SREB High School to College and Careers

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1 Alabama High School Graduation Requirements The Alabama State Board of Education has approved a new high school diploma for students entering ninth grade after fall The state will phase in the new diploma, so that current juniors and seniors are not adversely affected by the new requirements. Current high school freshmen and sophomores must take a career preparedness course and a course sequence in career-technical education, arts education, or foreign language. Graduation Requirements for Current Juniors and Seniors Students must complete at least 24 units to earn a regular high school diploma. Students may choose to complete a diploma with academic or career-technical education (CTE) endorsements. Regardless of the pathways that students choose, they must complete four units each in core subjects (e.g., English, math, science, and social studies), one unit of physical education, and half units in health, fine arts, and computer applications. Subjects Common Requirements Diploma Diploma+ CTE Diploma CTE Diploma+ English One unit each year 4 Same as regular diploma Mathematics Algebra I 4 Algebra II Algebra II Geometry Science Biology I 4 Same as regular diploma Physical Science Social Studies One unit each year 4 Phys. Education 1 Health 0.5 Arts Education 0.5 Computer 0.5 Applications Foreign Language 2 CTE: Completer 3 CTE: Concentrator 3 Electives TOTAL High School Diploma Local school boards may waive the computer requirement if the student demonstrates competency; if the requirement is waived, the elective requirement will increase by one-half unit. Diploma with Advanced Academic Endorsement (Diploma+) In addition to regular requirements, high school students on this diploma pathway must complete Algebra II and two units of the same foreign language. Diploma with Career/Technical Endorsement (CTE) Students may receive the advanced career-technical endorsement if they earn: Two units in a career/technical education program, AND One career-technical or academic credit related to student s objective.

2 Diploma with Advanced Career/Technical Endorsement (CTE+) In addition to regular requirements, students on this pathway must complete Algebra II and earn: Three credits in a career/technical education program; OR Two credits in an occupational program, in addition to the one unit Advanced Cooperative workbased education experience. Cooperative work-based education consists of a weekly seminar coupled with paid, supervised work at a licensed business. Each participating student, along with his or her parents, academic supervisor and work supervisor, writes a training plan detailing the scope of work. Graduation Requirements for Current Freshmen and Sophomores The Alabama State Board of Education has standardized core curriculum requirements for students entering ninth grade after fall Current freshmen and sophomore must complete current diploma requirements (see above) plus one credit in Algebra II (or an equivalent) to earn a regular diploma. The Alabama State Board of Education now also requires a default course sequence for the social studies. Recent changes do not affect academic and career-technical diploma endorsement requirements. Subject/Requirement Math Social Studies Changes Algebra II Full-Unit Courses World history American History I American History II Half-Unit Courses American Government Economics Career Planning Online Experience Computer Applications One-unit career preparedness course now required Take online course or participate in online experience through current high school course requirements Incorporated into career planning requirement Assessment Requirements The Alabama Department of Education will administer the new ACT battery of assessments starting in the school year. Grade(s) ACT Assessment 3 to 8 Aspire Reading and Math 5 and 7 Aspire Science 8 Explore 10 Plan 11 ACT 12 WorkKeys 8 to 12 ACT QualityCore End-of-Course Assessments in English 10 and Algebra I

3 College and Career Readiness The Alabama State Board of Education adopted the Common Core State Standards in October The state implemented the standards for the first time during the school year. The board has partnered with ACT to deliver assessments aligned with the Common Core. Plan 2020, Alabama s education strategic plan, requires the department of education to develop a unified Pre-K to 12 plan for college and career readiness. The plan articulates several interdependent strategies to increase student readiness levels, including (1) adoption of college and career standards; (2) delivery of aligned assessments; (3) setting clear and ambitious performance targets; and, (4) adapting school accountability to facilitate improvement. The Alabama Department of Education is developing the Plan 2020 Accountability Model, which will hold school accountable to several indicators, including the student achievement, learning gains, achievement gap closing, college and career readiness, and graduation rate. College and Career Planning Eighth grade students develop a four-year high school plan based on the results of the ACT Explore and a career interest assessment. To graduate high school, students must complete the new career preparedness course. The course curriculum includes three sections: career and academic planning, computer applications, and financial literacy. ALCareerTech is a portal that provides access to online resources for students and their families to help them explore and plan for careers, technical education or college. Its Web site is ALcareertech.org. Alabama offers an assessment-based credential to job seekers with at least a GED. Individuals may earn the Alabama Career Readiness Certificate (CRC), which the state awards at four levels: bronze, silver, gold or platinum. The CRC indicates to employers what degree of employable skills the applicant possesses. The CRC program is administered through the ACT WorkKeys program and is offered in partnership with the Alabama Community College System, the Alabama Career Center System, and the Office of Workforce Development. Accelerated Learning Options Dual and Concurrent Enrollment High school sophomores, juniors and seniors may participate in dual credit opportunities. Students participating in dual enrollment must have a high school GPA of 3.0 or higher and meet admission test criteria set by the institutions. Students who are pursuing dual enrollment courses in occupational or technical programs generally must maintain 3.0 GPAs in program-related courses and 2.5 GPAs overall. Students must have the approval of parents and high school officials. Early College Enrollment Program This dual enrollment program allows high school students to earn college credit toward the completion of degrees or certificates aligned to local, state, or regional workforce needs. The two curriculum tracks are for career-technical and health programs. Early College High Schools The Selma Early College High School allows high school students to graduate high school with up to 60 hours of college credit.

4 Advanced Placement The Alabama Community College Systems requires institutions to accept a score of 3 or higher on the Advanced Placement and award elective or general education credit toward an associate degree. Career and Technical Education The Department of Education provides more than 215 courses in the following fields: Agricultural Science, Business/Marketing, Family and Consumer Science, Health Science, and Career Technologies. Postsecondary Admissions and Placement Four-Year Colleges and Universities Common, statewide admissions and placement requirements do not exist for four-year institutions. Institutional governing boards set admission requirements. Alabama Community College System For admission to associate degree programs, students must show that they have completed a high school diploma or an equivalent credential. Students applying to vocational programs must demonstrate an ability to benefit from instruction. The system requires institutions to use scores on the test (or ASSET when the COMPASS is unavailable) to assess students for placement into college-level courses. Students can exempt placement with minimum scores on the math, verbal/reading, and writing sections of the SAT (470 or above on each section) and ACT (i.e., 20 or above on each section). The table below summarizes placement cut scores. Course/Subject COMPASS ASSET Reading Academic Writing Career-Technical English Math Feedback Reports 36 on Pre-Algebra Section 28 on Algebra Section 38 on Numerical Skills Section 37 on Elementary Algebra Section The Alabama Commission on Higher Education provides feedback reports on the postsecondary enrollment and success of recent high school graduates. The Commission tracks the feeder high schools for each public two-and four-year college. Each high school also receives a report that includes the number of students taking remedial courses. State Financial Aid The Alabama Student Grant Program provides up to $1,200 annually for students attending nonpublic institutions. The Alabama Student Assistance Program (ASAP) provides need-based grants to students. Annual awards range from $300 to $5,000. To receive initial and renewal ASAP grants, students submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. Students with qualifying Expected Family Contributions (EFCs) may use the reward at nearly 80 postsecondary institutions in Alabama.

5 Special Thanks We would like to thank the staff at the following agencies for their assistance in carefully reviewing and confirming the accuracy of the policies and programs described in this document: Alabama Commission on Higher Education Alabama State Department of Education Sources Alabama Commission on Higher Education Alabama Community College System Alabama State Department of Education Alabama Career and Technical Education

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