Monday, February 22, 2010

Education in Apple Valley, Part 3

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.

Associate's Degree
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, 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 one, students must score at least a four on their skill exam correlated to their major and a 17 on their CSE (ie, a student focused on the Associate of Culinary Arts must have at least 4 cooking skills and at least 17 skill points total).

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.

In summary,

Associates Degree
-17+ CSE on graduation
-SE 4+ in focused skill
-CIE 5+ in focused interest


  1. I love this. You're so detailed and I'm definitely planning on looking at your stuff, along with Laura's, when I start trying to figure out how I want to handle advanced education in my hood.

  2. -Carla, thanks. I'm going to try and follow at least one sim in the associate degree program as well as the advanced degree program.

  3. I just got Sims University, so maybe I am wrong, but I thought only teens could go to college? How are you doing this?

  4. -Anon, you're right. I am able to do this using hacks such as Monique's computer and SimBlender.

  5. What exactly is Monique's computer? I found the mod on MTS2 but I didn't really understand what it would do.

  6. -pr3ttylilprobl3m, you just download the computer, it's an object that expands options in the game. The readme file tells more detail about it.


Thanks for reading and commenting!


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