What and Why
I decided to do a series on how education in Apple Valley works, especially with the forthcoming changes. We will explore education from elementary school to obtaining an advanced degree. I wanted to move away from excessive skilling in my game and focus more on character development. This serves two purposes, one, it allows me to hone in on each sim's individual personality and preferences, two, it prevents excessive success. Right now, most sims are able to obtain a level 7 job without any trouble aside from making friends. This leaves very little room for variety in the game and most sims are financially well off. To ensure that I stay focused on this, I have now decided to try and do away with most toddler skills-instead focusing on teaching them how to walk, talk, etc.
The primary ways of educating the sims in all levels of education are skills, hobbies and interests. I often refer to skills as scores on "skill exams" (the number of skill points they have in a certain skill) or "core skill evaluation"-CSE (the number of total skills they have). Hobbies and interests will also be referred to in a similar manner. Now that the background is out of the way, let's move on.
Today, we're discussing obtaining an advanced degree, a terminal degree. I wanted there to be some variety in education levels of the sims. Either you went to college or you didn't, according to MAXIS. Even if you didn't go to college, you could be a doctor...um, how about no.
Some sims do not attend university, graduate from university, or simply obtain an associate's degree in thier life. Now, some sims are content with that and their goal isn't to be a surgeon, so being a nurse or EMT is great for them. Other sims want to excel in their careers a bit more, ok a lot more.
Any resident of Apple Valley with a bachelors degree may undertake an advanced correspondence course with Pierce University at any time. Tuition is $15,000 for the entire degree program and students must have at least a score of 20 on their entrance exam (Score on Core Skills Evaluation + #simyears work experience).
To complete their degree, students must graduate with at least a score of 35 on their CSE. Assuming the lowest possible CSE score of 20 from graduation from university, the student will be required to earn 15 skill points throughout their coursework.
Students are able to chose one of seven advanced degrees. A student's degree choice determines which skill, interest and hobby they will focus on maxing.
•Advanced Degree in Fine Arts: creativity/Culture, Entertainment, Fashion/Arts & Craft, Film & Literature, Music & Dance
•Advanced Degree in Culinary Arts: cooking/Food/ Cuisine
•Advanced Degree in Business Administration: charisma/Money, Work /Film & Literature
•Advanced Degree in Technology: mechanical/Weather/Tinkering, Science
•Advanced Degree in Applied Science: logic/Animals, Environment, Paranormal / Science, Nature
•Advanced Degree in General Studies: cleaning/School, Sci-Fi, Toys, Travel / Cuisine, Fitness, Games
•Advanced Degree in Public Service: body/Crime, Health, Politics, Sports /Fitness, Sports
In level one, students must score a 10 on their skill exam correlated to their major and a 35 on their CSE (ie, a student focused on the Advanced Degree in Culinary Arts must have at least 10 cooking skills and at least 35 skill points total).
In level two, students focus on refining their studies. Students must earn at least a 10 on their CIE in their focused skill. Using the example above, our Culinary Arts student must have 10 interest points in food. If multiple interests are listed, students chose one interest to focus on. Students will use magazines and sharing interest conversations to earn interests.
In level three, students continue to focus on refining their studies. Students must earn at least a 10 on their CHE in their focused skill. Using the example above, our Culinary Arts student must have 10 points in cuisine hobby. If multiple hobbies are listed, students chose one hobby to focus on. Students will use any means available to develop their hobby.
In level four, students focus on perfecting their studies and finishing their thesis. Students will use Monique's computer to write 3 research papers on their core skill (3 different articles on the their focus skill). After completing their research papers, students must write their thesis. Students will use the computer to write a novel, this novel is their thesis. Upon completing of thier thesis , students graduate with an Advanced Degree and a dandy little diploma to hang on their walls. Their options have now opened to the darkest green sections on the career table.
-35+ CSE graduation
-degree focus skills via computer
-skill max in 1+ skill
-interest max in field
-hobby max in field
-3 research papers