The Humanities and Social Sciences Strand Curriculum and College Readiness

social sciences

Senior high school is the bridge between secondary education and higher education. This is the stage when students start to acquire more specialized skills and knowledge geared toward the future career they wish to pursue.

The curriculum of the HUMSS strand is designed nurture students interested in English or Literature, the arts, or social science courses like Psychology. Let’s talk about how this strand can help students be prepared for the challenges of taking liberal arts courses in college.

What is College Readiness?

College readiness refers to students’ preparedness for the next phase of their journey: college. Entering college is indeed a primarily academic event, but it also comes with numerous social and personal milestones, such as making new friends, being more independent, learning specialized knowledge, and dipping into the professional world.

Thus, online senior high schools in the Philippines are responsible for not only equipping students with knowledge and skills, but also developing the right mindset to help them thrive in college and beyond.

college readiness

How Do We Measure College Readiness?

College readiness cannot be measured simply by grades or test scores. College readiness encompasses skills, knowledge, and behaviors that contribute to academic success and personal growth. Here are three main things to consider in evaluating a student’s college readiness:

Content Knowledge

At the most basic level, college readiness requires a solid foundation in core subjects, specifically math, language and literature, science, and social sciences, even if the subject matter is not directly related to the course they plan to study.

Their knowledge of these core subjects is vital in helping them master more complex specialized knowledge. It can also help students acquire necessary skills to help them through college.

However, college readiness also means having a basic grasp of the foundational concepts in their chosen course. This way, students don’t come into college clueless about what field they are pursuing.

intellectual curiosity

Cognitive Strategies

For students to be ready for college, they should possess skills and strategies that can help them analyze complex information, synthesize ideas, and solve problems. Basic education should help students hone key cognitive strategies so they can keep up with learning more specialized topics in college.

Cognitive strategies include:

  • Intellectual curiosity and openness
  • Analytical thinking
  • Reasoning and argumentation
  • Problem solving

The HUMSS curriculum emphasizes the importance of developing cognitive strategies so that students do not simply accept what they are told, and rather seek meaning, reason, and proof. In addition, students with strong cognitive strategies can apply their knowledge to form and defend their arguments.


A student’s behavior is key to their success in college. It’s important for students to be open to new learning opportunities and be perpetually curious. However, it’s also important to learn resilience so they don’t easily give up when they face difficulties.

College readiness also means having self-discipline to manage one’s time wisely and be aware of weaknesses. Students who exhibit these behaviors are better equipped to handle the demands of college life.

The Humanities and Social Sciences Strand

The HUMSS strand is designed to prepare students for liberal arts courses and professions. This strand focuses on building strong critical thinking skills and a wide worldview. Students in this strand engage with ideas, concepts, and frameworks, often navigating cultural and political nuances. Through the HUMSS strand, students gain a deep understanding of the world and society and form their unique perspective.


What is in the Humanities and Social Sciences Strand Curriculum?

Courses for HUMSS students require high levels of critical thinking, cultural awareness, ethical reasoning, creativity, and communication skills. Naturally, the curriculum for this strand focuses on these aspects. The classes included in the curriculum for HUMSS includes the following core and specialized subjects:

Core subjects:

  • English
  • Filipino
  • Culture, Society, and Politics
  • Earth and Life Science
  • Philosophy
  • Reading and Writing Skills
  • Practical Research
  • Physical Education
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Media Information and Literacy
  • Work Immersion

Specialized HUMSS subjects:

  • World Religions and Belief Systems
  • Literature from the Philippines and the World
  • Disciplines and Ideas in Social Sciences
  • Trends, Networks and Critical Thinking
  • Politics and Governance
  • Creative Writing
  • Applied Social Sciences
  • Creative Nonfiction
  • Community Engagement

What is the Impact of HUMSS Strand Curriculum on College Readiness?

The Humanities and Social Sciences strand curriculum is designed to prepare students for college and a career in the creative field or social sciences. Let’s dive into how the HUMSS strand helps ensure college readiness:

Builds Holistic Content Knowledge

The HUMSS strands explores a wide range of subjects encompassing math, physical sciences, social sciences, and even entrepreneurship. These classes ensure that students have a solid basic knowledge that exposes students to diverse perspectives and ideas. This should empower students to grasp more complex topics and tackle any challenge in college.

critical thinking

Refines Critical Thinking and Analysis

HUMSS encourages students to think critically, analyze information, and formulate evidence-based arguments. Throughout their senior high school education, HUMSS students are exposed to activities like debates, research projects, and essay writing that push students to apply their knowledge and skills.

Having strong critical thinking and analytical skills means students do not need to learn how to process information. Instead, they can focus on exploring the new frameworks or ideas being introduced to them, allowing them to thrive in their classes.

Fosters an Open Mind

The HUMSS strand exposes students to diverse cultures, histories, belief systems, and social issues, which help foster empathy, respect, and cultural competence. These reinforce a broader worldview that can add color to their professional perspectives and work.

Furthermore, an open mind fosters curiosity, pushing students to keep learning and expanding their horizons.

Strengthen Communication Skills

Effective communication skills is one of the cornerstones of college readiness. The HUMSS strand emphasizes written and oral communication skills, enabling students to express themselves clearly and persuasively. These are key skills in any college course, but more importantly for liberal arts courses where students routinely craft essays, deliver presentations, or engage in debates.

Secure Confidence in Their Skills

With a strong curriculum, students step into college knowing that they are equipped with the crucial knowledge and skills to take on any challenge. Students who have had opportunities to apply their knowledge to diverse projects and challenges are not afraid to express themselves and test their ideas, which can help them find success in higher education.

Fosters Independence

Another important contributor to a student’s college readiness is their independence. As college students, they will navigate numerous challenges with minimal supervision, which means they need to have the discipline to do the necessary work to succeed in classes and the self-awareness to discern what more they need to do to improve.

The HUMSS strand curriculum encourages students to be more independent in their way of thinking, which can translate in other aspects of their life.

Help Students Decide their Course

Many students feel pressured to settle on a course without truly knowing what that field entails. With HUMSS, students have an opportunity to immerse themselves in the different fields they can potentially pursue so they can decide if it is the right path for them.

Our guide to all strands in senior high should help students understand what each strand is about so they can make the right decision for their future.

college ready male student

Are You College Ready?

The impact of the HUMSS strand curriculum on college readiness encompasses academic capabilities and intellectual growth, and personal development. Through this strand, students acquire the vital skills, knowledge, and attitudes to thrive in college and contribute meaningfully to society as professionals.

Make sure that you’re college-ready with a strong SHS curriculum from one of the top providers of online learning in the Philippines.

For more information about our strands, get in touch with us today.