EDUCATION SYSTEM IN USA
Although some of the following definitions may be useful to professionals working in the U.S., this section is designed especially for overseas staff and faculty who work with U.S. students. A comprehensive list would be many times as long; nonetheless, this short compendium is designed to include many of the terms that host country educators working with U.S. students are most likely to encounter
1. Types of Educational InstitutionsThe following definitions are based on U.S. usages. Some terms have different meanings in other Anglophone countries.
2. Degrees and Educational LevelsMany of the terms below have fairly standard meanings from one country to another; however, some tend to be little used outside the U.S.
3. Credit and InstructionThe terms below include those related to the administrative aspects of coursework offered by U.S. institutions of higher education.
4. Classes and CoursesThis section addresses terms that have multiple meanings in multiple countries. It aims to provide guidance to overseas professionals working with U.S. undergraduates.
5. Academic CalendarsThere is no national academic calendar in the U.S.; individual institutions usually determine their own calendars. The following are the calendar systems and elements most commonly used by U.S. higher education institutions.
6. Selected Higher Education OrganizationsThe following are the higher education associations with which education abroad professionals are likely to have contact. Because they tend to be referred to by their acronyms more often than their full names, entries begin with, and are alphabetized by, the acronym or abbreviated name.
7. The Field of International EducationThe term “international education” is often applied to a myriad of professions, activities, and disciplines. The following definitions position education abroad within those activities and highlight those terms that are sometimes used interchangeably with “education abroad.”
8. Grading System
Just like American students, you will have to submit your academic transcripts as part of your application for admission to university or college. Academic transcripts are official copies of your academic work. In the U.S. this includes your “grades” and “grade point average” (GPA), which are measurements of your academic achievement. Courses are commonly graded using percentages, which are converted into letter grades.
The grading system and GPA in the U.S. can be confusing, especially for international students. The interpretation of grades has a lot of variation. For example, two students who attended different schools both submit their transcripts to the same university. They both have 3.5 GPAs, but one student attended an average high school, while the other attended a prestigious school that was academically challenging. The university might interpret their GPAs differently because the two schools have dramatically different standards.Therefore, there are some crucial things to keep in mind: