The Cambridge course load: CCHS adds new AICE courses for the 2020-2021 school year The Cambridge course load: CCHS adds new AICE courses for the 2020-2021 school year
BY ARIELLE KRAUS As course selection cards were distributed mid-January, students noticed the addition of many new courses. Seven of these classes came from... The Cambridge course load: CCHS adds new AICE courses for the 2020-2021 school year

BY ARIELLE KRAUS

As course selection cards were distributed mid-January, students noticed the addition of many new courses. Seven of these classes came from the Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) Program, which was a new addition to CCHS last year.

AICE classes are designed to promote independent thinking and assist students in deepening their knowledge in specific subject areas. These college-level classes, just like Advanced Placement (AP) courses, are out of 6.0 points in a student’s weighted grade point average (GPA). 

The new classes that will be offered for the 2020-2021 school year include Cambridge International Advanced Subsidiary (AS) Level Computer Science, Cambridge International AS Level Environmental Management, Cambridge International AS Level English Literature, Cambridge International Advanced (A) Level English Language, Cambridge International AS Level Spanish (First Language), Cambridge International AS Level Business and Cambridge International AS Level Drama. 

Cambridge International AS Level Computer Science is an elective students can take that focuses on topics in computer science. This includes, as explained by Cambridge, displaying information, using Internet technologies, software development, programming and using algorithms.

CCHS has offered AP Environmental Science for many years, but has now removed the course to replace it with Cambridge International AS Level Environmental Management. This science course focuses on certain environmental issues and theories that students will study. Students are also able to learn about sustainability and managing resources, as well as using skills to analyze data on such topics. 

The two AICE English classes being newly offered to students are Cambridge International AS Level English Literature and Cambridge International A Level English Language. AS Level English Literature is a course where students can work hands-on with text to analyze and interpret it. 

“The difference between the AS and the A Level [Language courses is] that the A Level is significantly more rigorous.”

Literacy Department Chair Lisa Jones

A Level English Language is an additional English course students will have the option to take. The prerequisite to this class is AS Level English Language, as these two courses follow the same curriculum split over the course of two years.

“The difference between the AS and the A Level [Language courses is] that the A Level is significantly more rigorous,” Literacy Department Chair Lisa Jones said. “It’s basically one course divided across two years, so the students are able to go in-depth. The A Level deals more with phonemic awareness and how students acquire language. I kind of describe it as English meets science and psychology for that A Level because there is some crossover.”

Another language course students can take, as an elective, is Cambridge International AS Level Spanish (First Language). This course was created for students whose first language is Spanish and teaches them effective communication both verbally and written in this language. Students focus on varying vocabulary words, grammatical rules and speaking skills throughout this course.

Cambridge International AS Level Business is another elective offered to CCHS students. This class enables students to appreciate business and its impact on society. This class is similar to the current Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) classes offered at CCHS that involve business and finance. 

“As far as the curriculum, … it’s very similar to the concepts that are covered in DECA classes about business in general,” DECA advisor Regina Ferrerira said. “From developing a solution to a problem, to finding a target market that it would benefit, to the financing piece of business, those are [all] life skills that I think people can use in any career field.”

Another new course added to CCHS course selection cards is Cambridge International AS Level Drama. Students are able to enhance their performing skills, as well as work on their audience communication and conduct research in the areas of theatrical styles and genres. 

“I’m taking the AICE Drama course because I am really looking to further my education in the arts.”

Junior Rachel Goldberg

“I’m taking the AICE Drama course because I am really looking to further my education in the arts,” junior Rachel Goldberg said. “AICE tends to go really deep, so I am really looking forward to delving into plays and learning the true history of theater. I hope to gain [analysis] skills, performance skills, writing skills and so much more.”

Some students who take AICE courses do so for the AICE Diploma. This diploma is given to students who receive at least seven Cambridge credits, with Cambridge International AS Level Global Perspectives & Research being a required course.  

AICE courses allow students to go more in-depth with the information covered in their course. The classes typically have less content than AP courses, but dive deeper into each concept. 

“I really like the AICE courses because I feel like they target the type of student that likes to think deeply and express themselves through writing,” Jones said. “Since the coursework is primarily critical thinking and written expression, I think it really allows students to work toward their strengths and utilize their unique learning style in order to show what they know and go really in-depth.”

For more information regarding AICE courses and other courses offered at CCHS, check out Cowboy Television’s (CTV) Curriculum Guide video

Video courtesy of CTV

Photo by The Lariat Photography

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