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Higher Education in the USA

doc Higher Education in the USA

Many students, upon finishing high school, choose to continue their education. The system of higher education includes 4 categories of institutions.
The community college, which is financed by the local community in different professions. Tuition fees are low in these colleges, that's why about 40 per cent of all American students of higher education study at these colleges. On graduation from such colleges American students get "associate degree" and can start to work or may transfer to 4-year colleges or universities (usually to the 3rd year).
The technical training institution, at which h igh school graduates may take courses ranging from six months to three-four years, and learn different technical skills, which may include design business, computer programming, accounting, etc. The best-known of them are: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Technological Institute in California.
The four-year college, which is not a part of a university. The graduates receive the degree of Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS). There are also small Art Colleges, which grant degrees in specialized fields such as ballet, film-making and even circus performance. There are also Pedagogical Colleges.
The university, which may contain:
several colleges for students who want to receive a bachelor's degree after four years of study;
one or more graduate schools for those who want to continue their studies after college for about two years to receive a master's degree and then a doctor's degree. There are 156 universities in the USA.
Any of these institutions of higher education may be either public or private. The public institutions are financed by state. Most of the students, about 80 per cent, study at public institutions of higher education, because tuition fees here are much lower. Some of the best-known private universities are Harvard. Yale and Princeton.
It is not easy to enter a college at a leading university in the United States. Successful applicants at colleges of higher education are usually chosen on the basis of:
their high-school records which include their class rank, the list of all the courses taken and all the grades received in high school, test results;
recommendation from their high-school teachers;
the impression they make during interviews at the university, which is in fact a serious examination;
scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Tests.
The academic year is usually nine months, divided into two terms. Studies usually begin in September and end in July. Each college or university has its own curriculum. During one term a student must study 4 or 5 different courses. There are courses that every student has to take in order to receive a degree. These courses or subjects are called major subjects or "majors".
At the same time there are subjects which the student may choose himself for his future life. These courses are called 'electives". A student has to earn a certain number of "credits" (about 120) in order to receive a degree at the end of four years of college. Credits are earned by attending lectures or laboratory classes and completing assignments and examinations.
Students who study at a university or four-year college are known as undergraduates. Those who have received a degree after 4 years of studies are known as graduates. They may take graduate program for another 2 years in order to get a master's degree. Further studies are postgraduate which result in a doctor's degree.

doc Vocabulary

institution — учебное заведение
community college — колледж, в котором учатся студенты, живущие дома, и где учеба дешевле, так как часть расходов берут на себя местные органы власти
tuition fee — плата за обучение
graduation — окончание (учебно­го заведения)
associate degree — степень ассоциата, первоначальная ученая степень, присваивае­мая после двух лет обучения
to transfer — переходить
graduate — выпускник
to include — включать
accounting — бухгалтерское дело
to receive — получать
to contain — содержать, вклю­чать
either... or — как ... так и, или ... или
public — государственный
private — частный
successful — успешный
applicant — кандидат, претен­дент
grade — оценка, отметка
impression — впечатление
scores — баллы
Scholastic Aptitude Test — тест на проверку способностей ученика: экзамен из двух частей, предлагаемый поступающим в университет
term — семестр
curriculum — учебный план, программа
major subjects — профилиру­ющие предметы
electives — предметы по выбору, факультативные предметы
credit — балл или зачет за прослушанный курс
to earn — зарабатывать
to attend — посещать
to complete — выполнять
assignment — задание
further — дальнейший

doc Questions

1. What kind of institutions are there in the American system of higher education?
2. Is it easy to enter university in the USA?
3. What is necessary for a school graduate to get a place at a university?
4. Are all subjects compulsory for university students?
5. What degrees can students get at the university?
6. Can you compare Russian and American universities?
7. What is necessary for a Russian student to go to university in the USA?
8. Would you like to study in one of American universities? Why?