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 associates 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.
Sometimes sims are unable to attend university. Their options would be severely limited to only the jobs that are light green.
Now, some sims are content with that and their goal isn't to be a famous lawyer, so being the receptionist is great for them. Other sims want to excel in their careers a bit more. It could be that they had a life change later, or simply that they can't afford university, or in rare cases, are labeled "doofus" and are limited in the amount of skills they can earn.
Any resident of Apple Valley without a degree may undertake a correspondence course with Pierce University at any time. Tuition is $5,000 for the entire degree program and students must have at least a score of 15 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 17 on their CSE. Assuming the lowest possible CSE score of 13 from high school graduation, the student will be required to earn 4 skill points.
Students are able to chose one of seven associate degrees. A student's degree choice determines which skill and interest they will focus on increasing.
- Associate of Fine Arts: creativity/Culture, Entertainment, Fashion
- Associate of Culinary Arts: cooking/Food
- Associate of Business Administration: charisma/Money, Work
- Associate of Technology: mechanical/Weather
- Associate of Applied Science: logic/Animals, Environment, Paranormal
- Associate of General Studies: cleaning/School, Sci-Fi, Toys, Travel
- Associate of Public Service: body/Crime, Health, Politics, Sports
In level two, students focus on refining their studies. Students must earn at least a 5 on their CIE in their focused skill. Using the example above, our Culinary Arts student must have at least 5 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 focus on perfecting their studies and finishing their senior project. Students will use Monique's computer to write 2 term papers on their core (2 different articles on the their focus skill). After completing their term papers, students graduate with a Associates Degree and a dandy little diploma to hang on their walls. Their options have now opened to the medium green sections on the career table.
-17+ CSE on graduation
-SE 4+ in focused skill
-CIE 5+ in focused interest