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PRESS RELEASE

February 7, 2007

Cathy Schroeder
(850) 245-0413

Department of Education Announces High Schools’ Major Areas of Interest
~Students can now review what their school will offer~

TALLAHASSEE – Education Commissioner John L. Winn today announced that students will now be able to review the major areas of interest that will be available at the high school they plan to attend. In December, the Department of Education approved a statewide list of 442 major areas of interest. School districts had until January to choose which major areas to offer at each high school. Next year’s ninth graders will be the first to choose a major area of interest as part of new graduation requirements taking effect.

“I am excited that next year’s incoming high school students will be the first to have the opportunity to choose an area that interests them,” said Commissioner Winn. “I have been talking with eighth grade students around Florida and they are excited about studying areas of interest to them.”

Students will be able to select their major area of interest through Florida’s online student advising system, the Florida Academic Counseling and Tracking for Students, or FACTS.org. Eighth grade students can complete an ePersonal Planner (ePEP), an interactive course planner for middle and high school students, based on the major area of interest and on their educational goals. Students can locate the high school they will attend and review the major areas of interest that will be available. Once enrolled, a student may change his or her major area of interest the following year with no penalty.

“Students show no hesitation about selecting an area of interest because they know they are free to change direction,” continued Commissioner Winn. “Our students are more goal oriented than we give them credit for.”

Major areas are available for students in high schools throughout Florida, including students with disabilities working toward a special diploma, students enrolled in career academies or magnet programs, and students in charter schools. Major areas of interest include a wide array of subjects, ranging from Accounting and Finance, Landscape Architecture, Health Care, Television Production, and Computer Systems as well as many in the arts and vocational areas.

Graduation requirements for students entering high school in the 2007-08 school year include earning 16 core academic credits and eight elective credits in order to graduate with a high school diploma. Core requirements consist of four credits of English and math, three credits of social studies and science, one credit of fine arts, and one credit in physical education and health. Out of the eight elective credits, students choose a major area of interest that includes four credits in a common area, such as sequential courses in a career and technical program, fine and performing arts, or academic content area. The remaining for credits are electives.

To view the list of high school major areas of interest, visit http://www.fldoe.org/HSMajors/ListSchoolMajors.aspx.

For information about the ePEP visit www.FACTS.org.