It is once again the time of year where students are asked to decide what classes they want to take for the next year. This can become a source of anxiety and stress for many students who might have trouble deciding.
Course selection has always been an ordeal with high stakes at hand as the classes students choose to take can impact their future beyond high school.
Students often need to start planning even in grade 9 or 10 to make sure they might have the necessary credits for post-secondary.
However, there is also a limit to how far ahead students can plan due to insufficient information, as well as requirement changes made this year.
Sometimes, students lack information about courses and their content. The course booklets and course descriptions are not always up to date or accurate.
As a result, students may find themselves signing up for classes they know little about. This is not helped by the increase in subject options. With an increase of subjects, there has been a decrease in enrollment of some specialized classes.
Classes with low enrollment can be merged or even cancelled. Journalism and yearbook are both very enriching courses that have suffered, despite being a huge contribution to school culture over the years. It is also the same with the textiles and hairdressing courses that were cancelled this year in Gleneagle. Both open up very unique career paths for students interested in the course.
There has also been a shift in graduation as well as post-secondary requirements and expectations. This has left some people scrambling to make up for needed credits. Some students will not be able to apply to schools as planned because of this.
Courses selection is a challenge for staff, as well. Greater courses offering for students can actually limit student choices. With enrollment spread out between the classes, due to the variety of options, some courses are not being filled up. Which means compromises have to be made to appeal to the greater student body, leaving some individuals dissatisfied.
The fast paced changes in the curriculum mean that many teachers have to build new units and lessons from the ground up. Some will have to teach courses they have no experience with, and the information they have taught for years is deemed no longer useful. New teachers in particular, don’t have the support of experienced teachers because everyone is still adapting to the new program.
The confusion surrounding course selection is not a failure specifically on the part of Gleneagle, but a product of the change within the education system, including university program requirements that can also be confusing and full of inconsistencies.
This can only be solved by students taking initiative and doing lots of research themselves beforehand, constantly paying attention to any changes that may occur. Students should be self-disciplined and look up opportunities that suit their interests. The course selection booklet, even though confusing, is a good place to start.
Ultimately, it is the student’s responsibility to keep up to date with the changing curriculum and requirements. When students have questions, they can ask their teachers and counselors for help. Hopefully, in time, course selection will be less challenging.