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Elective Choices or Chains?

PR Student Services

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How much freedom do students really have over elective choices? Not. Enough.

Graduation requirements, what colleges expect, and scheduling restrictions serve as limiting factors when it comes to student choice.

When I was choosing classes for my freshman year at Prairie Ridge, I was excited to choose my electives. There are over 20 different classes listed in the course catalog from Student Services including culinary arts, choir, or art. However, the school has requirements for certain electives you have to take in order to graduate.

My main interests are art and music, so naturally I chose choir, visual art inventions, and culinary arts as some of my electives. I also felt that world language was very important, so I decided to take Spanish for all of my four years.

While that seems like a solid plan, a major problem was social studies.

Social studies classes are required to be taken for 3 years in order to get into college, and because I didn’t take it this year, I will be stuck with it for the rest of my PR career.

I’m not saying that these classes are bad, but just that it limited me from continuing and advancing in my art and musical education and some sacrifices have to be made (just ask the girls who are in my bass choir).

Plus, on top of the social studies requirement, there are more electives that I need to take in order to graduate, including a computer class, a consumer ed class, etc.

Much to the expense of my own enjoyment, these requirements cannot be avoided. Unless I want to stay here overtime, I’m going to have to take these classes, even if that means I can’t take the classes I want to take.

This situation really made me think: why even bother to call it elective choice when there’s hardly choice to it at all?

What I should have done is what I’ve seen many upperclassmen do. They take all of their required classes first and leave their senior year open for their desired classes. While this is smart, you still only have one year of fun out of the nearly half decade you’re here!

With all of the different options to choose from, there’s very little to work with when all the factors come into play. Students hardly have any freedom at all.

It’s a real shame that this freedom to choose isn’t quite as good as it seems.

Do students have enough choice in course selection?

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Elective Choices or Chains?