Beneath the core: How students are finding success through electives


Brady Hunter

Pictured above is the Pleasant Valley school district’s logo.

Brady Hunter, Multimedia Manager

A high school diploma signifies that a student is sufficiently credited for their coursework throughout their career. A high school student’s portfolio tailors to their future endeavors and specific postsecondary plans due to the fact that it includes both core classes and chosen electives.

The courses required for graduation are considered core classes. Within these specified areas of study, students complete the mandatory credits that colleges expect to see on transcripts. Although fundamental principles are taught utilizing statewide curriculum, PV senior Sam Bebow gave insight on how these courses hinder students’ ability to be taught applicable life skills.

“I believe electives are an important way for students to learn real-life skills that help prepare them for their futures. I have personally taken a lot of these courses and they have helped me branch out and try new things. Not only have they benefited me more than my core classes but they have shaped my future and helped me decide what I want to do when I grow up,” Bebow stated.

With new additions to the elective list nearly every year, students have found several classes that tailor to selective desires at PV. A few notable electives offered at PV include Microsoft certifications, sign language, and a variety of business classes like marketing and accounting. 

Senior Aidan Judd discussed his favorite newly implemented elective course offered at PV. 

“I think that personal finance has been my favorite elective this semester because of how applicable it is to a high school student’s daily life. This course has helped me grow in several ways. I am now more prepared to budget for college, which is sneaking around the corner, and understand how loans function. The most important takeaway I have from personal finance is how vital budgeting for retirement is. I have started changing my habits in my everyday life to tailor for my future wants and needs,” Judd explained. 

Elective courses at PV are clearly benefiting the student body and preparing them for future endeavors. 

According to certified middle school teacher Ernie Rambo, “Electives classes reveal the skill sets of some students that might not be obvious in their other classes, helping them see their strengths and affording them opportunities to be of value to their classmates.”

Regardless of the subject, teacher or size of class, elective courses have proven to be one of the most fundamental tools for high school students to grow as learners and understand the importance of applicable concepts in their everyday lives.