, mentor, and coach. Help your student to understand that they need to advocate for themselves. Their attendance and performance is not monitored like it is in high school. Encourage your student to:

  • Meet with their assigned advisor every semester
  • Maintain a balance of study and work hours per week
  • Be aware of college deadlines
  • Seek and utilize college resources, such as the Learning Center for tutoring services.

What Your Student Should Know Before the First Day

The following is a list of helpful information to keep in mind prior to the start of classes:

  • Transitional English and math classes do not count towards a degree but they do count for Financial AId.
  • Students are exempt from the academic skills assessments placement tests (Accuplacer) if they have scored 500 or better on each section of the SAT or 21 or better on the ACT.
  • All degree seeking students are required to complete English 101 and a college-level math course by the time they earn 24 credits.
  • All new students are advised by a First Semester Advisor within Admissions. After the first semester, students are assigned an advisor within Advising, Career, and Transfer Services based on their major.
  • Many of our classes transfer seamlessly to four-year institutions. Review our Articulation Agreements with other Maryland colleges and ARTSYS with your assigned advisor.
  • A permit is not needed for parking. There are plenty of parking options on campus however the ones closest to the academic buildings fill up the fastest. Encourage your student to review the campus map and make a note of the parking areas closest to their classes.
  • OwlNet is the student portal for online access to the following: registering for classes, view grades/transcript, access financial aid award information, pay for classes, access Blackboard and OwlMail, and campus activities and announcements. 


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