Schools Choose Major Areas of Interest

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It's all part of a new Florida Department of Education initiative.

The newest thing in high school classrooms has been revealed, a list of approved majors, and students are beginning to take the plunge.

Ms. Allen's eighth grade class at Tallahassee's Fort Braden Middle School is beginning to tune in to the major areas of interest program. They'll be among the first to take advantage of the new course of study.

After mixed reactions, some students look forward to having a more hands on experience when it comes to their high school education.

"I've known this decision for a while, but knowing there's more people to help me, now more makes me feel less nervous," said Sarah Blackburn, choosing Marine Biology for her major.

Calming parents and teachers is a common goal among educators.

Bevin Steverson is a middle school guidance counselor and said, "I am going to meet with eighth graders and we will talk about the different areas of interest and how it is going to aid them in selecting their elective courses next year."

Leon County's plan will include four courses in any major area of interest, offering one course for each year, but the choice does not have to be permanent, and students may change their major each year.

"We want them to explore, change their mind it tells them what they might like and what they might not like," said Merry Ortega, Executive Director for Leon County's Secondary Schools.

Ortega thinks this new program will get students much more focused as they enter a new level of their education.

Eighth grade parent meetings will be held at each high school at the end of March, and students will begin choosing their majors in April with the help of guidance counselors.

There are about 35 options at each school including law, mass media and driver's ed.

For a complete list, log onto and chose High School Planning from the option bar on the left side, then scroll over to Major Areas of Interest.