How to Choose the Classes That Best Suit Your Needs

Emily DeMotte, Travel Editor

As April comes to a close and the end of the semester draws near, it is time to complete the task of choosing classes for the 2021-2022 school year. While elementary and middle school students generally do not have as much choice when choosing their schedule, students entering 8th grade and high school begin to have more flexibility when it comes to choosing which classes interest them and have more courses to choose from. At times, it can feel overwhelming to decide what classes will fit you best, but there are several factors to consider when making your choice. Some of the most important things to remember include credits needed for graduation, the difference between regular, advanced, and AP classes, endorsement pathways, and general interest. 


Graduation Requirements

Here at iUniversity Prep, every student must complete the foundation graduation plan in high school in order to graduate. This means you must have at least 26 credits by the end of your senior year, 22 of which will be core credits and 4 of which will be electives. There is also a requirement to complete specialized credits, including 2 years of the same Language Other Than English (LOTE), 1 technology credit, 1 fine art credit, one PE credit, ½ speech credit and ½ health credit. iUP offers a variety of classes that students are able to choose in order to meet these requirements, many of which can be taken during any of the four years of high school. If you are a rising 9th-12th grader and are not sure which credits you have already earned and which are still needed, be sure to complete the iUniversity Prep Credit Check Form to determine which classes you still need to take in order to meet these requirements. Another important part of building your graduation plan is choosing your endorsement pathway. This helps you establish a coherent sequence of electives in a specific area of interest. Rising 9th-12th graders must declare an endorsement pathway when registering each school year and may choose between 1 or more of the 3 pathways here at iUP, which include STEM, Arts and Humanities, and Multidisciplinary Studies. When choosing your classes for the 2021-2022 school year, graduation requirements are a key factor to consider. 


Regular vs Advanced vs AP

One important decision that all students must make when choosing their classes is whether to take regular or advanced (formerly known as PAP) classes. Both have advantages and disadvantages that each student should consider before enrollment. Advanced classes will typically include a more rigorous workload and may be more time consuming, while on level classes may move at a slower pace. For students enrolling in high school level classes, one key benefit of advanced classes is that they do count for higher credit towards your GPA. Another option for rising 9th-12th graders is enrollment in AP classes. These classes are college level courses and offer college credit upon passing the AP test. These AP Exams are typically administered at the end of the year. It is important to consider that AP classes are much more rigorous and time consuming than regular and advanced classes and often require double or triple the amount of time dedicated to completing daily lessons. However, they serve as advantageous in preparing for college level classes and also count for higher credit towards your GPA. 


What Interests You?

While electives are sometimes seen by students as space filler classes that are only taken in order to reach the 7 classes required for your schedule, they can actually be a great opportunity to explore subjects and fields that may interest you outside of the required core classes. Entering high school means much more freedom in choosing electives, and iUP offers a variety of classes to meet the interests of the many students here at our school. While some will be dictated by your chosen endorsement pathway and the courses required for graduation, there is often opportunity to also choose electives purely based on interest. It may be helpful to read the course descriptions of each class here before making your decision. If you have any questions on which electives might be best for you, feel free to reach out to your PRIDE teacher for more guidance. 


There are many factors that you may want to consider before making your final class selection for the upcoming school year in order to ensure that you have chosen the schedule best fit for you. Be sure to check out the Virtual Vine Registration Page for more information and resources on registration for the 2021-2022 school year. Remember that registration for returning owls is due May 7th, and student or parent initiated schedule changes may not be made after June 4th.