Pre-College Program at UVM Helps High School Students Choose a Major

Burlington High School (BHS) senior Mae Jeffers knew she loved languages but wasn’t sure how to turn that interest into a college major. A pre-college course, Russian 101, at The University of Vermont helped Jeffers decide what she plans to study next fall. “If you are thinking about doing a pre-college program, I would recommend doing something that you are interested in,” said Jeffers. “For me, the program really helped me find what my major or my area of study will be; and that’s huge.”

Fitting a College Course into your High School Schedule

Jeffers wanted to take the Elementary Russian, 4-credit class at UVM at the beginning of her senior year. To fit the class into her high school schedule, she enlisted the help of her school counselor. “I contacted Mrs. Bradley and told her the class I wanted to take and the times of day that it was offered. I then moved around a couple of classes at BHS and I filled out the Vermont Dual Enrollment voucher. Once it got approved, I signed up on the UVM pre-college site.” 

A College Experience while Still in High School

Jeffers’ next step was to get comfortable being a college student even though she was still in high school. Walking into the Waterman Building on-campus for the first day of class was nerve-wracking, but she quickly felt like she fit in. “It’s not so drastically different from high school but there is that added responsibility that you are responsible for your success. I needed to know how to ask for help and how to get a tutoring session. We have at least three tutors for the Russian language program, which is a very big deal.”

Jeffers also noticed a maturity difference in her classmates. She said that the awkwardness of high school wasn’t there; she felt like she was surrounded by adults. Managing the workload of her first college class was also something that she had to navigate. Taking advantage of any free blocks in her BHS schedule and even getting work done at basketball practice helped to keep her on track.

Getting a Head Start on College

Jeffers is about to finish her second Russian class at UVM; giving her a head start on her college career with eight credits and a clear direction on what she wants to study in college. “My uncle is from Russia, and I talk with him now in Russian. He really appreciates that; he was really excited.”

See what pre-college courses are offered at UVM for high school students and get on the path to choosing the right major and area of study.