Graduating from a Georgia Public High School

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1 Graduating from a Georgia Public High School (Graduation requirements for Georgia public school students have changed. New requirements take effect Fall 2008.) Graduation requirements for students entering ninth grade in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 (and graduating in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011) In order to graduate, public school students in Georgia must: Select a program of study Successfully complete the required high school coursework Pass the Georgia High School Graduation Tests Satisfy attendance requirements Programs of Study & Coursework Students may choose from the following five programs of study. Upon completion, the student receives a high school diploma with a seal that matches the program of study. Type of Program of Study/Seal Units College Preparatory (CP) 22 College Preparatory with Distinction 24 (CP+) Technology/Career Preparatory (TC) 22 Technology/Career Preparatory with 24 Distinction (TC+) Dual 22 Coursework Dual CP CP+ TC TC+ English/Language Arts* Mathematics* ** 3** Science* Social Studies* Health and Physical Education Computer Technology and/or Fine Arts and/or Technology/Career preparatory and/or Foreign Language Foreign Language* ** Technology/Career preparatory units*** (from core Technology/Career preparatory courses) Locally required or elective units ** 4** State Electives from Core Courses (courses with a single asterisk) and/or Fine Arts TOTAL UNITS (MINIMUM) *Core Courses **Technology/Career preparatory students may want to utilize an elective unit as Foreign Language or as a fourth unit of mathematics depending upon the student s program of study and the student s intentions to enter a University System of Georgia institution. The appropriate number of mathematics units for each Technology/Career preparatory program of study shall be determined by the local board of education.

2 ***Technology/Career preparatory includes Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) High School Graduation Tests All students are required to pass the Georgia High School Graduation Tests in order to earn a high school diploma. The tests cover only a sample of the knowledge and skills that constitute a high school education. Students must pass all five of the following tests: English/Language Arts Mathematics Science Social Studies Writing Students begin taking the tests in their junior year. The Writing test is given in the fall and the other four content area tests are given in the spring. Students must pass all of the tests by the end of their senior year. Students have five opportunities to take each of the tests before the end of the twelfth grade. Frequently Asked Questions What is the difference between a seal and a dual seal? A seal is an attachment placed on a high school diploma. The seal indicates that a program of study was completed successfully. Most students only receive one seal. However, some students may also be eligible to graduate with a dual seal (two seals). Students who complete the requirements for either the CP or CP+ program as well as complete the requirements for either the TC or TC+ program will receive a dual seal on their high school diploma. What is the advantage of receiving a dual seal? Students completing the requirements of both a college preparatory program and a technology/career preparatory program have received an education to adequately prepare them for college and they have developed skills, knowledge, and experience that prepared them to find work. What is the difference between a core course, a required course, and an elective course? Core course: a course chosen from English, math, science, social studies, and foreign language to satisfy graduation requirements Required course: a course that is mandatory Elective course: a course, beyond the core requirements, that fulfills units for graduation What are the requirements to earn a diploma seal with distinction? Students must meet additional requirements to earn this diploma. CP+ and TC+ programs of study require students to take an extra 2 units, totaling 24 units overall. In addition, the grade point average in core courses must be at least a 3.0 on a four point scale. Can American Sign Language be used to meet foreign language requirements? Students in the CP and CP+ programs of study are required to take 2 units of foreign language. For students who do not have a hearing impairment, American Sign Language (ASL) will not satisfy the foreign language requirements. ASL may only be taken as one elective credit or as a third unit of foreign language credit beyond the 2 units required. What happens if I don t pass the High School Graduation Tests? Students who do not pass all the tests but have met all other graduation requirements may be eligible for a high school certificate or a special education diploma. Such students can return to retake the test(s) as often as they wish in order to qualify for a high school diploma.

