5 Electives All High Schools Should Offer

Standardized testing and budget cuts have forced numerous high schools to schedule fewer elective courses. Many administrators believe that core classes like algebra, biology and English hold far greater importance. While education officials may have legitimate concerns about courses on jewelry or popular culture, few people dispute the practical value of these five electives:

1. Business Writing

Most professionals must have the ability to write competently. Clear, error-free correspondence boosts a person’s credibility among peers and members of the public. This skill proves necessary for individuals ranging from engineers to nurse practitioners. Business writing classes teach undergraduates to compose high-quality resumes, reports, email messages, formal letters and memos. This elective also comes in handy for learners who plan to attend college. The University of Vermont urges prospective students to enroll in business writing classes. It notes that they help teens draft college essays and communicate with greater success.

2. Food and Nutrition

Without the right nutrients, it becomes far more difficult for students to succeed in school or future careers. Many people still don’t recognize the complexity of healthy eating. For example, the human body can’t absorb enough calcium or vitamin D if it lacks sufficient magnesium. Food and nutrition classes educate learners about ways to improve their health by making dietary adjustments. Some courses also cover cooking safety and teach teenagers to prepare wholesome meals. Obesity and diet-related illnesses have become major problems across the nation, so high school students could benefit from learning much more about this topic.

3. Critical Thinking

People occasionally criticize educators for promoting memorization rather than sophisticated thought. While it certainly remains important to remember specific facts, numbers and rules, many of life’s decisions call for critical thinking. Some schools offer electives that help students learn to analyze various issues in an objective and highly perceptive manner. English instructors sometimes teach these insightful classes. They train learners to evaluate unique situations and come to logical conclusions. For instance, students might use their knowledge and reasoning skills to determine if someone is telling the truth. Such abilities prove useful in a wide range of careers and classes.

4. Personal Finance

Unfortunately, many teenagers leave high school with little knowledge about managing their money. This can lead to serious problems when they find employment or enroll in universities. Personal finance classes have the potential to prevent accidental overspending, checking account overdrafts and late bill payments. In fact, CNBC reports that Americans who attend these courses often maintain higher credit scores in adulthood. This elective delivers crucial information about saving money, creating budgets, investing wisely and borrowing cash. For example, students may learn how the credit reporting agencies work. Personal finance courses also help undergraduates evaluate and compare offers from lenders, auto dealers, utilities or other businesses.

5. Advertising

Marketing classes don’t only benefit students who plan to gain employment in advertising agencies. To succeed in the long run, a tremendous variety of professionals must know how to promote themselves or their companies. Some business owners prefer to hire managers with the expertise to help them conduct effective ad campaigns. People who work for print, broadcast and online media outlets need to understand this subject as well. Even if learners don’t use marketing knowledge in the workplace, it will enable them to recognize some of the hidden messages in advertisements. This helps people make more sensible decisions when selecting products and services.

While core classes continue to teach vital concepts and theories, optional courses build specific practical skills that benefit students throughout their lives. Educators shouldn’t argue about the value of required classes versus electives. In reality, they complement each other and deliver the best results when combined.

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