It’s course selection season! Students in grades 8-11 are busy selecting next year’s high school courses.
Here’s what you need to know:
In order to achieve the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), students need:
to earn 30 credits, including 18 compulsory credits and 12 optional credits.
In addition to the 30 credits, students must complete:
the Provincial Literacy Requirement (EQAO Grade 9 Math and OSSLT at the end of Grade 9)
and, a minimum of 40 hours of community service activities.
When choosing courses for the next year, it’s important to keep the big picture in mind!
Students should choose electives that appeal to their interests and strengths, but try not to close any doors to possible career pathways down the road.
For example, students in Grade 10 who are choosing courses for next year will see an opportunity to stop taking sciences in Grade 11, since only two science credits are compulsory to earn the OSSD.*
If you stop taking science after Grade 10, this rules out post-secondary programs in engineering, sciences, and architecture — to name a few.
Does a grade ten student, at the age of 15, really know his/her career path at this point?
Make course choices carefully, and try to keep doors open if you can.
The same goes for Math.
Ontario students must complete three Math credits to graduate with an OSSD.
When these three credits are done, students can walk away from Math, forever, if they want.
But this decision to “drop” Math may rule out many career options, since some college/university programs require Grade 12 Math credits for admission.
I ask again, do teens in Grades 10 and 11 really know what they want to do with their lives? Some may have a general idea, or preferences, but few students have a real “plan” laid out at that age.
Statistically, one of every three undergraduate students at university will change programs or majors during the Bachelor degree pursuit. In order to have options and flexibility, it’s good to have a breadth of high school required courses under one’s belt.
When you sit down to finalize course selections with your teenager this month, elect for courses that interest your teen and highlight his/her strengths; but be cautious to keep doors open for the future.
If you want more information about how to help your teen choose courses for next September, or if you just want a second opinion of the picks he’s already made, call me!
Now’s the time!
Contact me for an educational consult call, and let’s have a conversation about your teen’s options.
For more information on the OSSD, click here.
*(assuming the Group 3 required credits is fulfilled with a non-science credit). See above link with all OSSD requirements.