3 Graduation requirements for students entering ninth grade in 2008 and after (and graduating in 2012 and after) In order to graduate, public school students in Georgia must: Satisfy attendance requirements Successfully complete the required high school coursework (23 units) Pass the Georgia High School Graduation Tests (GHSGT) Pass the Georgia High School Writing Test (GHSWT) Diplomas & Coursework Students completing high school will receive one of the following: High School Diploma document awarded to students certifying that they have satisfied attendance requirements, unit requirements and the state assessments requirements. High School Certificate document awarded to students who do not complete all of the criteria for a diploma or who have not passed the state assessment requirements but have earned 23 units and meet all local board requirements. Special Education Diploma document awarded to students with disabilities assigned to a special education program and have not met the state assessment requirements or who have not completed all of the requirements for a high school diploma but have completed their Individualized Education Programs (IEP). Students must complete 23 units of coursework in order to graduate. Current GEORGIA Graduation Rule for Units students entering the 9 th grade in Fall of 2008 English/Language Arts 4 Math 4 *Science 4 Social Studies 3 PE 1/2 Health 1/2 ** Required Electives: Career, Technical and 3 Agricultural Education (CTAE), and/or Modern Language/Latin, and/or Fine Arts Electives 4 Total Units 23 * 4 th Science may be used to meet both science and elective requirement ** Student must complete 3 units in a CTAE pathway to complete the pathway; student must complete 2 years of the same foreign language for admissions to Georgia Board of Regents colleges/universities.

4 Georgia High School Graduation Tests All students are required to pass the Georgia High School Graduation Tests in order to earn a high school diploma. The tests cover only a sample of the knowledge and skills that constitute a high school education. Students must pass all of the following tests: English/Language Arts Mathematics Science Social Studies Students begin taking the tests in their junior year. Students have multiple opportunities to take each of the tests before the end of the twelfth grade. Georgia High School Writing Test Students are required to take and pass the Georgia High School Writing Test. Initially taken in the fall of the junior year, this 2 hour test evaluates persuasive writing ability. Students have opportunities to retake the test before the end of the twelfth grade. Frequently Asked Questions Why should I graduate from high school? Graduating from high school is the first step to your future. It demonstrates that you have mastered many of the skills necessary to run your own life and make your own decisions. In addition, graduating from high school increases your earning power. The more you learn, the more you earn! Education National median weekly earnings Less than high school diploma $409 High school diploma, no $583 college Some college, no degree $653 Associate degree $699 Bachelor s degree $937 Master s degree $1,129 Professional degree $1,370 Doctoral degree $1,421 (Occupational Outlook Quarterly, Fall 2006, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) Who is going to help me graduate successfully? School counselors, graduation coaches, teachers and administrators, family members and friends are all part of your graduation team. Talk to them, ask questions, and collect information. Do your part by attending classes and studying. Get involved in school activities. What happens if I don t pass the Georgia High School Graduation Tests or the Georgia High School Writing Test? Students who do not pass all the tests but have met all other graduation requirements may be eligible for a high school certificate or a special education diploma. These students can return to retake the test(s) as often as they wish in order to qualify for a high school diploma. What are the high school requirements for transfer students? Students who transfer to a Georgia high school will follow the graduation requirements that were in effect in the year the transfer student was a first time ninth grader.

5 Can middle school classes (6 th, 7 th, 8 th grade) count towards high school graduation? Yes. Credit may be awarded for classes such as foreign language, mathematics, and science. Talk with a middle school counselor or high school counselor/graduation coach. Why should I take a foreign language? Students choosing a career that requires a college education should take 2 years of the same foreign language. Although foreign languages are not required for high school graduation, most colleges/universities do require foreign languages for admissions. Can American Sign Language be used to meet foreign language requirements? Yes, 2 units of American Sign Language will satisfy the requirement. What is the Georgia Virtual School Program? The Georgia Virtual School Program is provided by the Georgia Department of Education to offer instructional high school programs online for students. Preference is given to students enrolled at Georgia public schools. Do I have to take the SAT or ACT? Taking the SAT or ACT is not a requirement for graduation from a Georgia public high school. However many colleges and universities do require scores from the SAT or ACT for admissions. Be sure to check the admissions requirements for the school that interests you. After high school, what next? You have many options open to you after you graduate from high school. Go to college/vocational school Attend an apprenticeship training program Volunteer Join the military Get a job 2008 Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, Georgia State University, Georgia Career Information Center and its licensors. All rights reserved.

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