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RCW 28A.230.090 authorizes SBE to establish some of the state's graduation requirements. SBE has established essential credit requirements, a culminating project, and a high school and beyond plan (WAC 180-51-061, WAC 180-51-066, and WAC 180-51-067). For a recent webinar on social studies graduation requirements, please see the video.

Social Studies - 2. What is the social studies graduation requirement?

Graduation requirement rules (WAC 180-51-067, WAC 180-51-068, and WAC 180-51-210) require three credits of social studies for graduation. The requirement includes one credit of US History, one-half credit of Contemporary World History, Geography and Problems (often referred to as Contemporary World Problems or CWP), one-half credit of Civics, and one credit of social studies elective.

Social Studies - 15. What are acceptable equivalencies for the Contemporary World Problems (CWP) credit?

WAC 180-51-210 states, "One-half credit shall be required in contemporary world history, geography, and problems. Courses in economics, sociology, civics (through the Class of 2023), political science, international relations, or related courses with emphasis on contemporary problems may be accepted as equivalencies."

Social Studies - 14. Can a course in World History be counted as a Contemporary World Problems (CWP) credit?

A course in World History may be counted as a CWP credit if the course is taught as "contemporary world history". Ancient world history, for example, would not meet the requirements of a CWP credit. Typically, contemporary history covers the period since World War II. Please refer to the Washington State K-12 Social Studies Learning Standards for more information.

Social Studies - 13. Is World History included in the social studies graduation requirements?

A World History course is not a specific graduation requirement, although world history is included in Washington State Social Studies Learning Standards for 9th and 10th grade.  A district could choose to offer this course as a social studies elective credit or as a local district requirement. 

Social Studies - 12. Can Washington State History and Government be waived for international students or students who

Yes, students who transfer into the state in the 11th or 12th grade may have the Washington State History and Government requirement waived by their principal. The graduation requirement rules (WAC 180-51-067, WAC 180-51-068 and WAC 180-51-210) allows for the waiver of Washington State History and Government for two categories of students:

Social Studies - 11. Does my district need to offer Washington State History and Government credit opportunities at t

Yes. If a student failed or did not take the course at the middle school level, then a district must provide opportunities to satisfy the credit in high school. Students who transfer from schools in another state before the completion of 10th grade must also be provided an opportunity to satisfy the credit.

Social Studies - 10. Can districts award high school credit for Washington State History taken by students in middle

A Washington State History course offered in middle school for high school credit must be taught to high school learning standards, and be the same or equivalent to Washington State History courses taken by high school students, as required by RCW 28A.230.090(4).  Most middle school Washington State History courses do not currently meet this standard.  

Social Studies - 9. Does Washington State History and Government need to be a semester course or can it be embedded

OSPI recommends delivery of Washington State History content in the 7th grade. The requirement in rule (WAC 392-410-120) is "a one-semester course -- i.e., 90 (50 minute) hours of instruction -- or its equivalent in Washington State history and government In grades seven through twelve combined, but not at each grade level." 

Social Studies - 8. How should districts meet the civics requirement involving the federally administered naturalizat

According to statute (RCW 28A.230.094) the Civics course should include “the study and completion of the civics component of the federally administered naturalization test required of persons seeking to become naturalized United States citizens.” How districts teach and ensure the study and completion of the naturalization test is locally determined. In addition to the other required content, the Civics course should address the material that a naturalization test might cover. 

Social Studies - 7. How should Civics be transcribed? How should it be transcribed when it is embedded in a dual cred

Most students will meet the civics requirement through a stand-alone Civics course. The course should be transcribed as “Civics.” When students meet the civics requirement through taking a dual credit course that embeds the civics content, the transcript should show the dual credit course. The State Board of Education will be working with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to explore whether a check box for meeting the civics requirement should be added to the transcript.