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Johann Ruiz




This research paper explains if A-G courses are essential for high school students. It will

also present research and statistics that discuss whether academic content and higher level

thinking is beneficial for individuals who graduate high school. In addition, this research

determines how A-G courses and unadvanced level of education early in students academic

career will help them find opportunities when they graduate from high school. Lastly, high level

courses allow students to be competitive in the workplace and in college. This research presents

info/data that will assist future high school students, parents, and educators to exceed the basic

knowledge that they have.

Keywords: coursework, exposure, higher education, rigor


High School A-G Requirements

Many California high schools dont require all students to take and pass A-G courses in

order to graduate with a high school diploma (InnovatePublicSchools, 2015). In other words,

students could be passing all of their classes, but could be taking the wrong classes that are not

California State University (CSU) or University of California (UC) eligibility requirements

(InnovatePublicSchools, 2015). In order to complete the A-G requirements students need to pass

15 of the A-G courses with at least C letter grade or better. The major courses that need to be

completed are four years of English, three years of Social Science, and three years of

mathematics (InnovatePublicSchools, 2015). Oftentimes students who dont hold strong grades

are encouraged to set their sights lower and take easier classes to finish mainly the A-G

requirements (InnovatePublicSchools, 2015). High school students should be required to take

college prep courses such as A-G classes in order to prepare them for higher education to have

the choice of attending a four year university and to be competitive in their career choices.

Career choices as in what career is going to be pursued to be competitive.

According to Howard Blume (2012) the new requirements are necessary for students to

decide to attend college or get a job, Los Angeles (L.A.) schools Superintendent (Supt.) John

Deasy stated, the school board agreed to the more rigorous graduation requirements for the class

of 2016. However, their decision did not specify what grade students would need (Blume, 2012).

Some activists, as well as former board members and district staff said the intent was to require a

minimum of a C letter grade (Blume, 2012). Critics say the plan could drive up the the dropout

rate. Others argued the proposal was a poorly developed, overly hasty attempt to make up for

years of inaction (Blume, 2012).


Exposure To Education

Many students in the nation can have access to higher education. Along with higher level

education students develop advanced skills which gives access to higher level material/concepts.

Advanced skills that are needed in life. The advanced skills makes a better person; where there

can be leadership within students, parents, and educators. How does this help students


At the most fundamental level students can potentially help someone in the future.

Exposure is important especially in their community. Exposure is very important because

students can use the material/concept to help family members/friends. This benefits people

around them by being looked at as a leader. Smart leaders are fluid in their approach and

understand that competition can breed significant opportunity (Myatt, n.d.).

Choosing to go to College

All students should have the option to go to college and obtain higher education, however

its up to them whether they do it or not. According to Innovate Public Schools (2015), students

should go beyond A-G to be truly ready and competitive for college. Its really important to

keep in mind that the A-G are just minimum standards (InnovatePublicSchools, 2015). In other

words, taking more academic classes than required would be a good thing

(InnovatePublicSchools, 2015). This shows that a student would be up for a challenge, which

would look good in career choices or for college. For example, University admissions

departments generally recommend an additional year of math, (ideally getting to the highest level

of math-Calculus) (InovatePublicSchools, 2015). This example shows that students are up for a

challenge by getting to the highest level of math.


A good choice would be to go to a community college, private, public, etc. If a student

chooses to go to college they have more options in life. If a student goes to college they will gain

information but also skills that they can use for the rest of their life, this is a good reason to

pursue an education beyond high school (Scholarships, n.d.). This is why it would be good to

choose to go to college because there are more options in life. According to Ovink, Veazey

(2011), Minority students were much more likely to seek advanced degrees in education and

business, for example, than in the physical, biological, and health sciences. This is trying to say

that, Ultimately, the results will be measured not by the number of students who cross the

graduation stage, but by how many are truly ready for college education or decent jobs

(TheTimesEditorialBoard, 2017).

Competitive High School Students

It is important to make sure that education is competitive with other students because of

going to college or going to work. Also, it is important for students to Take the most

challenging classes available, students should also ask to be placed in honors or Advanced

Placement (AP) classes (InnovatePublicSchools, 2015). According to Innovate Public Schools

(2015), AP classes are considered college-level work and if a student passes the AP exam, he or

she can receive college credit for the class. Taking honors or AP classes would make it easier

for a student to understand college level work and be prepared for college. AP or honor classes

are a good challenge for those students who would like to get experience in college level course

and get college credit.

How will students be competitive in other jobs after high school? Being competitive is

not always challenging others. Being competitive could be you being a leader, you are not

challenging anyone but it is competitive to be there. A leader competes against himself as he


leads or commands a group. A leaders view on competition will not only reveal a lot about

their beliefs on current and future market trends, but also on innovation, branding, talent

management, supply chain issues, constituency management, capital markets, and customer

facing. Whether you want to admit it or not, competition is part of your world, and likely a

bigger part than youd care to admit (Myatt, n.d.). "In a rural area, many of our students are not

exposed to life outside of their communities so being able to connect all over the world through

the use of technology has been a huge equalizer for our students" (Pannoni, 2015). This is a huge

equalizer because there would be no online courses without technology. Online courses are a

huge challenge because there is no one on one help.


In closing, students who are required to take A-G courses have more opportunities when

exiting high school. Being exposed to rigorous work is beneficial for individuals to develop

academic skills as well as work ethic. The skills and work abilities gained allows for individuals

to not only make choices about their future, but to make the best choices. This is because they

will be able to lean on the challenging classroom work and overcome what is challenging. Lastly,

students with exposure to a multitude of experiences and learning can not only be competitive,

but excel compared to others who have not been or had an opportunity to take the A-G courses.


Innovate Public Schools. (2015). Parent Guide: What are the A-G Requirements?,

InnnovatePublicSchools. Retrieved from:


Ovink, S.M. & Veazey, B.D. Res High Educ. (2011). More Than Getting Us Through: A

Case Study in Cultural Capital Enrichment of Underrepresented Minority

Undergraduates doi:10.1007/s11162-010-9198-8

Pannoni, Alexandra. (2015). 3 Turnaround Tips for High Schools With Low Graduation

Rates. U.S.News. Retrieved from:


Blume, Howard. (2012). All L.A. Unified students must pass college-prep courses. Los

Angeles Times. Retrieved from:


The Times Editorial Board. (2017). Making high school graduation meaningful again. Los

Angeles Times. Retrieved from:


Myatt, Mike. (n.d.). Leadership and Competition The Executive Hub. Retrieved from:

Scholarships. (n.d.). Why Go To College? SCHOLARSHIPS.COM. Retrieved from: