I'm looking for a word that means pre-academia. Academia is the establishment of those engaged in higher education (mostly graduate students and up), so pre-academia would be those engaged in lower education (mostly K-8, high school, and undergraduates). Is there a word/phrase that means this?
In the US:
- Primary School - Grades Pre-Kindergarten to 5 (or 6) - Elementary School
- Middle School - Grades 5-7 (or grades 6-8) - Elementary School
- Secondary School - Grades 6 (or 7) to 12 - High School
- Post Secondary - College, University (undergraduates) 'Academia' starts here in the US.
- Post Graduate - Masters and Doctoral studies
- Post Doctoral - academic work done after completion of Doctoral studies, depending on the discipline.
In America, we don't say it like that. We say high school students, if we are referring to students who are not yet in college.
We never say pre-academia or pre-university or pre-college, so using those terms would identify you as a non-native speaker.
In California, we use these terms:
Elementary School - grades 1-6
Junior high school - grades 7-8 or 7-9 depending.
High School - grades 9-12 or 10-12 depending.
NOTE: In California, it is less common to use "primary school" or "middle school" or "secondary school" or "post secondary". These words are being used commonly in many other states, apparently. Also, these words are commonly used in England. however.