by Michelle Brooks | staff writer

At the end of their junior year, soon-to-be seniors excitedly fill out their course cards, in anticipation to finally graduate – and that’s when they realize they might be missing some needed credits.

Seniors 2015-2016

All students must have a minimum of 26 credits in order to graduate, which can include taking courses online.

“Students fill out their course card and the counselor checks their courses that they have on the course card to make sure they’re registered for everything they need to graduate with. So, their senior schedule should be correct according to the credits they have left for graduation,” counselor Desiree Meza said.

Some extenuating circumstances, such as transferring from another school district and/or state, can cause a student’s schedule to be adjusted based on the number of credits that transferred.

“I just came from California so I’m missing credits from freshman year. That’s why I’m taking lower classes, like junior classes,” senior Jenna Martin said.

A student’s schedule can also change depending on if they have completed certain classes that are required in order to graduate, such as elective courses and a semester of speech, or ‘Communication Applications’. Depending on when these classes are taken, some students may have to give up certain optional courses, such as early release, student aid, or other elective courses.

“If they have an elective, say they didn’t need, we would put the course in their schedule that they were missing. Like if they needed help with this other class, or senior release they really don’t need, we’ll enroll them in the class that they have left to complete for graduation,” Meza said.

Some students may also chose to take courses online in order to allocate more room in their schedule for other courses. Online courses can be taken through Texas Tech University (TTUISD), the University of Texas, or another approved online university, but they do cost between $100-$200 in addition to purchasing the textbook. These courses, including the final exam, must also be completed within one semester.

“There’s some students that opt to take certain classes online, like through a correspondence so we have some seniors who are maybe taking, like a health class or a speech class, online, because they wanted room in their schedule for other things like, they’re senior early release or an athletics, you know, they just want to take those classes, like health or speech or PE, a different way,” Meza said.

By signing up to take courses online, students are agreeing to the requirements that the course entails.

“As far as the correspondence classes, in the contract that the students sign, they’re supposed to have all correspondence or online classes completed by the end of first semester,” Meza said.

Although some seniors have a choice to sign up for online courses, students who have moved from other places, such as senior Tayla Jade, have no choice but to take online courses to fulfill the credits that didn’t transfer.

“To graduate, I’m doing three sessions of night school. One, I just finished night school, I just finished on Tuesday, and , right now, I’m doing an online course. I have one more online course to do and my school during the day.

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About The Author

Michelle Brooks is a senior at Johnson High School and a second year writer for MyJagNews. Her hobbies include playing basketball and eating. Currently, her favorite basketball team is the Cleveland Cavaliers and her favorite basketball player is LBJ. Her favorite WNBA team is the Minnesota Lynx and her favorite WNBA player is Maya Moore.

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