The Problem with Being in a Program

Erica Rigoroso, Staff Writer

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North Point High School is home to many different programs that are designed to help guide students towards their chosen career goals. For others, being in a CTE program gives them the opportunity to join the workforce right after graduation. In order to be a part of one of these programs, students had to send in an application in the eighth grade and receive an acceptance letter in the following spring or summer. Getting into one of the 17 available programs at North Point is often an accomplishment that many students here are proud of, and it opens up a world of possibilities for those students as well. New classmates, new teachers, a new school– but what if your interests change?

For those who get accepted, they may face a few dilemmas. One of the most common problems that many students in CTE programs tend to realize is that their career interests have changed. Whether it is half-way through their program, or even upon the first year of being in the class, finding your passion elsewhere is a little disheartening when you know that your classes are already pre-determined based on the program you’re in. Due to the way that most programs are set up, by junior or senior year, the classes required for each program takes up most of a student’s schedule. This results in a smaller opportunity to take classes that may allow for a pupil to explore more of what they are truly interested in, as their schedule is not as flexible as that of someone who is not tied to a program.

You’re probably thinking, “If you don’t like your program, you should just leave North Point and go to your zoned school.” Of course, that is the most rational decision to make. However, students tend to hold on to their program for many reasons; the most common being friends, and the other being the quality of education they can receive. I’ve heard many people say, “I don’t really want to do what my program is teaching me, but I’m staying in this program so I can stay at North Point and stay with my friends.” Having friends in a class you may find insufferable alone can make all the difference, but having just a few friends in general can make your high school experience so much better.

Another common response to, “what makes you stay?” is, “My zoned school is terrible.” What many students mean by this is that the high school they are zoned for does not offer the same classes they want to take. Their school does not have the same educational advantages North Point has, such as the wide variety of AP classes, the large student population, or the large amount of interest.

Although there are many pros to being in a CTE program at North Point, such as learning valuable skills that will help students toward a promising career, students enrolled in these programs can also be torn apart by what they truly want to do and having the best resources available.

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