Required history credits increase

Grace Yoakum, Reporter

Recently, a proposal was passed by the NC Department of Public Instruction to increase the number of history credits required to graduate. Previously, only three credits were required. Now, students must complete four history credits.

Along with this, U.S. History has been divided into two different courses: U.S. History I, which will focus on the establishment of America through Reconstruction, and U.S. History II, which will focus on American history from the 19th century forward.

This change in requirements may cause problems for AP history electives. If students choose to take AP U.S. History, it will only count for either U.S. 1 or U.S. 2, not both. Since AP U.S. is a year-long course, taking up the entire junior year, AP students will need two credits still. U.S. 2 and Civics & Economics.

“It is obviously going to give students one less opportunity to get an AP credit,” Law and Justice teacher Robbin Faulkner said.

Those who take AP U.S. often also took AP Government or AP European History. That may be difficult to fit in.

Students typically are not encouraged to take AP History electives until their junior or senior year. However, students will now be encouraged to take those electives their sophomore year.

“They would probably be alright to take AP Psych second semester after they’ve taken the sciences they need and sophomore English,” Faulkner said.

Not all AP History electives will be affected, though. The new credit requirements are less likely to impact AP Human Geography, which is typically a

freshman history elective.
“Well, I guess I feel like AP Human is such a different branch of history that you could do both. You could do AP U.S. and Human. They can still take both,” AP Human Geography teacher Laura Hartman said.

With these changes, students will need to strategize in their course selections even more so than before.
“I just think it’s going to make people have to stop and think how many they can take at once in one semester,” Hartman said.

It remains to be seen what the ultimate effects of the new requirements will be on the AP History electives. Students may, or may not continue to sign up for classes such as AP Psychology and AP Government & Politics. Despite these speculations, teachers can only guess as to what will happen.

Hartman said, “I guess I would say, I don’t know the effect it’s going to have.