Should a High School Curriculum Be Career Based or College Prep Based?

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There is much debate about whether a high school curriculum should be career based or whether the courses should be geared more towards college preparation. If students receive a majority of their curriculum in their core courses to help for college preparation, plus have the opportunity to take a few career based courses, I believe that it will set a strong foundation for college training in the career of their choice. If schools allow students to focus more on career training in high school rather than focusing on college preparation today’s students may not have the strong foundation that college coursework requires to be successful.

One problem I see with a career based curriculum as opposed to one focusing on college preparation is the potential for students to be unable to demonstrate a strong understanding of certain core subjects that most colleges use as a foundation for their own curriculums. These courses generally include subjects such as math, literature, science, and history. If students do not complete their basic courses, and decide instead to focus on a career they think they may be interested in, they will likely have to take extra time in college to complete these courses. If they already have their core courses completed in high school they should be on a stronger path to courses specific to their major while in college.

Allowing students to take a majority of their courses in the career they believe they are interested in at the moment may set them up for failure later if they change their mind while in college. If a student takes courses in high school geared towards a certain career they may be interested in and later change their mind, they will most likely have to take several basic level courses in college that might be a requirement for their new major. If they take those basic level courses in high school they can skip over those courses after changing their major and go straight to their new major-specific courses....
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