Business Classes, Pentucket Curriculum Says… More Like Busiless Classes


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Hannah Linehan, Writer

When it comes to choosing classes each school year, Pentucket students are questioning the classes that Pentucket offers. Does Pentucket offer classes that prepare students well enough to succeed in the most important and sought after aspects of college and real life? 

The world of business is prospering and proving to be one of the most successful majors across the nation. Formal business and commerce skills are crucial for the success of young entrepreneurs. Whether starting a business, engaging in trade, or going forth into other fields of work, it is extremely important for young students to gain substantial knowledge and expertise in the business field.

While Pentucket students have advocated a want for an updated and modern business curriculum to be incorporated, budgeting strictness, scheduling requirements, and the lack of school funding serve for the underrepresentation of business classes. The mere lack of a business department in the Pentucket district is enough to show that students are not receiving a well balanced and modernly adapted elective education.

When the guidance office was asked how many business classes the school currently offers, their response was short. The sole business classes that Pentucket offers are “Intro to Accounting” and “Intro to Personal Finance,” and even classifying these courses as high school level business classes is generous. Seeing that these classes run at the middle school and most students take them in 7th or 8th grade, the knowledge gained seems minimal and cannot be built upon or expanded throughout one’s Pentucket career.

The other option for students interested in pursuing these modern life skills is to look into taking a Virtual High School (VHS) course. VHS has a wide variety of online classes that students can choose from, enroll in, and take the course electronically. 

Though these VHS classes seem like the perfect option for students, there are only 25 spots per semester and not many students know about them. While guidance counselor Mr. John Gore promotes students enrolling in VHS classes that they want to pursue, he admits that “even though VHS is mentioned and discussed to students, it’s less well known than the classes we teach here.”

Over the past two years, some Pentucket students have taken interest in the modern economy and joined DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America), an organization teaching the “young leaders of today” twenty-first-century business skills. These students are taking initiative in expanding their want to learn these life skills and are helping to grow the school’s awareness for the field of business. As all other schools involved in Massachusetts DECA run the program as an elective class in their curriculums, Pentucket is the sole school that does not offer it as a class. Therefore, students are forced to create and lead their own version of a DECA “extracurricular club.”

While this small group of students has done well to fight for their wants for business classes, their advisor, Ms. Madison Estes, is one of the proudest and most progressive Pentucket staff members that understands the importance of learning modern skills. When asked about the benefits of the DECA program and business classes in general, Estes says, “It is crucial for young and impressionable students to learn how to work for a business and they need this exposure.”  Estes wishes that the rest of the staff would come forward to show their enthusiasm for providing students with business classes that teach “real-life skills… as well as career exploration that gets students ready for college and the real world.” 

In a recently conducted survey, Pentucket students were asked if they had ever taken classes in the specific fields of marketing, finance, hospitality, tourism, accounting, administration, and entrepreneurship. Almost all of the students felt that they could not even answer the question. Then, when asked if they had any interest in taking a class in these same fields, 97 percent of students wanted to learn more about and explore at least one of those categories.

With the interest levels from this survey and CNBC’s recent finding that business is the most popular major in college, as 19 percent of all American students earning their degree in this field, it is clear that today’s society greatly values modern business and commerce skills. Students should have the available resources and classes that will help them in the most popular and sought after field and job force. Pentucket needs to open its eyes and recognize not only the want, but the need for modern business classes.