Starting in the fall of 2014, Ann Richards – along with other Austin area high schools – cut geography from the ninth grade curriculum. This elimination was part of a piece of legislation that was introduced in January of that year that redefined the Austin Independent School District curriculum. As the class of 2018, who was the first class to forgo a social studies credit, nears the college application process, many are taking a close look at the requirements for colleges regarding history credits.
“I think social studies is a class that really teaches you how to think about everything that is happening in the world,” Maddy Schell said (11).
House Bill 5 was written in January of 2014, and intended to be implemented in the 2014-2015 school year. The bill outlined the “New Foundation High School Program,” and listed the required classes and credits for graduation in Texas. One of the most important features of the new graduation plan was the reduction in required history credits. Instead of needing 4 history credits to graduate, the state’s new mandate only required 3, (one semester of government, one semester of economics, and one year of U.S. History, one year of either world history or geography).
According to the College Board, colleges look for a minimum of 2.5 credits on average. Certain colleges have stricter rules about how many credits of social studies a student must have, whereas others have a recommendation for students. Overall, schools appear to look for a minimum of 3 history credits.