Souder’s Junior Scheduling Advice (for SENIOR YEAR COURSES):
All course selections will be handled through the Home Access Center. Please make sure you have your own login as you cannot use your parent’s account. If you need help creating your account, please see Ms Mullery in the main office. I recommend FIVE academic solids each year.
As a Counselor, I encourage you as students (and parents) to consider designing each year of your high school life to be joyful and interesting. Take courses that pique your curiosity and fuel your creative energy; don’t take classes because you think you have to. Participate in extracurricular activities that make you smile and fill you with joy.What courses should I take for Senior Year? Great question, glad you asked. Here are some ideas:
English: Required for graduation. Select between elective English courses, AP Lit or AP Comp. Advanced Journalism and Creative Writing meet the requirement for graduation for English. Advanced Journalism is considered a college prep elective in terms of the UC a-g list.
Social Studies: US History or Economics/American Government required for graduation, depending on which course you already completed junior year.
Science: Lab science is recommended for students considering applying to four year universities. It is recommended for everyone else, too, because learning is a lifelong process. If you really don’t want to take another science class, come see me for student specific advice on other avenues to explore your interests or aptitudes. For more information on science options see Science Sequence Possibilities.
Math: Algebra, Geometry and Intermediate or Advanced Algebra (with grades of C or higher) are required for eligibility for four year universities. A fourth year of math is highly recommended for all students, due to the competitive nature of college admissions and the fact that you will always need math in life. Your math placement is handled by your current math teacher. S/he will put your class in automatically, so you don't have to add this course. See your current math teacher or Ms Souder with questions in this regard. If you want to take two math courses senior year (i.e., Pre Calc and AP Stat), you must have approval from your current math teacher. For more information about math options, see Math Sequence Possibilities.
PE: If you have completed PE 1-4, you can choose other electives.
Art: One year of a visual performing art is required for both graduation and college eligibility. I recommend that you pursue creativity all four years at Drake (and later in life, too). Se the January 2017: Why Art? Newsletter for more on that.
World Lang: Two years of the same language are required for four year college eligibility. There is no foreign language graduation requirement. Some colleges recommend three or more years of foreign language. Please check each colleges admission requirements for detailed information.
Electives: We have a wealth of offerings so take full advantage of the rich offerings available. Explore something new (i.e., Art History, Psychology, Guitar, etc.).
What if I want a free period?
Of course you all know that you must have a six period day minimum, so a free period is an option. However, with so much to offer here at Drake, why not explore a new avenue of interest (i.e., Art History, Contemporary Issues, Psychology, Guitar). Another option is to participate in an Internship – see Mr Davison about these opportunities – he is in the College/Career Center. If you want a free period, you MUST request this under "Non-Departmental" courses in the on-line scheduler. For students who have a heavy academic load (i.e., 2 or more AP courses, etc.) and who are applying to several private universities, a free period in the fall semester can provide a scheduled window of time for you to work on your college applications. Please see Ms Souder if you want to discuss the optimal time in your day to schedule that free period.
What if I still have questions about AP/Honors options?
Review the AP/Honors matrix. Still have questions? Come see me. When considering AP courses, know that these take a huge commitment of time and energy. For many students, the perfect number of AP courses to take is ZERO. For others, one AP course in an area of strong interest or aptitude is just right. For those who want intense challenge, a maximum of two college courses in any given year will provide for a demanding and rigorous experience, while leaving room for athletic or performing art pursuits. Limiting the number of AP courses to no more than two will also leave time for relaxation, socializing, spending time with family, and getting enough sleep to feel energized every day you attend school.
How do I know if my course choices meet the UC/CSU eligibility requirements?
You go to the UC “a-g” list and validate that your eligibility requirements are being met. This list is important as a reference for you and your parents.
What if I can’t figure it all out?
No worries. Just come see me in my office and I’ll help you with decisions, selecting classes, etc.
With so many competing alternatives for your time and energy, I hope you will prioritize joy along with challenge, and throw in a little relaxation for good measure.
“I think there should be a good balance between being a good student and being able to enjoy your high school life.”
~~ Vanessa Lachey
Last modified by Sheila R Souder on 012/24/2017.