The AP Psychology class here at Carmel High School is one of the most popular courses available to students. Sixty-four students this year were excited and ready to start learning, until 20 juniors found out that they were going to be removed from the class.
Nora Ward, who has been teaching the class for eight years, explains the reason for the drastic change in enrollment.
“The issue was basically that too many kids signed up,” Ward explains, “and instead of opening up a third section of the course, the decision was made to take the juniors out.”
Although these juniors will be able to take the class their senior year, many are still dealing with issues that occurred from the change in enrollment.
CHS junior Tess Mikel, the daughter of a psychologist, was excited to learn about psychology in order to explore her interest for a possible future career. Now that she will not be able to take the class until next year, she will not be certain of whether she wants to major in psychology when she is applying to colleges.
“I think it was unnecessary,” junior Wesley Noble says. “[The school] could have dealt with the problem a different way than just kicking all the juniors out.”
Juniors are also faced with the issue of not having the AP class on their transcripts, Ward says. This pressured many of the juniors to find an alternative AP class to take.
Seniors who had previously taken the class also argue that there are certain benefits to taking the course as a junior.
“I’m really glad I took the class my junior year,” senior Chantal Waite explains, “because I feel like I would be overwhelmed with schoolwork if I had taken it this year.”
Even though many conflicts arose as a result of these changes, there are still numerous positive aspects of taking the class as a senior. Seniors tend to be more open and comfortable in the class than the juniors, Ward says, and the class allows students to learn about themselves and discuss personal information.
“The thing I like the most about the class is being able to talk about things that students relate to,” the teacher adds, “and the biggest reward is seeing students apply it to themselves.”
Ward also notes that the juniors who had already completed the optional summer homework can still earn credit for the assignment.