Parent-to-Parent: Who Decides Course Selection?

High school course selection is extremely important.Course selection in middle and high school is extremely important for the college-bound.

My son is entering his sophomore year in high school and even before we go to orientation, he already knows he has to drop one of the classes he signed up for last spring. In 9th grade, planners then thought the daily schedule would allow a 15-minute lunch break and students who wanted to could schedule an 8-class school day. We recently learned that this option will not be in place when students return to high school next week.

Last spring, when my teen surprised me by handing me a course list to sign that included 8 classes (with 2 honors-level classes and 3 electives: Spanish 3, Sports Marketing and Culinary Arts), I was pleased with his course selection overall, but knowing how often teen boys need to eat and the social importance of lunch, I questioned his decision to opt for the short lunch block. He said this was what he wanted. I approved the course list and he sent it in.

Now that we know he has to drop an elective, he’s decided to drop Sports Marketing and keep Culinary Arts. Dropping Spanish was not an option since he wants to fully meet any college’s foreign language requirement by taking four years in high school.

Will all this work out? Can he keep Culinary Arts and still end up with the other courses he wants on his schedule? We’ll soon find out. Ultimately, the decision as to what classes a student takes ends up being determined not by student (or parent) preference, but by availability. That’s a good lesson to learn early, as the practice will continue once he gets to college.

How’s high school course selection going for your teen?


Z. Kelly Queijo is founder of Smart College Visit.