Students should be open to advisory credit

Kris Long, Opinions Editor

Manhattan High’s new pilot program to make advisory a for-credit class has proven unpopular among students, but it’s the opinion of The Mentor Editorial Board that the for-credit system could be beneficial and that students should be open to it.

As of the start of this semester, Advisory will now be worth 1/4 of a credit per year and will be graded on a pass/fail system, with a 60% needed to pass. Students will be graded on attendance, participation and what they were already expected to be doing, meaning the change will be relatively minor for most students. In the pilot this semester, it will not affect students’ grade point average.

Advisory lessons may seem pointless, but there’s a reason they’re being taught. According to the Kansas Department of Education, a significant number of high school students lack Advisory skills, such as resume building as well as social and emotional skills, that are essential to know before graduation. Skills like college application and scholarships are useful to most juniors and seniors and aren’t taught in other areas of high school, yet students consistently don’t participate. Grading the class could give students a reason to learn these practical skills.

One of the major complaints is that, even if students are sick with excused absences, because the class is participation and attendance based, they won’t receive points. While this may seem arbitrary and unfair, the school has no choice.The policy wouldn’t be effective if students could be exempt as students could get their parents to call them out. A possible solution would be for students to make up the points by using Canvas, but because missing one or two days it shouldn’t affect grades so students shouldn’t be bothered about recovering them. 

Another criticism of the program is that the school isn’t treating students like adults. However, while many students are responsible enough to be treated like adults, not everyone is. Complicating matters may be frustrating to people who have been doing what they were supposed to, but the program is just awarding them credit for their work and shouldn’t affect what they’ve already been doing. 

An aspect of the program that students seem to not have picked up on is that it’s designed to help them. For students who have failed multiple classes and may need this credit to graduate, Advisory skills will be incredibly useful. All they have to do to make it on stage at the end of the year is show up and try, the credit is basically handed to them. For students who do well in their classes, these guidelines won’t affect them because failing the class won’t affect their GPA and they don’t need the credit. The program will help the students who need it and won’t matter to students who don’t. Students should realize the program will help them, one way or another.