Humanities program at JC would benefit students


Photo courtesy Michael Monoghan

Sophomores Matt Fabiszak, Cole Jones, and Alexis Loder work on an interactive project during their STEM meeting. Having a similar program for humanities would allow students with a strength in the liberal arts to participate in a hands-on program such as this one.

Junior Garrett Frankis looks at the students around him in class. The student next to him is involved in FLEX. The student behind him is working on a STEM project, but Frankis’ strengths don’t fall into either of those categories. As he slumps in his seat, he wishes that there was a program dedicated to his talents involving the liberal arts.

Having a program that parallels the current STEM and FLEX programs, but involving the humanities would highly benefit students not only interested in the social sciences and English, but also students that enjoy interactive learning.

Although JC does not currently have a humanities program with a specified diploma, other Maryland private schools such as Notre Dame Prep offer a humanities program of this sort. According to Abigail Slovick, a junior at NDP, “The humanities program explores different aspects of learning through non-traditional methods, such as making masks to talk about primal religions, writing and delivering speeches to discover how the government works, stitching bookmarks to find out what women did in the 1700s, and playing jazz songs on instruments to learn about the Harlem Renaissance,” Slovick said.

This style of interactive learning is only seen at JC within the STEM program. This program provides interactive scientific experiments. However, the current humanities classes include many lecture-based classes. As a visual learner, I would enjoy being able to better understand humanities concepts by experiencing them for myself.

Although JC does technically currently have humanities classes within the english and social studies programs, there is no specialized program. There are ordinary science and math classes that any student can take, but there are also STEM electives such as Computer Aided Design and Architecture, among others. After taking the required number of these electives and having STEM meetings once per cycle, the student receives a special diploma at graduation and has the opportunity to say that they were in a specialized program on their college diplomas.

If JC could find teachers willing to assist with the requirements of this program, students excelling in social studies and english would be able to communicate to colleges that they were in a distinguished program and would receive a distinction in humanities program, as STEM and FLEX students are currently. At NDP, the humanities program consists of a longer English class combined with either religion or history, according to Slovick. “Students in the program are also able to put it on their college applications and get a special humanities certificate at graduation upon completion of the course,” Slovick said.

JC offering a program such as the ones taught at NDP would leave a lasting affect on the student’s knowledge of important issues and allow the school to recognize those who excel in the humanities.

According to Slovick, she is grateful for NDP having a humanities program. “I would recommend it, without a doubt. I never realized how much the American Dream still affects us today, or how much women are oppressed, or how the Native Americans deserve their land back without this program,” Slovick said. “I would be living without passion and anger. I would be living in complete darkness without discussions involving otherness, inclusivity, women’s suffrage, and everything in between.”

Caitlin Kennedy is an Entertainment Editor for The Patriot and