Students hope for more flexibility with electives


Graphic courtesy of Jackson Fox-Bland

Sam Marks

Whether you’re interested in learning about theater, different cultures, or journalism, Wilson offers an elective for you. From Dance Potpourri to AP Human Geography to Computer Applications, Wilson’s course catalog caters to all. But given the size of the school, the complexity of scheduling, and the fact that over 100 different electives are offered, students often do not get their first choice. Because most underclassmen spend about 12 hours a week in elective classes, these courses can have a massive impact on the enjoyment and fulfillment of students at school.

An informal survey of several students suggests that many of them would like it to be easier to make scheduling changes later in the semester. Several students questioned by The Beacon said that they either did not get placed in the elective of their choice or that their elective was not what they hoped it would be.

“I like photography; it is a hobby of mine, but this class was so slow-moving,” said freshman Isabella De Pinto. “I thought the idea was interesting, but the class was disappointing.”

The elective selection process can be tricky to navigate. “I got all my first choice classes. It’s first come first serve, but electives deserve a more accurate description,” De Pinto said. Students struggle to understand the expectations and content of a class as course descriptions vary in depth and may not fully reflect the reality of the class.

Scheduling changes are particularly challenging as switching out of one elective class can impact the student’s entire schedule, and it is not uncommon for classes to reach capacity  be unable to make accomodate students wanting a transfer. Wilson’s freshman class alone has about 500 students, which can create scheduling issues for the counseling department.

Though the process could clearly use some reform, electives that were not chosen by students can still be an enjoyable experience. “I didn’t choose sociology, but I didn’t expect it to be bad because I thought it would be similar to psychology, an interest of mine. I like what we learn and find it interesting,” said freshman Carly Nusbaum.