As the new school year is starting, many students have certain classes they must take in order to earn credits to graduate. Generally, most students in the United States are required to take 4 years of english, a few years of mathematics, science, and social studies classes. In California, however, there is an A-G curriculum that the University of California (UC) and the California State University (CSU) require incoming freshmen to complete. But why are certain classes absolutely required?
According to the University of California, “the intent of the ‘A-G’ subject requirements is to ensure that students have attained a body of general knowledge that will provide breadth and perspective to new, more advanced study.” All in all, most of the courses students take in high school are to prepare the students for college. The A-G subject requirements include 2 years of history or social science, 4 years of english, 3 years of mathematics, 2 years of laboratory science, 2 years of the same language other than English, 1 year of visual and performing arts, and 1 year of a college-preparatory elective. This list may seem like a lot, but many of the core subjects are indeed crucial for future success in college.
Sometimes required classes create packed schedules and make students listen to subject areas that they do not like. Hannah Lee, a senior at Arnold O. Beckman High School, expressed her thoughts on the concept of having required courses, “I am not a huge fan of the A-G curriculum because everyone learns differently and pursues different areas such as art, science, music, or a sport, but required classes sometimes block students from taking subject courses that pertain to what they want to major in.” Hannah does agree that, “math and english studies should be required since everybody uses them,” but “the other requirements are not as crucial,” she elaborates.
The requirements in California high schools may help students to learn various subjects and become well-rounded. Others, however, can feel restricted by mandatory classes that may prevent them from taking courses they truly wish to take. Though the long list of class requirements may seem daunting, it is up to the students to manage their coursework and schedules so that they can take both classes they are interested in, as well as classes that are required.