The Philippines’ transition to the K to 12 program a few years back has introduced new concepts into the country’s educational system – from the length of secondary education to the inclusion of tracks or strands. While the incorporation of tracks has helped students get better background knowledge and preparation, it has also caused a bit of confusion for students planning on taking up a specific course, like architecture. If you’re an incoming SHS student who’s planning on pursuing architecture, this article will help you choose the right architecture track and SHS strand for the best educational flow.
What Is an Architecture Degree?
An architecture degree is a professional degree that is awarded to students who have completed a course of study in the field of architecture. The course of study usually takes four years to complete and includes courses in design, engineering, mathematics, and art. The first two years are spent on general education courses such as math, science, humanities, and social sciences. The last two years are spent on more specialized courses such as architectural history and design. This is why pursuing an architecture degree may require a specialized architecture strand in SHS instead of a more general approach to education.
What Do You Need to Know About Tracks in Senior High School?
Now that you know what an architecture degree entails, it’s now time for you to understand what the SHS tracks are available in educational institutions in the Philippines today. Senior high school tracks and strands in the Philippines are determined by the student’s choice of major. There are five tracks: General Academic Strand (GAS), Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), Accountancy, Business and Management (ABM), Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS), and Technical-Vocational-Livelihood (TVL).
The GAS track is for students who have not yet decided on their future specialization. This track provides students with general subjects and courses that may be applicable to specific courses without going into too much depth. For students who want to pursue education in accountancy and management can take up the ABM track. Those who would want to forge careers in technical industries, including science and engineering, can take up the STEM track. On the other hand, HUMSS track is a great strand for those looking to pursue sociological and artistic careers. Lastly, the TVL track aims to train students with job-specific skills to be employable even without pursuing a college degree.
What SHS Track and Strand Should You Pursue for an Architecture Degree?
If you’re a junior high student and you’re bent on pursuing an architecture degree when you graduate from high school, you’re probably now wondering what strand or track you should take – especially since architecture deals with both technical and creative components. With architecture requiring advanced education, students will need to pursue an academic SHS track and a STEM strand – especially since STEM’s course list delves into more advanced and specialized technical education.
Many tertiary educational institutions require architecture students to graduate with a STEM strand to ensure that they have enough education in the core courses of architecture, including engineering, math, and statistics. However, if you’re not sure, it would be best that you contact the universities that you’re planning on entering after graduation and inquire about the requirements you would need to pursue an architecture degree. Some institutions only accept students who come from a STEM background, while other universities are more lenient and will accept candidates from other educational backgrounds.
What Is the STEM Curriculum?
The STEM curriculum is a new educational initiative offered through online learning in the Philippines and in-person education. It was designed to prepare students for careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The STEM curriculum is based on the theory that students are more likely to pursue careers in these fields if they are exposed to them early. As a result, the STEM curriculum focuses on hands-on, experiential learning.
Although the STEM curriculum has been criticized for its lack of focus on the arts, proponents argue that it is important for students to specialize in one area at a young age. This is why many universities specifically accept students who have followed the STEM curriculum since they have – more or less – the skills needed for architecture courses.
What Other Architecture Strands Are Available at Filipino Senior High Schools?
There are a number of other SHS strands that you could consider if you want to be an architect.
There is the Humanities and Social Sciences strand, which covers topics such as history, literature, and philosophy. This strand would give you a good grounding in the humanities, which are essential for architects.
There is also the Accountancy, Business and Management strand, which would give you training in business and management. This would be useful for architects who want to start their own architecture firm. Finally, there is the general academic strand or the GAS strand. The general academic strand offers a more general take on the academic track, offering general courses that can be applicable to a wide selection of college degrees – making it a good SHS strand alternative for aspiring architecture students but with a bit more flexibility.
What Are the Essential Course Requirements for an Architecture Student?
To become an architect in the Philippines, you will need to take the Senior High strand that meets all essential course requirements. These include mathematics, physical science, and technology-based courses such as drafting and applied mechanics. You will also have to take at least 12 units of elective classes related to architecture, such as art and computer-aided design (CAD). The STEM strand is a great option for those looking to pursue a career in architecture, as it offers the most comprehensive range of courses.
Are There Alternative Pathways to Becoming an Architect?
While it is true that the STEM curriculum is a great foundation for students who want to become architects, there are also alternative pathways that can be taken. You could pursue other related disciplines, such as visual arts, humanities, or social science, which could provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge for successful architecture. It all depends on your interests and career goals. Just make sure you have a basic understanding of mathematics, physics, and technical drawing since these are essential in becoming an architect.
So, What SHS Strand Should Aspiring Architects Take?
Architecture is a profession that requires both creativity and technical know-how, which is why the confusion regarding the SHS strand is understandable. If you’re planning on taking architecture after senior high school, the STEM strand may be the best choice to ensure that you get the right educational background and knowledge to seamlessly transition into an architecture degree. If you’re still not sure, it’s also a great practice for you to contact the university or education institution that you’re planning on completing your degree with and ask for their college requirements.