ATLANTA (AP) -- Starting this year, all Georgia high school freshmen are expected to consider areas of study that are geared toward careers.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the state program is part of a national trend to align coursework with the needs of employers.
Hoping to address a dismal graduation rate and prepare students for the workforce, the state is requiring ninth graders to pick one of 17 broad career "clusters," such as finance or health sciences. They can opt instead to take more college-prep courses, such as world languages, fine arts or advanced-placement courses, but officials hope college-bound students will voluntarily take career-specific classes as well.
Critics have raised doubts that a high school freshman is capable of making a decision with potentially life-long impact.