No (E)CAP: is it worth the time?

Jo Breese, Creeker editor

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ECAP should be offered but not required for graduation. Students who care about it should be able to do it at their own discretion instead of the state requiring it for graduation. The money spent on it could be spent on more useful things like teachers or bathrooms.

ECAP stands for Education and Career Action Plan. It is a system meant to help students prepare for life after high school by helping them create resumes, browse colleges, and plan their classes. It is required to graduate in all Arizona high schools, but it is not applicable to all students.

ECAP is meant to help plan for life after high school, but the program mostly only helps people who plan to go to college after high school. For people who plan to go straight into college, it is helpful but does not provide as much for career-focused students. Students who plan on joining the workforce after college should not have to do it.

ECAP takes away from time in class. Some teachers complain about ECAP due to how it takes away teaching time away from them. Teachers have to take their students to the computer lab to work on planning for their futures instead of taking notes on important lectures or presentations.

Another major problem with ECAP is how it expects students to know what they plan to do after high school. ECAP forces students to make major choices after put less than an hour’s worth of thought into them. Because only an hour is spent on such serious topics, such as creating a resume, students may feel pressured to rush through it and not put much thought into it. If students are not taking it seriously, then the class periods are wasted regardless. Many parents do not even know what choices their kids are planning on making because they are not helping them with it.

The state is wasting money on ECAP when they could be putting the money elsewhere. The program is funded by taxes, however, the money used would be better spent on fixing the bathrooms or hiring teachers.

Defenders of ECAP say that even if it is not for everyone, it still helps students who want to go to college after high school. While this is a fair point, I think that the time and money spent on ECAP could be better used in other places. Helping a few students plan for college is good, but using the money to help all the students is better.