Career- and College-Ready Graduation Requirements
In 2006, the legislature directed the SBE to revise the definition of the purpose and expectations of a public high school diploma. In 2010, after extensive committee work, stakeholder input, and research the SBE approved (but did not implement) the 24 credit Career- and College-Ready Graduation Requirements. The graduation requirements for the class of 2016 are a step toward the Career and College Ready Graduation Requirements, but include only changes that have no state fiscal impact. The Board will not advocate for, and the legislature will not approve, full implementation of the 24 credit framework without adequate funding. A table comparing the requirements of the Class of 2013, 2016 and the 24 Credit Career- and College-Ready Graduation Requirements is available here.
The 24 credit framework was designed to be both rigorous and flexible. The default pathway intended for most students will keep all postsecondary options open, including meeting the college admission requirements for entry into public 4-year institution or pursuing a program of study with a 2-year institution or an apprenticeship. For students who have a plan, the framework is flexible enough to accommodate any program of study, including earning a professional or technical certificate or degree through a skills center or pursuing entry into the most competitive post-secondary programs.
Key elements of the framework that allow for flexibity include:
Graduation Requirements for the Class of 2016 and Beyond
The Board adopted graduation requirements for the Class of 2016 and beyond at its November 2011 meeting, creating WAC 180-51-067. This rule requires students to earn 20 credits, and includes the changes, described below, from WAC 180-51-066 (requirements for students in the graduating classes of 2013-2015).
The state intends that graduation requirements prepare students for postsecondary education, gainful employment and citizenship (RCW 28A.150.220). The Washington Career and College Ready Graduation Requirements are designed to meet the state's intent and to help students prepare for success postsecondary education and careers.
November 2011 Graduation Requirements Rule Revisions
Based on extensive feedback received by the Board, both during the November 2011 meeting and in the months prior, the graduation requirements were modified to allow school districts to receive a two-year extension from the changes to the social studies and English credit requirements. This exemption period provides school districts additional time to plan for and implement the required changes. Districts who received this extension shall maintain the English, social studies, and elective credits in effect under WAC 180-51-066 for the period of the exemption.
In November 2011, the Board revised language in WAC 180-51-050 substituting a non-time-based definition of a credit for the prior, time-based 150 instructional hours credit definition. This revision increased flexibility for districts in defining credits that meet graduation requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
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