choosing a senior high school track

Steps to Knowing Which Senior High School Track Best Fits You

Students in the Philippines must now pass through two divisions in high school, such as junior and senior, for them to earn a full-fledged diploma. So, to keep up with the K-12 mandate of the Department of Education (DepEd), schools now offer junior (Grades 7-10) and senior high (Grades 11-12). Grade 10 finishers earn a certification by the end of the program but aren’t legitimate grads unless they study and pass the senior high school track courses.

Senior High Graduation
Photo credit: mendo_video_productions via Visualhunt.com / CC BY

Each Senior High School Track Explained

Under the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, senior high school (SHS) students must pick among four tracks. Upon enrollment in SHS, they must choose from the following tracks.

1. Academic Track

This track appeals to those who have set their minds towards college education. Divided into degree-specific courses, the Academic track in senior high school aims to prepare students to more advanced university courses. Under this umbrella are four strands.

  • General Academic (GA)
  • Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMMS)
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
  • Accountancy, Business and Management (ABM)

2. Technical-Vocational-Livelihood (TVL) Track

It calls out to eligible students with subjects focused on job-ready skills. Besides, it offers practical knowledge with matching certificates to help students land their desired job after they graduate from SHS. Under the senior high school tech-voc track are the following strands.

  • Agri-Fishery Arts
  • Home Economics
  • Industrial Arts
  • Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

3. Sports Track

Developed to equip SHS students with sports-related and physical fitness and safety knowledge, this track appeals to those who wish to venture into athletics, fitness, and recreational industries.

4. Arts and Design Track

Inside this course, students with a penchant for the Arts can enroll in subjects that will hone their skills in visual design and the performing arts.

Steps to Guide You in Picking a Senior High School Track

Once you hop aboard the Senior High Express, before your train can pull out of the station, make a huge decision to get the engine to go full-speed. In here, you reach a railroad crossing where you must pick the right track to your desired career route. With each track leading to a different direction, how do you choose the one that’s most suitable to your personality and goals? Below are important road markers to help you tell which track will bring you to your target job destination.

1. Be sure of your personality and life goals

You must have a vivid picture of your personality, so you can pick a track to match your taste and experience. Per John Holland, six primary personalities exist and each one has a compatible career path.

  • Realistic types are doers who match hands-on work such as mechanics and carpentry. They’ll find the TVL track the most applicable to them.
  • Investigative people are thinkers who excel in theory-heavy jobs such as law and medicine. Based on their character, they favor the STEM strand of the Academic track.
  • Artistic types use their imagination to create, so they fit like a glove in the Arts and Design track. Yet, other artists who love to perform fit the senior high sports track.
  • Social ones are helpers who love to work with people. They fit well in jobs such as coaching, teaching, and counseling, so either the GA or HUMMS strand of the Academic track is the best choice for them.
  • Enterprising types are persuaders who take risks and want to influence others. In particular, they fit the likes of politicians and entrepreneurs. Hence, they should take the Academic track and focus on the ABM strand.
  • Conventional kinds are orderly folks who find joy in keeping structure and order. Accountants, programmers, and editors are the perfect jobs for this personality. Thus, the Academic and TVL track, that is the ICT strand, match their persona.

2. Do your research

The internet is rich with updated info about the K-12 curriculum. In fact, you’ll find many sources that can help you make the choice from the course content or outline for each track. Other sources offer personality tests to help you with self-assessment.

Aside from reading on your own, you could interview career people relevant to your chosen track. This way, you gather honest and practical insight to provide you with better judgments.

3. Analyze the subjects included in each course

After creating a shortlist of some strands or tracks from the senior high school curriculum, you must dive deeper into each track’s core. Are you looking forward to study the subjects listed under your chose track? However, if you do not see yourself taking its prescribed subjects, take a step back and select other tracks with subjects to suit your liking.

4. Check schools nearby that offer your chosen track

Once you’ve set your mind, find out schools nearby that offer the program. Schools in the Philippines adopted the SHS program since 2016, so you need not look far to find the right one for you.

Students get support from DepEd through vouchers for JHS finishers to help them enroll in the most ideal senior high school track. These checks, though, are usable even in specialty schools as long as they adhere to the senior high school curriculum required by the government. As a result, SHS students relish in the opportunity to pursue innovative courses such as animation and ICT, which were otherwise non-existent in the old curriculum.

CIIT's Infographic on the Steps to Choosing the Senior High School

Riding the Right “Train of Thought” towards Success in Senior High

Your senior high school track directs you towards reaching your goals, so make sure you pick a program that’s most useful to your skills and interests. Further, when you mix self-mastery and ample research, you reach the most fruitful choice for your senior high school studies. Therefore, heed these tips that will guide you to the right path towards your dream career.

Sources: CNN Philippines | Edukasyon.PH | DanielGubalane.com | Inquirer.net | CareerKey.org