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RCW 28A.230.090 authorizes SBE to establish state graduation requirements. SBE has set credit requirements, including credit requirements in English. In addition, SBE has established the non-credit requirement of a High School and Beyond Plan (WAC 180-51-056, WAC 180-51-067, WAC 180-51-68, and WAC 180-51-220).

The English credit requirement through the graduating class of 2015 was 3 credits of English (WAC 180-51-056).

The English credit requirement for the graduating class of 2016 and beyond is 4 credits of English (WAC 180-51-067, WAC 180-51-68, and WAC 180-51-210).

In November 2010, the State Board of Education approved the Washington State Career- and College-Ready Graduation Requirements. The Career- and College-Ready Graduation Requirements comprise a program of study that keeps all postsecondary choices open, with flexible options for students who have particular career or education goals. In November 2011, the State Board of Education adopted into rule the graduation requirement changes that were determined to have no fiscal impact based on a November 2010 fiscal analysis performed by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. These changes included increasing English from 3 to 4 credits.

WAC 180-51-050 defines high school credit as:

  • Successful completion of courses taught to the state’s learning standards, as defined by written district policy; or,
  • Satisfactory demonstration of student proficiency/competency of the state’s learning standards, as defined by written district policy.

The state's  learning standards for English are the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts, adopted in July 2011. 

High school credit can be awarded for work that is at an academic level of ninth grade or higher.

Page last updated: December 2020