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“Time Waster” or Crucial Class?: Senior Opinions on Success Classes Part Two

Get+Focused%21+Grace+Griego+%2718+poses+with+a+Success+workbook.+Photo+by+Paige+Lary
Get Focused! Grace Griego '18 poses with a Success workbook. Photo by Paige Lary

Get Focused! Grace Griego '18 poses with a Success workbook. Photo by Paige Lary

Get Focused! Grace Griego '18 poses with a Success workbook. Photo by Paige Lary

Paige Lary, Directorial Editor

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(If you have not yet read the first part of the Success story installment, please read it here: “I Would’ve Rather Been Doing Homework”: Senior Opinions on Success Classes Part One)

After Success 101, the next two years of Success classes, Success 102 and 103, turned out to be “just two more years of Freshman Focus,” to many seniors, particularly Clarissa Jacobs. “I honestly hated Success 102 and 103, because they just didn’t help me,” she wrote, “Those classes didn’t answer any questions I had, and they focused on jobs that I just couldn’t relate to or even wanted.” When seniors weren’t commenting on how the classes “felt like review every year” (Mohit Bhakta), they were giving their opinion on why they felt Success 102 and 103 feel unnecessary.

One major issue multiple seniors have with Success 102 and 103 is its focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) careers. Chloe Almeida, a student with a passion for science and a dream of becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon, wrote that one serious negative of Success 102 and 103 is its heavy focus on STEM occupations. During one unit of the Success classes, students were assigned to research only careers in STEM fields, and had to give up time they could have used to research occupations they were actually interested in. Similarly, in another unit, students had to research the fastest growing careers rather than jobs they found to be interesting and realistic to their goals.

“Everything I did in the class was busy work,” wrote an anonymous student, “It was almost insulting that the school feels that this class is helpful. I thought being told to look into careers that we don’t have interest in is a complete waste of time.”

Of the seniors who replied to the survey, very few had anything positive to say about Success 102 and 103, except that learning to write a resume and having junior interviews is helpful.

Success 104 is the next class that students are required to take to complete the Success course. As the final installment of Success classes, Success 104 is held during the fall semester. To some college-bound seniors, this is terrible timing. Although Megan Allen, who worked hard to get into the University at Albany, contested that she did receive help with her college applications in Success 104, this statement was not universal. A major disadvantage that college-bound seniors had was put into words by Kiley Beard: “The negative of taking Success 104 was that the class happened during application season so everyone was packed with work and could not take the time to actually care about Success 104.” Grace Griego also stated that having to take Success 104 during application season was “stressful” and that she “learned how to apply to colleges all by [herself]. With no help from Success 104.”

The opinions on Success 104 are mixed; some students believe the class shouldn’t be implemented at all because it is a “time-waster” (Jacqui Miranda) with too much stress and not enough help, while others found the course to be beneficial and important during a crucial time in seniors’ lives. However, in a quick poll included in the survey form, 60% of respondents asserted that seniors should not have to take Success 104, 20% believed that seniors should take the class, and 20% selected “other.” The students who chose “other” were then asked to provide their reasoning. All of these respondents recommended that Success 104 should only be implemented if there are changes made to the program, such as making the class longer (over the course of an entire semester), focusing on college applications and post-secondary plans rather than completing 10 Year Plans and other Success classwork, and making the class optional.

In conclusion, while an overwhelming amount of seniors felt that Success 102 and 103 are unnecessary review, senior opinions on Success 104 varied.

1 Comment

One Response to ““Time Waster” or Crucial Class?: Senior Opinions on Success Classes Part Two”

  1. Jeniffer on May 18th, 2018 11:38 am

    Great story that perfectly captures the students’ view on Success. Thanks for the honest review.

    [Reply]

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“Time Waster” or Crucial Class?: Senior Opinions on Success Classes Part Two