History classes have more variety than students are led to believe

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A student’s top priority is typically gaining all necessary credits to graduate from high school.  The credits students generally acquire are the same four credits – Geography, World History, U.S. History, Government and Economics.  Lamar counselors, encouraged by  AISD, push for the same classes.

“It needs to be mandatory to inform us of all our options, it shouldn’t be a, ‘this is what you should do,’ situation,” senior Anka Oberhelman said.  

Zobaria Shah, a social studies teacher at Lamar, said that counselors suggest the same four credits due to it being the most gradual order that makes the most sense for students transitioning into high school.  However, there are a variety of different history credits that are available to students at Lamar.  Among these are: World Geography, World History, US History, African American Studies, Mexican American Studies, Women’s Studies, Psychology, Economics, U.S. Government, AP European History and AP Human Geography. 

“We only need three history credits to graduate, but the counselors kind of just put you into a history class unless you specifically ask not to be,” Oberhelman said.  “Not to mention, I wasn’t even aware Lamar offered so many different options. I genuinely believed we had maybe five or six different history classes.” 

Out of the classes offered, U.S. History, U.S. Government and Economics are the only classes required for graduation – this is true for all of the district.  U.S. History requires one social studies credit as a prerequisite.  Regarding other social studies classes, according to the High School Course Description Handbook for AISD, they do not require any prerequisites to be enrolled into the class.  AP European History and AP Human Geography are provided only as advanced placement.  However, the majority of social studies classes offer a regular academic placement as well as an advanced academic placement.  

“I know, if students ask, that the counselors here are more than happy to provide information about all the history classes, but I feel they don’t often inform the students otherwise,” Shah said.  “With that said, all classes are beneficial and organized.  It’s important to cater what you take to what you are interested in and passionate about.” 

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