The Student News Site of Wilsonville High School

Wilsonville Broadcast Network

The Student News Site of Wilsonville High School

Wilsonville Broadcast Network

The Student News Site of Wilsonville High School

Wilsonville Broadcast Network

Giving students a voice

Wilsonville High School’s new graduation requirement: Civics class
Avery Eckley
2024-2025 upcoming juniors attend Life 102 class for course briefings presented by the school counselors. Here, students were enlightened of the graduation requirements, so they know how to best forecast for upcoming years.

Up until this year, graduation requirements have been fairly predictable and consistent. The graduating senior class of 2024 is at the end of reaching their 24 credits, while juniors of Wilsonville High School also have graduation in their sights.

Although graduation requirements are similar across the board, a new qualification is needed from 2024-2025 juniors, sophomores, and freshmen. 

To earn a high school diploma, students now need a semester credit worth of  a Civics class. Wilsonville High School counselors have been briefing students on this as the forecasting process is underway, and most students were unfamiliar with the term. 

While some students like Junior Ciana Hockensmith feel that the new standards for this Civics class are “excessive,” other upperclassmen reflect and wish the class would have been implemented as a ‘standard course’ earlier. 

“I think it’s a good idea to require a civics class credit for underclassmen because knowing how the government works and knowing how to be a good citizen is really important. We need to have an informed voter base,” says Joren Lundberg, a current WHS junior.

 Lundberg continues by phrasing that she would have been happy with the civics class being mandatory for her graduation because she personally enjoyed the course. Although the new graduation requirements won’t apply to her as an incoming senior, Lundberg already passed Civics, emphasizing that her enjoyment in the class came through her ability to choose it as an elective based on her own academic interests. 

Senior Jordan DeBolt agrees with Lundberg that taking classes she forecasted for out of her own interest, sparked her motivation to perform well. With this, DeBolt references to the Civics class in highlighting, 

“I think it will probably be very resourceful for many people because it’s not “common knowledge,” at least not the specifics.”

Fortunately, enrollment into this class does not require prerequisites. The Civics credit branches from the graduation category for Social Science Selectives. 

This class covers the content of citizenship and government. Students retain a general understanding of civic life, politics, citizenship, and a background of government development in the country.

The course highlights how power and responsibility are both shared and limited by the government. Students also learn about the impact of American politics on world affairs, and the placement of law within the constitutional system. 

Equality is highly respected in the culture of Wilsonville High School, and the civics class can enlighten people on where their rights will lie as they enter adulthood and in society. The course will cover the organization of politics and how civic participation in local communities shapes the outcome of American systems.

Sophomore, Conrad Widing, testifies to this point, saying, “I think it’s important that students get an inside look into the government to have a better understanding of how it works.”

Even though this class offers beneficial education, some students opt to take AP Government in lieu of Civics, since this alternative class allows students to meet the same graduation requirements. DeBolt reflects on her senior year so far and shares, “I am taking AP Government and Politics and I really like it, but I think it’s different since I chose the class instead of being required to take it.” 

Avery Underhill, a sophomore at Wilsonville, shares her opinion in saying that, “I don’t know what it’s about, (Civics class), but I’m going to take it next year because I would rather get it out of the way before senior year.” 

Continuing, DeBolt adds her reasoning for why she prefers AP Gov instead of Civics class, “I think it might be difficult to get students engaged in this class, even though the material taught is probably beneficial. With that said, I’m thankful that Civics wasn’t a required class in previous years because I definitely would not have enjoyed the class if I was required to take it,” she mentions. 

Besides the fact that Civics class takes the place of another elective, the benefits from taking the course are long-lasting and carry through life. Civic education empowers students to be well-informed, active citizens, and equips young people with the ability to make change in the world. Civics is a vital aspect of democracy, and gives everyone a voice in an otherwise politically dominating world.