State Board finalizes new high school diploma requirementsUpdated qualifications will begin 2022
While looking up towards the stage, former seniors wait to hear their name during their graduation service. In previous years, 22.5 credits were required to graduate for a standard diploma, but recent legislation now requires 23 credits. June 12, 2017 Photo Credit: Justine Ho
Starting with the Class of 2022, students will be required to earn 23 credits instead of 22.5 in order to graduate with a standard diploma.
“Even with the basic classes I took, I still got way more credits than I needed,” senior Alyssa Del Rosario said. “It will definitely be harder for certain people to get their diploma with the new requirement, but I assume thats only if they don’t put in enough work. The additional credits will be a way to motivate students in working harder for them to graduate.”
Due to the elective requirements decreasing from 7.5 credits to six, incoming freshman will now have to earn two college and career-readiness credits and one arts and humanities credit.
“Electives are classes that allow students to do what they actually want,” junior Katie Trinh said. “Taking away electives won’t necessarily hurt students, but their motivation [will] decrease because of the lack of creativity and freedom.”
Courses that will fulfill these new requirements include math classes in Algebra II or higher, a third year of social studies, science or a second and third year CTE course.
“I feel like adding required credits won’t really improve college readiness [in students],” sophomore Alyssa Victoria said. “I feel like students become overwhelmed with the thought of college and the new environment, that they naturally feel scared or unprepared for what will happen. Additional [credits] won’t change that fear.”
According to the U.S. Department of Education, students with CTE classes are likelier to be employed than those who achieved academic credentials. However, the rate of high school students who earned three or more credits in occupational education has fallen from 1 in 4 to 1 in 5.
“I think especially for our students the CTE credits would certainly work in their favor,” Assistant Principal Trish Taylor said. “However, since it is only elective for elective, we have to wait to see if the district will make changes to fit the new guidelines.”