At this time of year, students and parents are focused on course selection and there is quite a bit of uncertainty about the value of “Academies”, AP classes, AICE vs. IB diplomas and whether “Dual-Enrollment” classes are appropriate.
This posting focuses on electives that may include Dual Enrollment, Choice/Academy or special programs beyond core course planning in English, Social Studies, Math and Science classes.
If you’re thinking about College Applications and College Planning for success, build your courses wisely- schedule your Educational and College Admissions Planning Admissions Assessment Today.
As we noted in our previous blog posting,
Your transcript matters most! The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) annual State of College Admissions report confirms (yet again) that universities continue to indicate that the high school transcript (your curriculum and GPA) is the single most important factor in the college admissions process. If you feel interested in reading the entire report:
Please review potential classes and give me a shout out to explore how a specific course might fit intoyour strategic educational plan. It’s important to have very clear reasons for enrolling in any course, but especially an online course as these are not always reviewed favorably by admissions representatives at the most competitive colleges.
Rising seniors should only consider courses that truly interest you and the opportunity to swap something out of your high school curriculum. Above all, aim for something you cannot take at your high school. This isn’t a substitution process- but an enrichment opportunity.
If you are certain you plan to attend UF, FSU or a college within the Florida system, taking English as a Dual-Enrollment class as opposed to attempting a “5” on AP Lang/Lit would potentially offer a great chance of earning transfer credit towards freshman English as a Florida college student.
Given my experience as a University Professor, please keep in mind, the most competitive colleges outside of Florida will not likely accept online credits as transfer classes, and this is especially true for STEM classes.
For rising sophomores and juniors, Dual-Enrollment is an opportunity to possibly experience learning about an interesting subject matter not offered at your high school.
If you don’t see any courses of interest at UF, please contact me to discuss some other competitive online programs available to high school students.
I work with students throughout the US and there is some version of South Florida’s “Academy” or “Choice” program nearly everywhere. To middle school families, these programs look inviting and yes, there are electives that expose young adults to subject matter and readings outside the core curriculum. If you review suggested “high school curricula” at admissions websites, you’ll not find “Academies” noted. These are considered “electives”.
So, what is the value of these electives?!
Their value to 9th and 10th grade students is ongoing academy discovery. By 11th or 12th grades, these classes aren’t as academically challenging nor as valuable to a successful transition to the undergraduate experience as enrolling in more challenging AP classes.
The core subject matter can spark or solidify an interest. I have yet to find one student who indicates the concepts in these courses or the workload have been challenging.
However, if you are working on an academic assignment/project that has the potential for submission to a science fair, essay contest or the like – these elective courses can be enriching and valuable additions to the curriculum. ASK YOUR TEACHER for support!
Bonnie R. Rabin, Ph.D. is the founder and principal educational consultant of College Career Consulting, LLC. She has over 30 years of experience as a university faculty member and shares her knowledge, professional resources and support with students who are ready to advance their lifelong educational and career journeys.