High school students in the United States often have to undergo a series of tests, courses, and extra-curricular activities before they graduate. The very essence of these forms of preparations is to ensure that they are indeed ready for the decision-making process they will endure while in college or university. Nonetheless, some of these activities required of them are considered unnecessary and, indeed, punitive to some extent (Campbell and Richard 10). It is important to ensure that the education sector in the country produces a set of balanced graduates at the high school level. However, it is also important to constantly evaluate the need for some of the requirements for community service, complicated arithmetic courses, and internships. Although there is a need for particular courses, community service, and internships to be graduation requirements at the high school level, these activities and courses should be reviewed regularly to ensure that they are market-worthy.
Important Courses in High School
The average high school student takes courses in arithmetic, science, language, social studies, and some specialty course such as art while in high school (Bromberg and Christina 82). High school students need to appreciate the importance of these courses at the very onset. Many teachers are, however, not keen to enhance the very necessity and make it known to students. They often take courses such as Calculus and Geometry as requirements that they cannot avoid. Indeed, a good number of students would avoid taking arithmetic courses if given a chance (Bromberg and Christina 42). The onus is on the teachers and the school to ensure that the students understand the importance of these courses to the life of the student in general. They need to feel that they can apply the knowledge somehow in whatever career they choose eventually.
Life is a complex set of activities that calls for different skillsets. High school students may be learning Biology, but in actual sense, the lesson learned is on problem-solving and how to deal with minor health issues. Different courses in science and mathematics also offer these students the opportunity to expand their thinking abilities (Booth et al. 276). Students ought to know that the very genesis of science is the existence of prior proven facts. Therefore, students should consider themselves part of humanity, and make their contribution towards solving life problems. Indeed, it is no surprise that some of the students in a class may not have the problem-solving skills needed to survive in a scientific environment (Goodman 9). Regardless, the cocktail of courses offered at the high school level offers the student an opportunity to test their different skills and settle on the activities they are best accustomed to. All students thus need to ensure that they try out all activities and courses offered to establish their niche.
The Need for Community Service
Community service offers an opportunity for an individual to perform patriotic acts in the very community they live in. Students are expected to partake in several hours of community service in their quest for graduation. Essentially, they are exposed to different challenges in society and offered a chance to figure out a solution to these issues. The necessity for community service cannot be overstated. Community service is a common measure of a person's level of awareness and commitment to social welfare. The young members of society need to demonstrate this passion and zeal. Every society often has certain needs such as communal cleaning exercises, taking care of the aged, offering blankets and foods to the homeless, as well as community political forums (Bromberg and Christina 71). The involvement of teenagers in these activities is important for them to demonstrate that they are responsible citizens.
The major reason why many high schools include community service as a requirement for graduation is that it is demanded by institutions of higher learning (Hernaes et al. 32). High schools often prepare students for campus life. To effectively do so, they need to expose them to some of the issues they will face while attending institutions of higher learning. Some of these activities are; attending social forums, participating in youth meetings, and giving back to society in other ways. All these aspects are commensurate to the communal work they will likely be asked to perform while in college or university. It is necessary that they feel obligated to help society as they represent the next generation of leaders. Nonetheless, it is important for these students to find useful activities while performing these community service activities. Schools need to review the particular communal work they take the students to add value to their academic life as well.
An internship is an Added Advantage
Internships at the high school level cannot be said to be necessary at all. A high school student often lacks adequate training to work in a corporate setting. They thus need to go through several semesters of campus life before being exposed to an internship. It is, however, the case that some high schools do expose students to internships. This act can neither be considered beneficial nor detrimental. It is more of an added advantage. The same students will end up taking up extra hours of internship while at campus anyway. It is, however, important to note that some students have a readily defined career path even while at high school level (Booth et al. 276). For these students, it may be beneficial to have hours of internship exposure at their dream careers or prospective companies. The school can organize study trips for students to expose them to some of the industries they may want to work in the future. The students who seek to work in particular companies can also be encouraged to apply for unpaid internships that would last a month or so, for motivational reasons, not vocational ones.
Life as a high school student is quite difficult. As a teenager, one is quite confused about the course of their lives. Many people are also unable to make decisions about the career path they would fit in the future. Having different courses done by all students offers them an opportunity to make up their minds. During the years they spend in high school, students need guidance from their teachers, parents, and guardians, especially on how to note and emphasize their strengths. Activities such as community service expose students to leadership and make it possible for different people to try out co-curricular activities. Some schools even emphasize on the students participating in games (Goodman 7). It is eventually necessary to establish one's niche and talents. Through the host of activities offered, such talent can be easily noted. High schools thus need to tailor their co-curricular activities toward helping the students identify their areas of ability for them to maximize on these talents.
Booth, Eric, et al. "Advanced Course Completion Rates among New Mexico High School Students Following Changes in Graduation Requirements." Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest, October 2017, https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED576303.pdf. Accessed 2 Dec. 2019.
Bromberg, Marni, and Christina Theokas. "Meandering toward Graduation: Transcript Outcomes of High School Graduates." Education Trust, 2016, https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED566663.pdf. Accessed 2 Dec. 2019.
Campbell, David E., and Richard G. Niemi. "Testing Civics: State-Level Civic Education Requirements and Political Knowledge." American Political Science Review, 2016, https://edre.uark.edu/_resources/pdf/david-campbell-1.pdf.Accessed 2 Dec. 2019.
Goodman, Joshua. "The Labor of Division: Returns to Compulsory High School Math Coursework." National Bureau of Economic Research, 2017, pp. 1-48, https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/37093467/w23063.pdf?sequence=1.Accessed 2 Dec. 2019.
Hernaes, Oystein, et al. "Can welfare conditionality combat high school dropout?" Institute of Labor Economics, no. 9644, 2016, pp. 1-44, https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/130327/1/dp9644.pdf. Accessed 2 Dec. 2019.
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