Registration and Requirements
Your goals for the class will lay the groundwork for how you approach structuring a class. Is your goal to use the class as a recruiting tool for the team, or to work with existing team members during the day? How does your focus on that audience align with your administration’s priorities? Or, alternatively, does having a class eliminate your need for an extracurricular team?
Once you’ve answered that question, you can determine who is eligible to enroll in the class and what the expectations for participation will be.
- If you already have a team, how will team vs. class participation differ?
- What are your expectations for competing, both in class and outside of class?
- Some schools/states do not allow co-curricular classes that require participation outside of school. If yours does, remember that the higher your expectations are, the more committed you can expect students who choose to take the class to be. If you are concerned about reaching a critical mass of interested students, limiting your requirements for outside participation is a good way to start. Likewise, if your goal is to use the class as a recruitment tool for the team and draw in as many students as possible, limiting the requirement can help entice students who are heavily involved in other activities, who work or have family obligations, or who will have to overcome a fear of public speaking to participate at all.
- Alternatively, if your goal is to shift as much of your after-school work with a strong existing team to during the school day, you could have more strenuous competition requirements. Be advised, your administration may have policies on this.
- How will you communicate these expectations so students understand what they’re signing up for?
- Will you allow students to be in the class without being on the team and vice versa?
- For reference, 60% of coaches who have a class allow any interested students to compete, regardless of whether they are enrolled in the class, while 20% only permit students in the class to compete. Where you land on this depends on your goals, your availability for after-school practices, and your school’s policies.
- Will all students have the opportunity to become NSDA members and join the Honor Society?
- What is the cost for the class? If students are expected to compete at tournaments, how will entry fees and transportation costs be covered? What will the cost of your instructional materials be? Remember, NSDA membership includes access to curriculum and online textbooks.
These proposed policies will be important to share with your administrator, but also with counselors, parents, and prospective students.