By: Kylie Griep, AOIT Intern
A big thing about AOIT is the two different course paths you can take. On one side, there is the Programming track, where you take courses like Programming I, Programming II, SAS Programming, and AP Computer Science. On the other side, you can take the Web Development track, where you take courses like Multimedia and Web Design, E-Commerce I, and Business Advanced Studies. However, if you are like me, both might appeal to you.
Coming in as an AOIT Freshmen, I kind of already knew I wanted to take both tracks because the year before, my brother joined the AOIT program and he ended up dual tracking so I knew the gist of it. Even so, there were a lot of things to consider before committing to dual tracking.
- Space in your Schedule:
If you want to dual track, you need to have space in your schedule for it. Dual Tracking means you may not have room to take all year (both fall and spring semester) electives because of conflicts. Things like band, languages and some art classes can cause conflicts because you may have to take one class in the fall semester then another in the spring semester.
Personally, I had a lot of trouble with this when I got to my Junior year. Most colleges require at least two classes of a foreign language and I wanted to take German. The problem was that I needed to take E-Commerce, SAS Programming, and AOIT English III Honors in the first semester, as well as, I really wanted to take Art III (so I could get into Art IV/AP Art in my senior year). This meant I had no room for German I. After being rejected once and a lot of emails to my counselor, I ended up being able to take German I and German II online. An important note here is that previously, you could take any online class with North Carolina Virtual Public Schools (NCVPS). However, starting my junior year (2017-2018 school year), they had it changed up the so you could only take online classes that were not offered at the school or that you needed to graduate. It all worked out in the end but you should still be careful and know what classes you will want to take in the future.
- About the Web Development Track:
In the Web Development Track, you will be required to take Programming I, Multimedia and Web Design, E-Commerce I, and Business Advanced Studies. Programming I is required by both tracks but I put it here because it is a good way to see if you have a hidden passion for programming. The thing about this is if you take the Web Development track, you will be taking the Programming I class when the Programming track is taking Programming II. This would make it very hard to switch to the other track if you wanted to. However, if you dual-tracked and realized you didn’t like programming, you can just drop that track and stay in the Web Development Track. I took this track mainly because I am a very artistic person and this is definitely the more visually creative of the two tracks.
In your sophomore year, you will take Multimedia and Web Design as your first class (not including Programming I) on the Web Development track. You get to learn software programs like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Website development using HTML/CSS, and Video editing software. In your junior year, you will take E-Commerce and go more in-depth into Website Development using HTML/CSS and learn about business online. Finally, during your senior year, you will take Business Advanced Studies where you will learn a new website design software called Dreamweaver and work on creating a Senior video for your AOIT class. (learn more about Programming I under the “About the Programming Track” section)
- About the Programming Track:
Within the programming track, you will be required to take Programming I, Programming II, SAS Programming, and AP Computer Science. When I first came in, I originally took this track because my brother really enjoyed the classes when he came through before me. I had zero programming experience beforehand so it was definitely new to me, but overall I am really glad I took this path because I found another passion here with programming and it gave me a very logical mindset to go with my already creative mindset.
- Seeing what you like:
One of the benefits of Dual Tracking is that you always have the option to switch out of one track and just take the other. Say you decide to take the programming track and you are in Programming II and you realize you don’t want to take the programming track anymore. It will be difficult to switch because you will have to take Multimedia before you can get to E-Commerce and you might not have room to switch out of the class or it might be a little too late. Or say you were taking the web development track and you experienced Programming I and loved it but you are taking it in the second semester when the programming track is taking Programming II. By now if you decided to dual or switch tracks it may be hard to fit in all your required class for the track because you are behind. If you had dual tracked in the beginning, you can always try out both of the tracks and when you start taking them, you may realize you love both or you hate one or the other. But this way, it gives you more wiggle room if you wanted to drop one track and only take the other.
Dual Tracking allowed me to meet a lot of new people from both tracks because I wasn’t put into classes with only half of AOIT. So in the fall when you are deciding which track you want to take, consider the option of dual tracking because you never know what you might love or hate!