By Steven Hagmann
There were a few new graduation requirements implemented this year.
The biggest change was the addition of a career credit, which the Guidance Office views as a positive change overall. But student reactions were more mixed.
Senior Myra Thorn felt like the process was murky from the start. To her, it felt like it was incomplete when it was first introduced. She says there was little information on what the credit actually entailed.
“I feel like when we were picking our classes junior year, they weren’t completely done with choosing what they wanted to be a part of the credit. I would like to see more publicity with things.”
However, having done the volunteering and internship, she does feel like she gained something from the experience. “I feel like the interpersonal skills that I learned with that were very substantial to my knowledge of what I want to do in the future.”
Dr. Britton shared that there will be changes to how the career credit works next year. In particular, students will only be able to complete the career credit their senior year to get the most out of the experience.
“Historically kids have been able to volunteer, do internships, maybe not so much a dual enrollment class, they’ve been able to do that as early as like 9th, 10th grade, 11th grade. Starting next year, any one of the three options that we’re gonna have won’t actually be able to be completed until senior year.”
Dr. Britton also hopes to see the district hire a career counselor.
“They would be K-12, it would serve the district. And we would have a concerted career program that kids every year along the way would get exposed to different career things.”
There were also some changes to the final English course requirement.
In the past, seniors needed to take a full-year World Literature class. But for students in college prep. classes, that World Literature class is now only a semester long. To earn their full English credit, students must pair it with an additional “choice” English class. Rising seniors have several choices of English classes to make that final year a little easier and more enjoyable. Mrs. Godfrey believes this is very helpful to seniors.
“When students have a say in what they’re taking, there’s more motivation and there’s more buy-in because they see more value in it.”
The current elective options include Horror Fiction, Philosophy and Literature, Dystopian Literature, Sports Literature, and Media Literacy and Mass Communications.
This change also means that the World Literature course was condensed, but Mrs. Godfrey doesn’t think the cuts to content affected the course too negatively. “Because they did have to pick what would be in the World Lit half, and that did mean leaving some things out. But I feel like they are happy with where things landed also.”
Between staffing issues and meeting student interests, faculty and staff walk a fine line when adjusting course and credit requirements. Overall, Dr. Britton and Mrs. Godfrey feel that the changes made were both helpful and enjoyable for seniors.
I’m Steven Hagmann, Trojan News.