In Columbia Public Schools, in order to graduate high school, you need 24 credits from different subjects. Some include several credits such as electives where you need 7.5, and others just need 1 credit or less such as personal finance, health, practical arts and fine arts. Although, it may just be a year or half semester class, they still teach very important things that help out students currently and in the future.
Senior, Vanessa Ramirez took Art 1: Foundations last year as a junior, and benefited from some things from a fine art class. “I think art benefited me because it kind of forced me to be more creative because I’m not a very creative person. And I feel like sometimes in the real world, you need to express yourself. So that is what I benefited from art, it’s important to be creative and express yourself,” explained Ramirez.
Another credit that is also needed for graduating is a practical art credit. Jamie Thompson who teaches some practical art classes such as MyCuisine and Interior Design 1 first semester and Global Cuisine and Interior Design 2 second semester explains how these classes are important.
“MyCuisine is important for every student just simply because you need to know how to feed yourself in high school and the time is coming even sooner when you’re going to be responsible for taking care of your own food needs,” Thompson said. “Interior Design is more of a career focused class, so it might not be for every student, but it definitely opens the door to possible career paths and also it’s a fun class to know how to set up your home in the future.”
Thompson also explains how these semester courses build up to the second semester courses of Global Cuisine and Interior Design 2.
“Interior Design 1 directly kind of builds in into Interior Design 2, without taking the first semester, you really can’t take the second semester because we do more of those projects but with a lot deeper skill set,” Thompson explained. “As far as MyCuisine how builds into Global Cuisine, it kind of just sets you up to be successful because in Global Cuisine we don’t go over how to read a recipe and we cook a lot more challenging dishes and so without having those basics, your probably not going to get very good results.”
Another requirement that is needed to graduate is Personal Finance which could be taken as a half semester class or could also be taken during summer school. Melanie Leary who is the Personal Finance teacher explains how this course can be beneficial to students. “It is probably the most practical class that students will ever take because everyone needs to know how to pay their monthly bills,” Leary said.
There are huge topics that are talked about in the Personal Finance class. “We address making good decisions that will affect your financial life, we talk about securing bank accounts, being able to use credit in a wise way, saving your money, possibly investing your money in future use, and one of our big projects in Personal Finance is establishing a budget based upon how much you make,” Leary said.
Most of these classes can be beneficial in the real world even though they are year long or a half semester.