Students feel pressure to take certain classes


It’s no secret that taking classes like AP’s (Advanced Placement) or dual-enrollment at a community college can do wonders for students’ grade point averages. But what effect do these classes have on the school, and more specifically, other classes?

Northwest currently offers 21 total AP classes, and it seems like everyone is eager to take at least a few to help their grades.

“AP class are created and standardized by the College Board,” guidance counselor Stacy Garner said.

This means that the curriculum is nationwide, and students must take an exam at the end of the year to help them earn college credit.

But what happens to other classes that don’t attract as many students as some of these AP classes because they lack the incentive of a grade point average boost?

A prime example is what became of social studies teacher Scott Bennett’s elective, speech and debate. Two years ago, the elective was canceled and now is only offered as an after-school club.

“If you only have so many teachers and you have a certain number of kids, then (the administration) has to take a certain number of classes then you have to make decisions about what classes can be created and which ones would not make it,” Bennett said.

It’s important to know that challenging oneself by taking AP classes may help a student’s chances at getting accepted into NC state or UNC-Chapel Hill, but nothing is guaranteed. Simply taking the classes isn’t enough; students also have to do well in all those classes. It actually looks better if a student is able to get good grades in classes while balancing sports and clubs.

“It pays to be well rounded,” Garner said.