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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Achieve or not to achieve?

While considering a high school education, many students like to think that a lack of achievement or effort will have little effect on their hopes for the future. High school is, after all, a mere pre-cursor to the college experience, and if success can be achieved at the university level, then what difference do these four years of adolescent schooling make?

What if high school, however, were viewed as a sort of preparation stage. Could a high school underachiever be expected to suddenly “turn on” his or her brain and manage to thrive and do well in college? The possibility is feasible, but apparently not likely.

“If a student goes in with the idea that they will hold off for now and do the real work later, they miss out on huge opportunities for their future,” Jon Endicott, vice principal and senior adviser, said. “A lack of preparation in high school writing, math, or even basic studying skills will limit the student as far as college choices go.”

“Academic underachievement will generally only allow students to attend community college rather than a four year college,” Endicott added, “and those who start in these community colleges most often do not end up transferring to a four-year school as they had originally planned.”

Jeff Torosian, ’03, is currently attending classes at Fresno City College four nights a week. He claimed that the education he received at Fresno Christian sets him apart from the other students at FCC.

“I wouldn’t say that all high schools are beneficial for college preparation,” Torosian said, “because other students I see there are high school graduates and they still struggle. The difference is that a lot of high schools just don’t teach you what you need to know.”

Torosian claims that his biggest advantage comes in essay writing ability.

“Fortunately the education I received while at Fresno Christian gave me what I needed to succeed in college as far as essay writing goes,” Torosian said. “A lot of the other high schools that these people attended just didn’t provide the necessary information their students needed. Or maybe the students did not do enough to learn it.”

A growing trend of underachievement has become recently evident in large amounts within the Clovis Unified School District. An article printed recently in the Clovis High Newspaper, The Cougar’s Growl, states that their DFI index (the number of students who receive Ds, Fs, or an I for incomplete) included approximately one third of its freshman class.

Psychologist Douglas C. Varvil, Ph.D. wrote an article for the Pauquette Psychological Service Center in which he testifies that a person’s academic achievement level is based completely on their self-expectations.

“As children grow older,” Varvil said, “they develop opinions of themselves regarding their strengths and weaknesses in many areas, including their abilities as students.”

In addition to his statements, Endicott wished to include that not all high school underachievers do poorly in college.

“Many of them finally get into classes that are of some interest to them,” Endicott said, “and they change from ?C’ students into ?A’ students because they are doing what they want to do. The learning style in college is more suited to their tastes. One of the most crucial elements I have seen of successful college students; however, is that they were successful high school students.”

For more information regarding Dr. Varvil’s articles, go online at or students can contact Endicott in the high school office at 297-9464, ext. 126.

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