Students Tired of Tech’s Technical Major Mantra
By Ilana Urman
Brooklyn Technical High School major options have come a long way since the system was first implemented in 1933. The selection process began with Technical College Prep, Architecture and Building Construction, Chemical, Electrical, Mechanical, and Structural Engineering. Since then, the school has expanded and altered the majors to make seventeen options available.
Despite the broadening of choices in majors, the school has not diverged far from its original mathematical, technical, and engineering principles.
English teacher Evan Losow is supportive of the technical opportunities offered by Tech.
“I think it’s great that the school has a strong focus on math and sciences, as well as really great resources. The unique programs that the school offers, such as environmental sciences and engineering, introduce students to courses other high schools don’t have.”
Of all the majors now available to students, only two can be classified as humanities, Social Science Research and Law and Society, neither of which include the English Department.
Linda Sun ’15 said, “Social Science Research seems to be closest substitute we can have to an English major in a technical school.”
Despite the lack of humanities options in terms of majors, there are various English courses that are options as electives for sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Students are offered the opportunity to take Honors English during their sophomore year, Advanced Placement English Language and Composition during their junior year, and a variety courses, such as Creative Writing, Journalism, and Advanced Placement English Literature, during their senior year.
An English major at Brooklyn Tech is a possibility many students find appealing.
Julian Naing ’15 said students “who are not so enthusiastic about science and math should have another option they could take, such as an English major.”
Marc Williams, the Assistant Principal of English, explained why there has been no English major implemented and whether it ever will be: “An English major has been discussed, but this is a science, math, and technology school and that’s the major focus. Unless it can entail some sort of science or technology component, there will not be an English major.”
Still, some students believe that an English major would be popular.
“I feel like there would be more students applying for an English major than our Math Major. However, we do have Law and Society and Social Science Research, which do get relatively close,” said MD Kabir ’14.
Michelle Bao ’15 said, “Ironically, most students in Tech prefer English-related majors over math, science, or technology. Studying English and developing writing skills is always a beneficial thing to do for the future, no matter which major a student wants to pursue.”
Even though the addition of an English major is improbable, students interested in pursuing such courses will still have the opportunity to do so.
Williams said, “There’s a lot of literature about Law and Society. The idea of there being some sort of literature course in this major or perhaps College Prep would make sense. I do think that somewhere down the line and hopefully in the near future, that there will be English courses embedded into the curriculum of some of the majors.”