APU Careers & Learning Online Learning

What is an Elective Course, and Which One Should I Take?

Some college students see taking an elective course as a break from rigorous studying, and numerous class assignments and papers. For others, it’s an opportunity to refine skills needed for the workforce, or a chance to review things they were curious about and didn’t have the time to explore before.

So, how do you know which courses to pick when looking for an elective?

Here is what you should consider:

A soft skills elective class is a general area of expertise course that people may need in order to be successful in the workplace. This would be something that translates into a majority of career fields and degree programs. Things like writing, speaking, listening, interpersonal communication, critical thinking, and problem solving.

Citizen Literacy elective classes are for those who don’t get a chance to read up on their current events, and in turn don’t understand what’s going on with politics, healthcare reform, science, technology and more. Consider courses in philosophy, women’s studies, ethnic studies, political science and government, and more.

If you want a chance to indulge in music history or art appreciation, school can be your opportunity to learn about things like masterpieces, theatre, even contemporary literature. These are considered fine arts elective courses. The arts translate into a lot of what we do and see in our daily lives, taking a side step into one of these classes for a new view on an “old” subject could be very enlightening.

Elective courses with a great professor. Ask your friends, your classmates, or check out the forums or the social area in your online school who their favorite professor was. Sometimes a great professor can make any topic interesting and engaging. The temporary deviation from your field of study can be a pleasant detour with the right guide.

Whether you decide to expand your options with an elective course you can build with, or one you simply want an easy A in, take a little time to research the topic and the teacher. If you aren’t sure what to take ask a classmate for their suggestions. Elective courses can be just an easy break from your busy schedule, or a knowledge expanding experience.

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