From art to world languages or personal finance, there are endless options when it comes to choosing electives in high school. Whether your student knows exactly what future path they wish to pursue or they have yet to find their calling, taking elective courses is a great way to help them discover new interests, build current skills, and become more well-rounded.
What are good electives to take in high school? How can you help your student find the right electives to prepare them for college or their career after graduation? Explore these topics in-depth in this article.
What Are Electives?
Electives are classes a student decides to take, as opposed to those required by the school’s curriculum. Electives are still required for graduation, but the student can freely choose courses and study topics that interest them. When added to their core courses, electives help make up the total number of credits needed to graduate.
Electives are highly valuable to schools and can benefit students in the following ways:
- Provide a broader education: Students can take electives to build more knowledge and improve in different areas. Additionally, a well-rounded student is as important to prospective colleges as a strong GPA. A diverse variety of elective courses enhances a student’s transcript and highlights the skills they’ve developed throughout their high school career.
- Open up potential career paths: Some students know from childhood what future profession they wish to pursue — but for others, it’s not that simple. Taking elective classes can help students discover new interests and career opportunities.
- Make learning more enjoyable: While core courses like math, English, science, and history are essential to student learning, elective courses provide a break from the major subjects to explore some new skills.
Beneficial Electives for Students
Elective courses provide a creative outlet for students, allow them to explore hobbies and career fields, and get them excited about learning. Here are some examples of beneficial elective classes in high school and other learning stages.
1. World Languages
Aside from the fact that most high schools and colleges require them for graduation, there are several benefits to taking world language courses. Learning a new language has been shown to boost academic achievement, improve cognitive development, and improve attitude toward the language and culture.
It also opens up future opportunities for students to work, study, and travel across the globe, providing them with a valuable sense of perspective about their own country and culture.
Strong writing skills are essential in today’s professional world. Even students who don’t plan to pursue a writing-related career will need to learn how to craft resumes, cover letters, business emails, and so on. Whether they opt for a creative or professional writing class, every student should take an elective course that sharpens their writing skills.
3. Public Speaking
While many shudder at the thought of talking before a room full of people, public speaking is an essential skill in both the academic and professional world. Every student will be required to deliver a presentation in a classroom or business setting at some point in their life, so taking a public speaking elective is a great way to get sufficient practice.
4. Computer Programming
With our ever-increasing digital world, computer knowledge can be incredibly handy for students. Taking an elective course in programming, computer science, computational mathematics, or a similar subject can help students acquire skills that are becoming key to navigating the technological world. It also opens up a variety of future career opportunities in a highly lucrative field.
Whether it’s performing art classes like music, theater, or dance or visual arts like drawing and painting, fine arts electives are essential to schools and student growth. Fine arts courses improve confidence and creativity while developing academic and motor skills, visual learning, focus, accountability, and collaboration — all of which are important to students’ fundamental development.
Commonwealth Charter Academy’s Career Pathways
At Commonwealth Charter Academy, we aim to prepare every student for the future by helping them discover their skills and interests. To achieve this objective, we provide unique learning opportunities tailored to career readiness and community engagement.
We help our cyber school students begin the career exploration process as early as kindergarten through hands-on coursework, clubs, field trips, and college preparation services to help them find the right path post-graduation — whether that’s attending a university or technical school, entering the workforce, or enlisting in the military.
The K-12 Career Pathways framework aims to help students explore different careers within a particular field of interest. We offer five Career Pathways for students to gain experience, knowledge, and skills applicable to their college and career path after high school graduation. CCA students can choose from the following pathways:
- Arts and Communication
- Business, Finance, and Information Technology
- Engineering and Industrial Technology
- Human Services
- Science and Health
Students can use their selected Career Pathways to determine appropriate elective courses to take, as well as potential internships they can pursue in high school.
Choosing Commonwealth Charter Academy
CCA’s K-12 core curriculum includes courses in science, math, English, and social studies. We also offer world language courses as early as kindergarten, Honors classes starting in third grade, college and Advanced Placement (AP) courses in high school, and an extensive list of elective courses covering a wide range of careers and interests.
Because we aim to incorporate the best practices and most current subject matter content into our curriculum, our course catalog is constantly growing and evolving. In addition to our core courses, below are just some of the many electives we offer:
- STEM education: Astronomy, engineering, web design, 3D printing, coding, and aquaponics
- Social sciences: Criminal justice, economics, and psychology
- Business: Entrepreneurship, personal finance, and sports and entertainment management
- Creative arts: Animation, cosmetology, and digital photography
For any interest your student may have, CCA can help them pursue it through our cyber school courses.
Contact Us to Learn More Today
Whatever type of elective course or career your student wishes to pursue, CCA can help them find their future path. In addition to our customized learning environment tailored to students’ individual skills, interests, and needs, our hands-on learning opportunities in various career sectors help them build and discover valuable skills applicable to the professional world.
Whether it’s trying out different elective courses, exploring a Career Pathway, or getting involved with clubs and field trips, explore your options for your student at CCA and discover how we can help them plan their future. Contact CCA to learn more about our programs!