Just what courses should students take while they’re in high school? For students considering further education, the answer is courses that will allow them to enroll in a four-year college.

Taking these courses leaves all options open. Later, if students decide not to attend a four-year college, they will be better prepared for today’s technical workplace.

Here’s an idea of what they should take:

• Four years of English. In 10th and 11th grades, students should be required to write at least one research paper—with footnotes.

• At least three years of math. All students should take algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. A year of pre-calculus or calculus is even better.

• At least three years of science. This should include biology, chemistry, and—most important—physics.

• At least three years of social studies.

• At least two years of a foreign language.

As your son or daughter signs up for next year’s courses, sit down with this list. How many of these courses has your child completed? How many remain?

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