Now through Feb. 13, underclass students will visit their counselors during science classes to choose their course load for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year. All requests are due to counselors the day they visit, and change requests will open back up in April.
“When we (the counselors) sit down with each student, we have a transcript and we talk to them about exactly what they need for graduation and we make sure those classes are scheduled,” Lead Counselor Dawn Candler said. “We also look at electives, which will then be entered into Skyward.”
Graduating with an endorsement is required in most Texas schools and at MHS, which will help students when applying for college, Candler said. An endorsement is a cohesive sequence of courses with at least one advanced course, and they were designed to help students prepare for their path after graduation.
“We try to set all of our students up with the multidisciplinary endorsement; that way, nobody has to worry about whether Ben Barber classes are going to fit in their schedule or if they will be able to get through the whole program,” Candler said. “We use multidisciplinary as our main one – which is the four credits in the four core areas – because colleges like to see that students are consistent with each core subject.”
Candler said it is important to take careful consideration when choosing courses so students get the best out of their high school career.
“You want to make sure you are taking classes you like and want to take,” she said. “I have had students in the past who haven’t given much thought to their schedules. Then the next fall, they want to change everything and we can’t do that because the master schedule has already been planned and teachers hired based on requests from the previous year. We can’t go through and change everything for one person because it’s just not possible.”
Another struggle many students have is determining whether to take TCC, AP or regular classes. Candler said grades are the main factor the counselors look at while advising. For TCC, students have to first pass the TSI test or they will not be able to register for those classes.
“We also talk to (their) current teachers to get recommendations, especially for math and science,” she said. “We really do rely on those teachers a lot because all I can see is numbers on a piece of paper. I don’t know an individual’s strengths and weaknesses.”
Some new courses have also been added to the course list at the MHS home campus including Intro to Culinary Arts, Women in American History, Hebrew Scripture and New Testament, African American History, Personal Financial Literacy, Fashion Design II and possibly AP Spanish V.
“If we don’t have enough people sign up for a class, or we don’t have a teacher, that’s when we go to those alternate classes,” Candler said. “We have to make some of those hard decisions, and that’s why filling out alternates are important, because if students haven’t chosen them, we (the counselors) have to pick for them.”